E-Book Publishing Agents

Emily Ross, eBook Operations Assistant; Nicole Robson, Co-Director of eBook Operations;Lyuba DiFalco, Co-Director of eBook Operations; Elizabeth Parks, eBook Design and Production Manager.



When Robert Gottlieb, Dan Strone, and Lew Korman were conferring about starting an e-book operation at Trident, one point quickly emerged as a guiding principle. The e-Book Operations Department had to be constructed so that the authors' interest, Trident's interest, and the literary agents' interest were all completely aligned. The new department, as is the case with all of Trident's activities, would be there to serve the clients. So it was an easy decision for the clients to participate and benefit: Trident would only charge its customary commission based on revenues received by the authors, and Trident would not become an e-book publisher, profiting at the client's expense, being a rights holder, and finding itself potentially in an adversarial position with authors.


From that decision, all else flowed. By utilizing Trident's e-book operations, authors are empowered and able to make a greater profit than by using an outside service that costs, in many cases, more than double Trident's commission. Trident's e-book operations add significant value, allowing the author to devote more time to writing than the mechanics of e-book processes and taking advantage of the latest marketing techniques that may be suited to a particular book. As the e-book business evolves, the professional capabilities and knowledge of the Trident e-book team will have a substantial and positive impact on its authors' careers. The department is now open to direct submissions from authors who want to do e-book original self-publishing with a book agency's assistance.


With these principles in mind, Trident e-book operations got off to a roaring start in 2012. During the first eight months, Trident put into publication fifty titles and hundreds since then. Lyuba DiFalco, co-director of the department, says, "We are also very excited to have our first New York Times front-list bestseller, the novella Softly at Sunrise by Maya Banks."


"The scope of services available is so wide and deep that it is not practical to list them here," says Nicole Robson, co-director. "A brief summary includes formatting for uploading, copyediting, cover design, and marketing."


"Everything is moving fast and quickly evolving," says Elizabeth Parks, operations manager. "Each week new activities are being added." Trident recently organized a new subdivision, TMG Distribution Services, to assist authors with selected books on certain designated sites.


Robert Gottlieb emphasizes that Trident's e-book operations are for all Trident's authors. "If you are an author with contracts with a publisher, you can still write e-books that have different characters, story lines, and genres, and let us help you broaden your brand."


Dan Strone points out that Trident's e-book program works particularly well in the nonfiction area. "We can get out very quickly a book that relates to current events or public figures of the moment." Lyuba and Nicole add that the e-book operation already has shown its value in publishing backlist titles.


Robert Gottlieb adds, "Then there is the re-engineering of authors to and from the e-book marketplace that can lead to significant deals in traditional publishing in North America."


Lew Korman is also excited by what he calls the multiplier effect. "When an e-book put up on retail sites by Trident's e-Book Operations gets traction, the book then has the potential for Trident's literary agents to sell the book in the international markets, as an audio book, and yes, as a print book, as well as into motion pictures, TV, and other entertainment media."


Robert, Dan, and Lew believe that while e-book operations have demonstrated early success, the best is yet to come, as this new area will give rise to many opportunities for Trident's authors.


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