Mon 28 September 2020
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More agents to explore publishing models
Literary agents Curtis Brown and Blake Friedman have said they are planning to follow Ed Victor's move into publishing, after he announced an e-book and print-on-demand venture earlier this week.

Curtis Brown m.d. Jonathan Lloyd said: "Where Ed Victor leads, others follow—and we are right behind him, but with a rather larger list." He added that making out-of-print works available would not only add value for clients, but allow agents to prove if a market exists for the titles.

Blake Friedman joint m.d. and agent Carole Blake added: "It seems very sensible to me—I'm sure we will follow soon. I agree with Ed that it doesn't have to been seen as an aggressive move towards publishers."

Meanwhile, agent Sonia Land, who last month made available 100 of Catherine Cookson's titles as e-books, reacted to the news by warning publishers to "rethink their legacy operation", adding that it may be "too late for the publishing industry to claw back this e-migration of books to those other than established publishing houses".

However, Publishers Association c.e.o. Richard Mollet wished Victor luck with "his new venture revitalising interest in books and their authors", adding that he "hope[d] he would consider joining the PA!"

Bloomsbury group m.d. for sales and marketing Evan Schnittman said Victor was in a difficult situation as agents acting as publishers "could be perceived as" having a conflict of interest between their existing agenting business and the resources required to make an impact with a title.

The Bookseller