Welcome to the Ki Agency!
‘Ki’ in Japanese means ‘energy’ as well as ‘tree’ – both of which seemed auspicious as a name for a new company. I started it because I wanted to work with writers in a more dynamic way, tailoring services to their individual needs and what will best advance their writing careers.
Ki started about six months ago, with just a few clients. I’m proud to represent (in alphabetical order):
Emma Adams, a scriptwriter whose first play was recently shortlisted for the Meyer-Whitworth Prize
Piers Bearne, author of an exciting debut historical novel
Mike Carey, scriptwriter, and novelist, as well as his wife Linda and daughter Louise. Mike’s been nominated for major awards for his graphic novel work as well.
Stephen Davis, television writer extraordinaire and novelist
Daniel Depp, a scriptwriter and author of (so far) two thriller novels which have had fantastic reviews
Anne Perry, internationally bestselling author
Simon Scarrow, No.1 bestselling author
Catherine Webb, playwright and author of very cool urban fantasy novels under the name Kate Griffin
Timothy Wilson, who – currently as Jude Morgan – is writing excellently-reviewed historical novels
We’re in a period of enormous change, both in the media industries and in the world at large. It seemed a bit crazy to be starting a new company during an economic crisis, but very energizing to be part of changing times, and to start with a fresh attitude.
I’ll be blogging about my clients and developments in the agency, but at the moment there’s something that affects all writers – the government’s proposed changes to copyright law.
Last week, I was part of a small team from the Association of Authors’ Agents to meet with the Intellectual Property Office. All writers and agents – everyone involved with copyright work – should be mobilized during this period of consultation. We discussed two main issues, which I’ll outline briefly here. Much more detail can be found at Action for Authors’ Rights (www.authorsrights.org.uk)
The Digital Copyright Exchange – The government is looking at whether there’s a way to make licensing quicker and easier. This is a tricky one: it’s in everyone’s interest to license as much work as there’s a demand for, in an efficient and simple way. But we don’t want to trample on a writer’s right to get the best market price, and to be careful of who gets a licence. It’s tempting to imagine a fully automatic service where you click on what you want and pay online. But would this mean that everyone gets the same (possibly low) price for everything, regardless of its value? And would it mean an automatic system that’s a nightmare to keep accurate?
Extended Collective Licensing – This would also streamline the system, by having certain rights automatically licensed through a collecting society. This already happens with some rights, like educational licenses for photocopying, or some television usages where a lot of content is bundled together and a lump sum paid. These usages are considered so ‘small’ that the only efficient way of dealing with them is through a collecting society such as the ALCS or DACS. But how far do we want to go down this road? The issues are similar – possible loss of control and revenue for the writer.
The consultation period finishes on 21 March. Many organizations such as the Association of Authors’ Agents, Society of Authors and Writers Guild will be submitting consultation papers. Now’s the time for writers to speak!