Welcome, Scott. Diversion is a brand new e-publisher, but you’ve been around the publishing industry for quite awhile, first as an editor with HarperCollins and then in launching the Waxman Literary Agency in 1997. Why did you decide to start an e-publisher?
SW: I like the opportunity the eBook format presents to the author. There’s a sense of being able to control your own destiny for projects that the big houses don’ t want to bother with. I’ve been at this long enough to trust my own instincts on a book. So, just because a publisher says it’s “too small”, we can now attempt to prove them wrong and still make a go of it. I also think there’s an excitement to the early days of epublishing that inspires new ideas and creativity. I look forward to being a part of this landscape and to helping authors navigate through it.
How is the vision of Diversion different from other e-publishing houses?
SW: I think because it emanates from my literary agency it gives us a unique perspective on what the authors need and want. Because we understand editorial development, rights, various genres and the everyday life of an author I believe it will provide a comfort level for writers. We also have a strong focus on original content whereas it seems that the majority of epublishers are looking for out of print or classic eBook rights. Again, this is in keeping with our day jobs as agents which is primarily to sell new material so the two should work hand in hand very well.
What do you see as your role as in developing the career of the whole author?
SW: In terms of Diversion, we see ourselves and an author’s partner, working closely to publish their eBook successfully.
Where do you seen digital books going in the near future?
SW: There will be a lot of experimenting with formats, genres, enhancements. For the time being, as with all of publishing, brand name books originating in print will sell the vast majority of copies. But eBook bestsellers, meaning books that started as eBooks are coming and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have an eBook sell over 100,000 copies, at a reasonable price within the next 12-18 months.
And, of course, I have to ask this because everyone will want to know, what are you looking for?
SW: Besides being open to all genres, we are looking for authors who either have an existing online audience that we can tap into as well as an understanding of social networking on the web. This will be crucial as we attempt to sell eBooks into what is quickly becoming an extremely crowded marketplace.
Congratulations on your launch of Diversion Books!