I think it is interesting that some writers are turning to agents to have their ebooks pubbed. Personally, I do not have the time nor the inclination to handle the production/promotion/sales of ebooks for clients, especially for new projects. In my opinion, there are better freelance editors out there than me, production is the easy part so authors should learn and apply, and marketing....now that is an interesting part of the equation. I probably have more marketing experience than most authors and/or agents, but marketing ebooks could easily be a full-time job for someone in an agency, and I don't want to divert my attention from what I love...discovering talent, nurturing talent and making a love connection betwn authors and editors.
For backlist, epubbing is often the only alternative for authors/illustrators, and I just spoke to Ronnie about it and I know she is trying to figure out how to get our clients' out of print books out as ebooks....Ronnie, who is also a well published author, has a strong backlist of her own so I think she will start by thinking about this for her own books and then go from there.
Things are changing so quickly it is making everyone's head spin, and I think everyone is really trying to do the best for their clients while tapping into what they know how to do and/or are willing to do. I keep hearing the words 'money grab', but I really doubt agents who are trying new ventures are just trying to hold on to every possible dollar flow. I think they are trying to grow and reinvent with the industry.
Things will shake-out and who knows which business model will be the answer, but authors (and I am one too so this is not coming from some podium) need to decide what they want in an agent. If you trusted your agent before, do you suddenly question everything you thought about them because they are offering some services that you are not interested in?
Actually, I see a lot of conflict of interest in some of the biz models, but agenting + epubbing is evolving and time will tell. For now, if you have an agent and he/she is doing a great job for you and you are happy, stop fretting and enjoy your relationship. If you are looking for an agent, decide what you want and query those agents who offer what you are looking for.