“The agent never receipts his bill, puts his hat on and bows himself out. He stays around forever, not only for as long as you can write anything that anyone will buy, but as long as anyone will buy any portion of any right to anything that you ever did write. He just takes ten per cent of your life” — Raymond Chandler
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In this quote, Raymond Chandler is describing how literary agents operate. The best interpretation is that Chandler is saying once an author signs with an agent, that agent will essentially take a cut (10%) of the author’s career earnings in perpetuity, even for works the author writes long after their initial relationship.
By saying the agent “never receipts his bill” and “stays around forever”, Chandler suggests agents maintain their representative percentage on any sale or license of an author’s back catalog for their entire lifetime, not just for an initial project or term.