Tom J. Cull is a literary agent. Tom is actively building a client list and specialises in adult fiction, espionage, historical thrillers and non-fiction. He also brings to bear years of experience in digital marketing. Tom works with authors to provide detailed developmental feedback with his own editorial staff and works with established dust jacket designers, PR agencies, film and TV producers.
What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was Michael Smith’s No Man Dies Twice, an historical detective/espionage novel set during WW2, about a plan to kill Hitler. A terrific read for fans of both genres.
What’s next on your reading list?
Patrick Leigh-Fermor’s Three Letters from the Andes. It’s a short volume from his travels to Peru in 1971 with Andrew Cavendish. A fascinating country and takes me away from the cold weather – unless he’s hiking a glacier!
Which writer would you have loved to have met and why?
Probably Ian Fleming, as he worked for my great grandfather and I would have liked to have known more about that particular time, not to mention everything else.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What three books would you want with you?
A Dictionary; a dummies guide to building a shelter and the complete works of Ian Fleming.
What is the one thing about your company that we need to know?
I’m building a very exciting list of fiction and non-fiction authors.
What is the single biggest challenge facing the publishing industry right now?
The competition for one’s attention. We live in a quick-fix culture and the idea of slowing down and reading a book, if even for an hour, is under constant threat from the lure of social media, TV and video games.
How does social media aid the publishing industry?
The double edged sword to my last comment. I think it certainly makes it easier to connect with readers and build micro-communities around an author’s work. As an agent, I can keep up-to-date with what publishers and authors are doing and in some cases connect with people whom otherwise, would have been much harder to do so.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
I should be so lucky! As a lover of a good pun, I would have to go with ‘Culling Time’
What do you love about The London Book Fair?
It’s a wonderfully well organised event and makes working that much more fun. There is something for everyone in publishing and a great social occasion to boot.
What is your prediction for the year ahead in the publishing industry?
That no one can predict anything! I would say the continued popularity of audio books and perhaps novellas. The way we consume content now is so mobile, whether we are in the car, on the Tube or at the gym. Audiobooks are perfect for that and make books come alive.