I was intrigued, then, when I read this Galley Cat article in which Ann Patty (formerly of Poseidon, Crown, and Harcourt fame) argues that book editors, as well as agents and authors, should get a cut of a book's overall sales (she suggests 1 to 3%, with the caveat that they not kick in until after the advance is earned out).
One of the many advantages to the commission model is that it rewards higher achievement and harder work while simultaneously solving the principle-agent problem—that is, getting employees to do what's in the company's best interest (i.e., sell more books) by aligning them with employee's best interests (i.e., make more money). Arguably, agents work hard for the books they acquire not only because they love their work, but because the better the deals they can make for their authors, the higher their remuneration. Likewise, editors and sales people at publishing houses would likely work harder and go the extra mile more often if their paychecks were directly tied to the books they were selling.
What do you think, mes auteurs? Would you want your editor to work on commission for you and your book?