A couple of weeks after we reported that former ICM literary agent Richard Abate was jumping ship to Endeavor to start up its brand-new literary division, Variety’s Michael Fleming has more on Abate’s move, which will keep him in New York, specifically operating out of existing offices Endeavor occupies in Carnegie Hall Towers. The goal of Endeavor’s expansion, Fleming explains, is not only to turn a profit by brokering book deals, but also to put the growing agency on the ground floor of film-friendly literary material that can be serviced to movie and TV clients and be the catalyst for packages. Abate is also bringing with him a list of about 50 authors, and has plans to grow a full-fledged business that will likely be staffed by at least five agents.
While some in the agenting business may be worried at what may transpire (considering Michael Ovitz‘s ill-fated attempt at literary agenting for AMG) sources at Endeavor tried their best to allay the fears of the lit agent community. Abate, they said, “has a long classy track record as a book agent, which is more civil and less predatory by nature than film and TV agent counterparts in Hollywood,” Fleming writes.