Opinions on submitting a novel to an agent or direct to a publisher have been thrashed out here before, and most people seem to think going through an agent is best. But in the unlikely event that a writer was fortunate enough to capture the interest of a big, international publisher, then surely there would be little need for an agent? Macmillan New Writing, which promotes new authors, may be a good example of a scheme that makes the role of an agent redundant for anyone accepted into it? What do you think? From their websight: "Macmillan New Writing pays its authors a 20% royalty on net receipts but does not pay an advance (i.e. an advance payment against future sales). Our contract is standard and non-negotiable and we acquire world rights in all titles, with rights revenue split 50/50. We also reserve the option to publish the author’s second novel on the same terms as their first. If we acquire an author’s third novel it and any subsequent novels we acquire will be published, with an advance, under one of Pan Macmillan’s ‘mainstream’ imprints" How does that sound, from a business perspective, compared to what an agent may offer? I think Macmillan publish about one in a thousand submissions! So I’m never going to be in the league they require. My question is purely theoretical!