Steve Ross, who’s been consulting since leaving HarperCollins, has taken a new position at the Abrams Artists Agency. Ross has been running his own author services business since last February, when HarperCollins closed the unit Ross was president and publisher of, Collins. Starting July 12, Ross joins Abrams, working both as an agent and heading up the company’s newly formed Abrams Author Services.
Ross will be director of the book division and will, as he explained, be bringing the consulting business he’s been overseeing to Abrams. While Abrams currently handles some books—Maura Teitelbaum is the sole literary agent there—Ross said the company, which he described as “solidly entrenched in other talent management,” is looking to sign more authors.
While Ross admitted he has no direct experience as an agent, he said he’s worked in book publishing for more than 20 years and, as an editor, conceived of a number of the titles he worked on. Ross estimated that he will be splitting his time evenly between agenting and on the author services side. He said Abrams Author Services will offer the same kind of package he’s been delivering to his clients, which means guiding authors in the editorial process and helping them with everything from title selection and jacket design to deciding on the best distribution option. As a result of the consolidation and cutbacks at the big six houses, Ross said, agents are finding it harder and harder to sell books they would have easily placed five years ago. This, in tandem with the growth in distribution/delivery options, means, he believes, that there’s a greater wealth of worthwhile books that have an audience but no major publisher.
Ross, who said he’s looking forward to being back in an office, will be working from Abrams’s Seventh Avenue office in Manhattan. He can be reached at email@example.com.