Robert Gottlieb




These are just some of the phrases that Robert Gottlieb's clients use to describe to him.


Robert says, "I have spent my career as a book agent working with authors to help take them to the top of the bestseller lists and to grow their careers. I like the challenge of coming up with strategies that establish their brand on a worldwide basis." Gottlieb views his relationship with his authors as being pro-active career building and career management on a global basis.


The culture of the Trident literary agency reflects this philosophy.

Robert explains, "I started the Trident Media Group agency in 2000 so that I could inculcate the entrepreneurial spirit into the DNA of the firm from inception." And the results show that: For many consecutive years, Trident continues to rank as the number one literary agency in North America in the number of transactions for authors based on the statistics from the major trade website, Publisher's Marketplace.


Trident is also the leading agency in sales in the international markets. "For me, going to The London Book Fair and Frankfurt is not about wining and dining, but about having as many meetings as possible between my team and editors and publishing executives from around the world," says Robert. However, having a successful, direct-to-publisher, worldwide sales program involves more than just attending book fairs; it is a year-round effort by our book agents of constant contact and interaction, negotiation, follow-through, and closing deals, directed by Robert and executed by Trident's foreign sales group, the largest in the business. Trident also brings to Frankfurt and The London Book Fair the largest contingent of U.S. book agents.


Because of his leading position in the literary agency business, Robert has access to all of the decision makers at publishing and media firms around the world. "While no one can guarantee results, we can guarantee that we will try harder and be passionate advocates for our clients," says Robert. He emphasizes that publishers respect that extra effort and commitment, which shows in the results that Robert achieves for his clients. Publishers around the world respect Trident and often will take a chance on an author who Trident strongly believes in.


"Our goal is to achieve as much revenue for our authors as possible. Our interests and our clients’ are parallel. And one of the techniques that we use is to retain as many rights as we can, so that Trident can sell these rights separately." Trident seeks to keep foreign rights, audio rights, e-book rights, and a myriad of subsidiary rights. Robert points out each negotiation is different, so that what is retained depends on the particular circumstances, with the goal of maximizing revenue for Trident's authors in all media.


Innovation has always been Robert’s focus. "I am never satisfied with the status quo. We are always looking for new ways to do better for our authors." Trident's new Digital Media and Publishing department is the latest innovation. "I decided that we must develop this new, potentially huge income stream for the benefit of our authors. Trident's interest must be completely aligned with our authors’, so that Trident only receives its customary fee from authors’ revenues and does not act as a publisher." Trident has made a significant investment in personnel and services in Digital Media and Publishing, which is rapidly growing. Authors who have joined the e-book effort are already seeing the results.


Robert points out that Trident is a unique book agency in that it has the capital to invest in the business and the creative ideas about the investments to make for the benefit of its authors. Robert puts it simply, "I believe in our authors and all my colleagues at Trident."