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'Ebooks made all of those old books immediate'

25 April 2019

‘Ten or 15 years ago, (literary estates) were dead. There were a few classic books that will always be with us, and the rest was dust. Then e-books provided the mechanism of making old things timeless - there was no such thing as backlist or frontlist any more. We, like a lot of people, worked hard and scrambled to make these books available again. Film and TV people have, let's say, quick attention spans. An idea floats into their minds, maybe about a book they read years ago, and if it's not available they are off to another idea. But e-books made all of those old books immediate, and that coincided with the rise of Netflix, Amazon, and all the other streaming services.'

Bill Hamilton, MD of the A M Heath Literary Agency, which celebrates its centenary this year, in the Bookseller