Lately the news has been covering quite a number of agent-assisted books that have sold well. Agent-assisted publishing might sound repetative…after all, doesn’t an agent get authors published with traditional houses?
Yes, and nowadays agents are doing more. If they are unable to place a client with a publisher, they might funnel that client into their own publishing unit. The agent doesn’t become the publisher; they simply help the author self-publish.
The benefits to this kind of self-publishing are many. Agents have long done much more for authors than simply sell their books. They are fantastic advocates with the media and (when appropriate) colleges or other organizations that might offer paid speaking engagements. The agents can often boost sales for the author in a way that the writer could not do himself through regular self-publishing methods.