This week I learned about licensing. Emily emailed me an article about one of her friend’s clients doing a licensing deal with Disney. The author’s middle grade series (ages 9-13 or so) has been licensed to Disney Channel for a pilot. Now often times nothing will come of the rights, even if there are bidding wars for the acquisition. For example, the rights for “Magic in Manhattan”, a series by Sarah Mylnowski were bought years ago, and recently extended by Disney, however nothing has ever come of these rights. (Probably because Disney had a show with a very similar premise and they were covering their tracks.)
Agents negotiate licensing and rights in authors’ contracts with publishers on the author’s behalf. In the agent’s own contract with their author/client, they negotiate the agent’s commission on the movie/ TV rights. This is how famed agent Jodi Reamer has done well for herself, as she is Stephanie Meyer’s (Twilight saga) and John Green’s (The Fault in Our Stars, and Paper Towns) agent.