Upstart book publisher Inkshares has signed with United Talent Agency, which will now represent all underlying rights from future Inkshares book deals.

Intended to “democratize publishing”, Inkshares is a hybrid outfit that uses crowdsourcing techniques to determine which books they’ll publish, rather than relying solely on the instincts of a given literary representative to evaluate the potential success of a work. Authors are allowed to publish sample chapters from their work on the site, at which point readers are encouraged to offer feedback as the author further develops the book. Authors then can solicit preorders from readers: at 740 preorders, Inkshares will publish an e-book version, and at 1000 preorders, the company will publish physical copies.

Publication isn’t merely a matter of processing the work. Once a book qualifies for publication, Inkshares handles editing, design, print, distribution and marketing, with a generous revenue split that gives 50% of gross revenue for the print version, and 70% for the ebook version, to the author.

Inkshares’ model will not be changing as a result of the UTA deal. Instead, UTA will now match the company with talent, both established and emerging, who can use the platform to reach new audiences. Among the creators to take advantage of this process are Star Wars: Rogue One co-screenwriter Gary Whitta, Jack Bender (director of episodes from Game of Thrones season 6, author of The Elephant in the Room), and The Purge director James Demonaco (author of the forthcoming Curious Chronicles of Jack Bokimble).

Inkshares recently partnered with Nerdist on the lunch of a Nerdist publishing imprint. The partnership has established a Sci-Fi writing contest, from which the top five submissions will be published under the new imprint and distributed to indie bookstores, as well as Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble.