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Oli Munson

17 March 13 words: James Walker
"I only take on work I have total confidence in and you just want to connect with the editors who feel the same."

How did you become an agent?
After completing an English Literature degree at Edinburgh I studied for an MA in Publishing Studies at City University. I had to undertake a work placement as part of the MA and as I was more intrigued by the agenting side of the business than the editorial side, I was lucky enough to be placed at Blake Friedmann in March 2003. I stayed there for nine years, joining A M Heath in 2012. 
What’s the best part of your job?
Working with authors.
And the worst?
The waiting game that takes place on occasion when you send a manuscript out to editors. I only take on work I have total confidence in and you just want to connect with the editors who feel the same. 
What kind of work are you after?
Mostly commercial fiction and non-fiction. 
What advice would you give people thinking of approaching an agent?
Do your research and explain why you think that a particular agent would be right for you and your work. Address it to them personally. 
Do you write yourself?
Only submission letters for my authors! 
What kind of effect do you think the ebook will have on the publishing industry? 
I think it will be overwhelmingly positive. The industry has been working hard over the past decade to get everything in place in terms of digitising files and also (and importantly) on the contractual side, making sure that authors are paid the correct royalty rates for their downloads. Now that the technology is in place for the public, there will be fascinating times ahead. 
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Oli Munson

What do you think about Andrew Wylie’s publishing offshoot Odyssey Editions? 
Interesting. But I’d have been more interested to see how the situation would have played out if he’d stuck to his guns. 
How important is the role of agent in the editorial process?
90% of the time a great deal of editorial discussion takes place between author and agent before an editor even sees the book. Agents can help iron out the kinks in the first instance, to spot inconsistencies or weak points in the plot, and then a great editor will see the book from a different vantage point and make a great book even better.  
If you weren’t an agent, what would you like to be?
Professional footballer, ideally for Spurs but I’d be willing to go down a level and play for Fulham. But if you’re going to dream, dream big. 
A M Heath website You can follow Oli on Twitter at @oliagent 

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