Trident Media Group, a New York-based literary agency, has launched Trident E-Book Operations, which will create, manage and implement e-book strategies for its authors.
The scheme will offer services including digital conversion, digital jacket design, marketing and social media consultation. The type of books to be made available will include out-of-print, backlist, frontlist and original titles as well as special short-form non-fiction and fiction works, enhanced e-books and print-on-demand options. The scheme could also set up relationships with both traditional and non-traditional publishers once an author's books have been released digitally through Operations.
Trident will also handle sales reporting and royalty payments for all available digital editions, as well as working with the authors to decide on digital pricing, foreign sales and translations.
Chairman Robert Gottlieb will oversee the E-Book Operations department with c.e.o. Dan Strone, executive vice-president John Silbersack and business advisor Lew Korman. Trident has also appointed Lyuba DiFalco and Nicole Robson to the newly-created roles of co-directors, E-Book Operations.
Gottlieb said: "Trident has been a leader in innovative approaches in the representation of its authors, including in the international markets with its 'hot list', at the international book fairs and in new audio licensing. We will continue to manage all facets of our clients' businesses by the extension of our services into the ever-changing e-book publishing business around the world . . .
"Trident will not become a publisher, but will instead continue in its e-book operations to have itself aligned with its clients whose interests we serve as an agent and manager."
Speaking to The Bookseller, Gottleib said the service will be offered to all Trident’s clients. He said: "As agents, our clients are always in control of their properties. We are very good at holding back rights and managing our clients’ work. It is a whole new solar system we are entering into here . . .
"We are not a publisher. Publishers can’t offer a contact for every book, we are in a position to make sure their books are available. There are opportunities and we are positioning ourselves at Trident to make the most of the opportunities. It is bringing authors into the marketplace and re-engineering the situation."
UK agent Ed Victor, who launched his own e-book and print-on-demand venture, Bedford Square Books, in May this year, questioned why Gottlieb had said Trident was not becoming a publisher. He said: "Why don't you just call a spade a spade? It's like a girl saying she's 'slightly pregnant'."