Toby Mundy, who stepped down as CEO of Atlantic Books on June 30, is setting up shop as an agent to represent and advise both authors and companies.
TMA Limited will work in association with Ed Victor Limited, which has also been through a period of change, with Sophie Hicks and Charlie Campbell, both of whom have set up their own agencies, among those who have left.
As well as helping its clients place the rights to their work with publishing houses, Mundy's agency will advise on self-publishing and career planning. It will also produce bespoke content for third parties.
Mundy said that after 14 years with Atlantic, which he founded, he was looking forward to a change of direction. That change may not be as radical as some had expected, though. The former publisher explained: "Established publishing houses, and many of the authors they publish, face powerful new challenges. I hope with TMA to help authors, and other copyright owners, make sense of these changes and plan ahead." Mundy added that he hopes to "help organizations, which may never have never thought of themselves as publishers, enter the publishing arena."
Victor said he hoped TMA would be only "the first of what we hope will be many first-rate agencies to ally themselves with our new service operation, Bedford Square Literary Management, which will provide a turn-key back-office service. I have long been an admirer of Toby and the creative way he has done business as a publisher. I now look forward to working closely with him as he embarks on what I am sure will be an equally creative and successful career as an agent."
Mundy's stated aims, and the alliance with Victor, underline the extent to which the role of literary agent, and the way that agencies are organized, is changing. With advances down, lists pruned and more and more authors exploring non-traditional ways of publishing, agents too must innovate.
Mundy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A version of this article originally appeared in PW's partner publication, BookBrunch.