Ed Victor says that he did not start publishing his clients' books so that he could snub publishers.
It was a case of bringing back that which was out of print and might have a little life left in it.
Putting together an e-book is relatively inexpensive, and publishing one couldn't be easier. So the agent gathered up the titles he thought would sell again, and published those that a traditional publisher didn't think were worth the bother.
His little publishing house, Bedford Square Books, started out with six titles. Then Mr. Victor added the option of providing hard copies via print on demand, for those who prefer their books made of wood pulp.
Ed Victor recognized the changes to the book industry that came about when e-books became acceptable to the reading public.
With the invention of the smart phone, it's possible to carry several books around, all neatly tucked into an electronic device that provides instant access to reading material. We can all read the latest novel on the train heading to work, in the car while waiting for the kiddies to be released from school, or even when waiting for the train to pass at a level crossing.
But Mr. Victor has fallen.
He had a couple of manuscripts that he loved. He was sure they were books that would sell. His publisher friends disagreed and didn't buy them.
So he published them himself through Bedford Square Books.
Sure he went the traditional route and followed protocol and all the rest. But when he was turned down, he thumbed his nose at those too blind to see the quality of Dead Rich, a novel by Louise Fennell which has sold nicely by the way.
The rise of e-books and print on demand has changed the industry, which Mr. Victor thinks is not responding to those changes. He's become pro-active for his clients, acting as literary agent and publisher to get their words out there.
As he stated in a recent article, Mr. Victor sees the shift in publishing, but like everyone else, he can't predict which direction things will go.
He feels that he is a better agent now that he's dipped a toe in publishing. He's certainly more aware of the commercial end of things, the selling aspect that was a publisher's concern.
And he can look at a manuscript through a different lens. If he loves a new work, it doesn't matter if a traditional publisher does or not. There's always Bedford Square Books.