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'Agents mediate and enhance and improve the publishing process'

14 November 2016

"I think agents mediate and enhance and improve the publishing process. I regard my role as being independent, I will say to an author, 'No, no, the publisher is right in this case.' It is not my job to blindly support the author. I think you support them better by telling them what you regard as the truth...

If there is a person I really like and want to be close to, whose work is OK but doesn't make very much money, I'll do it. If there is another, one who isn't a very nice person but who has written an extraordinary book, [even if] it won't make a lot of money I'll do it, because I love books. If you find something great, you want to disseminate it and bring it to the world. And if there is a book by someone who is not wonderful, and the book is not particularly good, but it is going to make a lot of money, I owe it to my company to do it. I have to feed its hungry maw."

Literary agent Ed Victor of the eponymous London agency, celebrating 40 years in business, in the Bookseller