December 5, 2012

The mystery of the White Glove: British agency partners with Amazon


British agency Curtis Brown has just announced a fiendishly clever way of breaking its authors into the US market: Amazon.

It’s emerged that the agency will begin publishing Amazon digital exclusives of its authors’ titles through Kindle Direct Publishing — or, more specifically, through Amazon’s top-secret White Glove service. White Glove (I know, you couldn’t make this stuff up), from what anyone can tell, is a service aimed at agents who represent authors who own their digital rights on backlist titles.

Under the programme authors including Emily Barr, Colin Bateman, Rosie Goodwin, Adele Parks and Tony Parsons will publish two hundred digital exclusives, beginning this month.

Here’s what they’ll get in the deal, per paidContent:

Amazon gives the agents extra help in converting and uploading book files to the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) store; it will also convert print books to digital files for free. In some cases, Amazon also promotes the books through email blasts and page placements, in exchange for an exclusive of six to twelve months.

If I were one of those authors I think I’d be asking myself a few questions at this point, the main one being: why do I need an agent to help me self-publish?


Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.