Megan Staunton, formerly of Cornerstone and Gleam, has been appointed literary agent YMU Books as part of its continued expansion under m.d. Amanda Harris.
Staunton began her publishing career as PA to then-m.d. of Cornerstone, Susan Sandon, before pivoting to agenting and joining Gleam in 2018.
Being promoted from literary assistant to junior agent at Gleam, she quickly began signing her own authors and pioneering diversity at the agency, YMU said. Her clients included Paula Sutton’s Hill House Living (Ebury), Marley Hall’s Midwife Marley’s Guide for Everyone (Bloomsbury) and Grace Victory’s How to Calm It (#MerkyBooks). She also worked with an extended list of Gleam clients, including the record-breaking cleaning guru Mrs Hinch, presenter and YouTuber Nadia Sawalha, and award-winning poet Sanah Ahsan.
Harris said: “I have long admired Megan’s creative drive and ambition. She is a passionate advocate for her clients and has a stellar reputation with authors, publishers and fellow agents. Megan has pivoted between negotiating some of the biggest deals of the year and championing debut authors, so is a perfect fit for our agency.
“It’s an exciting time of growth for YMU Books and Megan will work closely with our group talent, and their teams, but also curate her own YMU Books client list with a focus on championing underrepresented voices and stories. Megan’s instinctive understanding of the market will be a huge asset to the agency, as we continue to discover and amplify voices and help our clients share their incredible stories.”
Staunton said: “Working at the forefront of an agency that transforms digital-first talent into brand authors, while creating record-breaking bestsellers, has been an immense privilege. Learning from incredible colleagues and championing authors who have cultivated an online community, yet who have historically had their voices omitted from our bookshelves, has been an even greater one, and something I look forward to amplifying at YMU Books.”
She added: “Amanda has created an agency to watch, spawning creativity, marrying authenticity and providing the industry with a slew of bestselling titles, expertly adapting the nation’s favourite entertainers, presenters and singers into elite authors. The role of established and emerging talent in this space is consistently changing and evolving, as are their audiences. I’m thrilled to be part of this dynamic team and look forward to learning from, contributing to and helping shape the future legacy of YMU Books.”
Harris spoke to The Bookseller last month of plans to boost YMU’s head-count, make books a more prominent part of the entire YMU group’s portfolio and help her team “to discover, support and amplify élite talent”. Harris joined the agency 18 months ago, after 14 years at Orion.
Staunton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.