Brisbane-based literary agency Alex Adsett Publishing Services is quickly establishing itself as a successful force in the market.
After starting the agency only eighteen months ago, emerging agent Alex Adsett has successfully brokered sales of six books from eleven authors to publishers. Two deals were locked in during the 2013 Sydney Writers Festival, with a third finalised this week. More sales are currently under final negotiation.
“After more than a year of submitting our manuscripts to publishers, and receiving some great feedback but essentially a lot of rejections, it was such a pleasure to get these first sales,” Ms Adsett said.
“And to know there were publishers out there who loved these manuscripts as much as we did.”
AAPS focuses on under-represented areas of genre fiction, encompassing crime, science fiction, fantasy and romance.
AAPS’ first deal was for Melbourne comedian and performer Nicholas Johnson, who has written a con-artist crime series set in the city’s bushfire season.
In a two book deal, Simon & Schuster Australia has purchased the first book in the series, Chasing The Ace, and its sequel Running The Red.
The series has been described as a fresh, fast and funny modern take on the heist novel in the tradition of The Sting and Nine Queens.
Mr Johnson is best known as comedic magician The Honest Con-man, who has performed regularly at comedy festivals, and on television and radio programmes around Australia.
AAPS brokered its second deal for emerging author Jo Clay’s A Single Girl’s Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse, in a sale to Pan Macmillan’s innovative digital offshoot Momentum.
A Single Girl’s Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse is an entertaining and genre-aware zombie comedy romance, or a “zom-rom-com,” that delivers a uniquely Australian take on a much-loved genre.
AAPS’ most recent sale is a three book deal for highly regarded author Alan Baxter’s grim dark urban fantasy trilogy featuring martial arts fighter Alex Caine.
Bound, Obsidian and Abduction are the first Australian titles acquired by Harper Voyager since publisher Rochelle Fernandez took up the position of Publisher earlier this year.
Ms Adsett has been working in the bookselling and publishing industry for more than fifteen years, having started at Pulp Fiction bookshop in Brisbane before moving to London in 1999 for her first publishing job at Simon & Schuster UK.
In 2005 she returned to Australia to work at Penguin in Melbourne, before moving back to Brisbane for a position at Wiley three years later.
In 2008 Ms Adsett started AAPS to offer commercial publishing advice to authors and publishers, before transitioning AAPS’s function throughout 2012 into a more traditional literary agency in conjunction with her partner Paul Landymore.
She says there is something wonderfully full circle about selling her first book as an agent to her first publishing employer Simon & Schuster.
Agency partner Paul Landymore has worked as a career bookseller for more than 25 years across various bookstores in the UK and Australia, including Avid Reader and University of Queensland bookstore in Brisbane, Murder One in London and Readings in Melbourne.
“In a time of dramatic change for the publishing industry, where everyone is trying to come to grips with new business and economic models, it is exciting to discover new authors, and to place them with publishers as enthusiastic about them as we are,” Mr Landymore said.
“I love being able to put my experience in bookselling to use, identifying commercial opportunities and entertaining authors.”
Ms Adsett is now focusing on the future of her other clients, but is excited to represent new prospective authors.
“With three of our authors now finding happy homes with Simon & Schuster, Momentum, and Harper Collins Voyager and three more soon to be confirmed, we are concentrating on securing publishing opportunities for all our authors,” Ms Adsett said.
“And we are always on the lookout for new authors to fall in love with and represent.”