NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Gersh agency has announced plans to expand into the publishing industry by forming a literary division to create opportunities for author-clients. Veteran literary agent Phyllis Wender will be brought on to oversee the division from New York.
According to a report in Variety, Wender will have the able assistance of agents Sonia Pabley and Susan Cohen.
Until recently, Wender made up half of Rosenstone-Wender with partner Howard Rosenstone until his passing last year. Both Susan Perlman Cohen and Sonia Pabley made the jump with her, along with an extensive client list, including Frank McGuinness and Loring Mandel.
Gersh is the latest in a string of agencies who have been trying to stake strong claims in the publishing side of the business. The book publishing industry is huge, with domestic book sales in 2005 topping $25 billion dollars, placing it well ahead of music publishing, and the with the tendency of good books to become films (not always so good), it is easy to understand the allure.
Gersh follows hot on the heels of Endeavor, William Morris and ICM to establish literary arms instead of dealing with indie literary agents who have been understandably skittish about letting their clients get too close to aggressive Hollywood agents. By bringing these services 'in-house', it will give the agency more control and thus more profit over the deals. Some firms have chosen to remain out of the fray thus far however. Both UTA and surprisingly CAA have not moved to follow suit with their own literary arm…yet. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers