Running a literary agency is all about people.

It's about the authors whose ideas you support and develop, it's about the publishers you work with to get their books into print (and to negotiate the best deal!) and it's about those crucial wider contacts - booksellers, publicists, whoever you need to make sure your authors are getting the best chance of success.

I founded the Sheila Ableman Literary Agency because I am passionate about books, and love working with people. I have always worked in the book trade. After art school and university I worked in bookshops around London (including the famous High Hill bookshop in Hampstead), before joining Weidenfeld and Nicolson as a junior designer. Quite quickly I moved into editorial at Victor Gollancz before becoming a commissioning editor (important experience! It is commissioning editors who select which books their firms will publish) for BBC Books. By the time I decided to cross the fence and become an agent, I had been Editorial Director for many years but never lost the thrill of signing a great author for a great project.

The best thing about running an agency is working with the author to turn an idea from a conversation in my office into a book that is sold in bookshops across the country. Some of my clients I have known for decades; others are brand new authors who bowled me over with their ideas. My aim is to work collaboratively with both aspiring and established writers to achieve the best possible publishing contract and ensure they fulfil their maximum potential.

I like to give my authors my complete commitment, and for that reason I specialise in certain fields. I am looking for authors who write books in the areas of popular history, science, biography, and autobiography, general narrative and 'quirky' non-fiction that has strong commercial appeal. I also have a particular interest in TV tie-ins and celebrity ghost writing.