08/21/2010 07:42 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Lit Agent Bill Gladstone Might Work Harder Than "Any Other Literary Agent Alive Today"

Bill Gladstone and his writers have had a lot of success. He tells us in this interview that young people will have a great benefit from the new digital technologies, but why writers still shouldn't quit their day jobs.

What's your official title and why are you the best agent/manager in the universe?
President, owner, founder, of Waterside Productions. I have personally placed over 5000 books, a total which may exceed any other literary agent alive today. Additional accomplishments include having represented the most successful book ever selected by Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, and representing the creators of the . . . For Dummies book series.

What have you done to brace yourself for the economic changes to the industry?
Represent fewer bigger books and authors.

What can authors do to avoid eating Ramen noodles and counting pennies?
Be sure to recognize that money is made from what a book brings them in terms of exposure and not the book royalties themselves. Although many of my clients started out modestly and have made millions from their books, I never encouraged any of them to quit their day jobs, and still don't.

What do you think about all these technological changes happening? (Kindle, the iPad, eBooks)?
They are great for the younger generation. Challenging for traditional publishers.

How have they changed the marketplace?
[It's] too soon to know.

What's hot now, what are editors looking for?
Great books from established authors.

And what type of manuscripts and proposals are you currently looking for that you never seem to get?
We get the best of the best. [I'm] not personally taking on new clients at this time though some of the other Waterside agents on a selective basis may be.

What's the best way for writers to approach you?
Query letter and best if they are referred by existing client or bestselling author.

And finally, what is something about you that very few people know?
I won the golf championship at my local golf club although was three stokes down with only six to play.