Oh, boy. Just ran across this while reading a blog entry by a self-publishing maven.
Most agents, especially those in very large firms, no longer represent authors. Those agents represent themselves, and exist to make money off writers. It’s that simple, and that disillusioning.
Uh, duh? And: WTF? OF COURSE agents exist to make money off writers (and athletes and actors and artists). OF COURSE they do. They're in BUSINESS. What the fuck? Does this person think agents (of any kind) are in business to "help" someone? Uh, no. They're in business to make MONEY.
(I should add that the article from which I took this inane quote is otherwise quite good: smart, detailed, solid. Which makes the inanity of the quote even more, well, inane.)
Lately I've been thinking about "business" in a general sense (all toward pondering my next book). I keep being surprised by how many people-in-business ascribe "noble" motives to various kinds of business people --- while not failing to ascribe those same motives to themselves or to their employers.
Eg, agents are there to represent authors, but not to make money. But self-publishing authors are there to make money. Craft brewers are supposed to represent the noble art and craft of making "artisan" beer, but the beer-drinkers who get pissed when those same craft brewers expand in order to make money are themselves interested in earning money from their own jobs or businesses.