Sterling Lord on The Role of a Literary Agent, Working with Kerouac, and the Future of Ebooks

There are few literary agents that are as iconic as Sterling Lord.  Founder of Sterling Lord Literistic in New York and the literary agent for Sterling Lord author photosuch writers as Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Stan and Jan Berenstain, David Wise, Dick Francis, and countless others over his 60+ years as an agent, he has lead a storied career and seen the publishing industry go through some dramatic changes.

On July 22nd, he visited the Amherst campus via Skype from his home in New York and shared some insight into the role of a literary agent (it isn’t just selling books to publishers, sometimes it is bailing your clients out of jail!), some great stories about Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey (two of his favorite clients, both of whom were a part of the Beat Generation, and yet only met once–Lord described that meeting to us), and answered some really great questions about the changing face of the book publishing industry (no, ebooks aren’t going to ruin book publishing, in fact, he has sold countless ebook rights to one of the more famous ebook publishers, Open Road Media–which incidentally published his own book).

His memoir Lord of Publishing details many of the most interesting stories from his career and gives a snapshot of the literary world that few have shared.

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