There’s a popular idea that regularly floats around the bookosphere that literary agents and some prominent published authors not only like publishers, they’re actually working for publishers or are in bed with publishers (that’s a popular one) or are hopelessly beholden to publishers or have been kidnapped and brainwashed into thinking that maybe publishers aren’t insane conniving Monster McMonsterpants.
Secondary myth: that agents like publishers more than their clients.
For the most part? Everything works relatively smoothly in publishingland. And yes, sometimes agent/author/publisher interests align to the extent that agents and authors even agree with publishers’ vision for the bookselling marketplace.
Many agents agreed with publishers and wrote dissenting letters to the DOJ over the collusion lawsuit, an object of some Internet derision, at the same time that agents are also increasingly working directly with Amazon and selling books to them. How do those things go together? Because it’s up to agents to look out for the clients both in the short term (selling books) and the long term (keeping an eye on the future publishing marketplace).
Art: De geldwisselaar en zijn vrouw by Marinus van Reymerswale