A group of 37 Italian literary agencies have formed ADALI, the Association of Italian Literary Agents. The intent is to safeguard "the dignity of the profession of literary agent" as well as "to establish an independent representative and self-governing body" that can speak on behalf of the profession with government, literary, and other affiliated organizations.
"Literary agents are in a pivotal position in the publishing industry and we would like to contribute towards the future of books," said Maria Gabriella Ambrosioni, who is serving as ADALI's president. "Everybody in the publishing industry is so concerned about this, especially in this moment of emergency, when we forecast huge financial losses."
Other members of the board include Roberta Oliva, who serves as secretary, Alessandra Mele, Loredana Rotundo, and Anna Spadolini. To qualify for the organization, 50% of an agencies clients must be from Italy.
One of the items on the organization's agenda is to establish professional standards and best practices for those seeking to represent authors and creators, as well as to promote a code of ethics.
Ambrosioni said that the association has an ambitious agenda, including fostering stronger business relationships with streaming media services like Netflix and Amazon Prime; partnering with schools and teachers to offer lower priced e-books for students; teaming up with the Italian tourism and transportation industries to promote books; as well as developing a grant program to support translation to and from Italian.
Ultimately, Abrosioni said that the goal of establishing the group is simply to promote reading. "Literary agents are professionals who connect authors, publishers, producers and booksellers," she said,. "By means of our association we can share our expertise and knowledge and join forces with publishers in order to expand the readership and find a better future for books in our society."