×

Gluck: WME lit leader strikes while iron is hot

Women's Impact Report 2011: Suzanne Gluck

William Morris Endeavor’s literary department is on pace to have its best year ever, thanks to its swelling roster of best-selling authors. “It’s a thrill to help steer such an awesome ship,” says Suzanne Gluck of her group, which published 211 books last year, with 64% of them — or 130 titles — hitting the New York Times best-seller list. This year is already tracking ahead of 2010.

Among the highlights was Juan Williams’ book “Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate,” which became one of the most buzzed-about tomes of the year given Williams’ ouster from NPR over comments he made on Fox News about Muslims.

The publisher wanted to move from deal to publication to best-seller list in record time while everyone was still talking about his firing and how essential freedom of speech is,” says Gluck of the nine-month journey to bookshelves.

The longtime William Morris agent recently signed uber-hot scribe Darin Strauss (“Chang and Eng”), whose “Half a Life” nabbed this year’s National Book Critics Circle autobiography prize. He joins a lineup that includes a tribe of young talent (WME reps six of the 20 fiction writers on the New Yorker’s 2010 “20 Under 40” list).

Popular on Variety

And this fall promises to be “an embarrassment of riches” for Gluck and WME, with an armada of anticipated nonfiction titles including David King’s “Death in the City of Light,” as well as Candice Millard’s “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President.”

Despite the ailing economy, the publishing industry continues to show surprising growth — buoyed largely by e-books — and Gluck says advances for new voices and best-selling authors are as robust as ever. Still, she says the biggest challenge for literary agents today is navigating the digital landscape.

“Some of the things that we treasured in the physical book-selling world have disappeared,” Gluck says. “Chains have gone under. But there has been tremendous opportunity. People who love books can now get them faster. The challenge for us is how to make sure our authors are ahead of the curve in this new world.”

SNAPSHOT
Title: Co-Head of WME’s worldwide literary dept.
Role model: “My dad because he went to work every day for 50 years thrilled to death about his job and then came home every night equally thrilled to see his family.”
Career mantra: “God is in the details. Every little step will get you there.”
Leisure pursuits: “I still love to read. I also love gardens, not gardening.”
Philanthropic/political passions: Planned Parenthood, National Coalition Against Censorship and Gluck’s alma mater, Brown University

More Scene

  • Sean Penn CORE Gala

    Sean Penn Offers to Take Selfies in Exchange for $5,000 Donations to Disaster Relief

    A decade after the catastrophic 7.0 Haiti earthquake left between 50,000 and 100,000 dead and nearly a million people displaced, Sean Penn hosted the 10th anniversary CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) gala, raising funds for international disaster relief at the Wiltern Theatre on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. “We’re not here tonight because we want [...]

  • Allison Janney Viola Davis

    Viola Davis & Allison Janney React to Lack of Diversity in 2020 Oscar Nominations

    Monday morning’s Oscar nominations rebooted the #OscarsSoWhite conversation, reigniting discussion about representation after women were shut out of the directing category and only one person of color — Cynthia Erivo — was nominated in the acting categories. At the premiere of Amazon Original’s “Troop Zero” at The Grove in Los Angeles on Monday evening, the [...]

  • Star Trek Picard Premiere

    'Picard' Stars Reveal Which 'Star Trek' Character They Would Get Drunk With

    The cast and creators of “Star Trek: Picard” turned out for the show’s premiere at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome on Monday night. In the spirit of the festive atmosphere of the night, Variety asked them which “Star Trek” character, past or present, they’d most like to pound a few Romulan ales with at the local [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Laura Dern

    Inside the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    ‘Twas the night before Oscar nominations and all through the ballroom, the Barker Hanger was buzzing as critics mixed and mingled with A-listers inside the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night. Life Achievement winner Eddie Murphy, #SeeHer honoree Kristen Bell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Bong Joon Ho were among the big names who played [...]

  • Taye Diggs Critics Choice

    Critics' Choice Awards: The Complete Winners List

    The 25th annual Critics’ Choice Awards gala, hosted by Taye Diggs, was broadcast live on The CW on Sunday night. It was a good night for both Netflix and HBO, with the studios taking home trophies for movies and shows like “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story,” “When They See Us,” “Watchmen” and “Succession.” “Once Upon a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content