Trident Literary Agency Launches an E-book Division

Trident chairman Robert Gottlieb.

Trident Media Group, a powerful New York literary agency whose clients include Deepak Chopra, “Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger and The Vatican, has announced it will launch an e-book division to “create, manage and implement innovative e-book strategies for its authors, including the distribution of a variety of e-books directly to a large number of e-tailers in North America and internationally.”

Other agencies have ventured here in the past. In 2010, Andrew Wiley started Odyssey Editions, a program to sell digital editions of certain clients’ books directly to Amazon, and incurred the wrath of Random House, which said it would no longer do business with Mr. Wylie if he included authors first published under the company’s imprints. Other publishers also lashed out against the deal.

Trident appears to be doing something different: “Trident will not become a publisher, but will instead continue in its new e-book operations to have itself aligned with its clients whose interests we serve as an agent and manager,” said the chairman of Trident, Robert Gottlieb (not to be confused with Observer dance critic and former New Yorker editor Robert Gottlieb), in a press release. In fact, the agency’s plans seem to include potentially competing with the likes of Byliner and Atavist. It described the program as including “out-of-print, backlist, new frontlist and original titles, special short-form nonfiction and fiction works by its prize-winning authors, enhanced e-books and new formats as the market develops, print-on-demand options, and new business relationships with traditional and non-traditional publishers.”