Another literary agency is entering the digital publishing arena. William Gladstone, founder and owner of Waterside Productions in San Diego County, has entered a partnership with Vook and its new e-book program to create Waterfront Press and offer its authors a 75% e-book royalty.
“My goal has always been to generate the maximum amount of income for Waterfront’s clients,” said Gladstone, who established his company in 1982 and represents such bestselling authors as Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Bonnie Eaker. “It’s all or nothing in New York, where the big houses either pay advances of a million dollars or ten thousand dollars, and offer e-book royalties as low as 25%. I hope to change that landscape with my own digital publishing division.” Although major titles from Waterfront will be available in both POD and e-book formats, its primary platform will be e-books and enhanced e-books. Gladstone says that this will shift the distribution model from bookstores to the Internet.
Gladstone decided to collaborate with Vook because its model offers unlimited choices among all the digital devices. “A publishing partner has to be in it for the future, for the long haul,” Gladstone said. “I found this kind of commitment in Vook. Also, their ability to create enhanced e-books was a major incentive in choosing them as our distribution partner.” Featured new titles from Waterfront to be published in June 2012 include The Akasha Paradigm in Science: (R)Evolution at the Cutting Edge by Dr. Ervin Laszlo, a simultaneous release as an enhanced e-book and full e-book; and Beyond the Power of the Subconscious Mind by Jim Jensen.
Because Gladstone believes e-books will become the primary and not the secondary source of income for authors in the future, wherever possible Waterfront will retain digital rights for its authors. Acknowledging that many publishers will resist this initiative Gladstone adds, “we will remain flexible on a case-by case basis.” When asked if his new press will ultimately persuade Waterside authors to switch to Waterfront from their established publishers he said, “We have to prove the model first, and then that might happen. I always look to the future and don’t mind being early.”