Bob Miller, Making The Rounds

Literary agents at ICM are preparing for a visit from Bob Miller, the veteran publisher who left his longtime post atop Hyperion earlier this month to start an experimental publishing “studio” at HarperCollins. Mr. Miller has declared his intention to eschew industry conventions by paying authors small advances and offering them a more generous profit share of 50 percent. (Authors typically earn far less than that, about 10 percent on average between hardcovers and paperbacks.) Initial reaction from the publishing world was essentially “good luck with that!”, as industry folks grumbled that no agents would go for Mr. Miller’s plan since advances are where they make most of their money. And so Mr. Miller is visiting ICM tomorrow to deliver a group presentation in which he will try to sell the agents there on his plan and extinguish their skepticism. Mr. Miller declined to say whether he is making similar stops at the other big agencies in town. “I don’t really want to make my schedule public. …” he wrote in an e-mail on Monday. “I will tell you that I had matzoh brei at Rosen’s for breakfast this morning, however. …”