About Us

Bruce Kennedy Management is an Australian (Sydney) based agency established in 2001. We specialise in adult non-fiction in the following categories:

  • Autobiography
  • Biography
  • Business/Finance
  • Current Affairs
  • Entertainment
  • Historical
  • Media
  • Memoir
  • Military
  • Politics
  • Sport
  • True Crime

Bruce Kennedy Management is one of Australia’s leading, most progressive and prolific publishing agents and represents a diverse list of authors. Our reputation has been built on success, having had 60 books commissioned to date for clients, by the following major publishers.

  • ABC Books
  • Allen & Unwin
  • Black Inc.(Nero Imprint)
  • Dolphin Press
  • Ebury Press
  • Hachette Australia
  • HarperCollins
  • Harper Sports
  • Hodder Headline
  • Ibis Publishing
  • Lothian Books
  • Murdoch Books
  • New Holland Publishers
  • Pan Macmillan
  • Playright Publishing
  • Random House
  • Simon & Schuster

Our philosophy

Bruce Kennedy Management is somewhat different to the traditional agency. We list ourselves as publishing agents rather than literary agents – a name we find somewhat precious. ‘Literary’ is a formal word meaning ‘concerned with scholarly writing’ – formal rather than familiar.

Our aim is to publish books with popular appeal that inspire and entertain the reader – not to win some literary prize. We have an instinctive flair for titles that tell a great story. And we have probably commissioned more high-profile sports books (29 at last count) than any other agency.

Bruce Kennedy Management does not handle fiction as we find it too subjective, and the publishing houses are walking away from literary fiction. They rely on guaranteed blockbusters from overseas authors rather than unknown local writers.

There are simply too many books published in this country of just 24 million people. Around 200 books are released every week in Australia – only a small percentage of which will sell in excess of 3000 copies. The old 80/20 rule still applies – 20% of books will account for 80% of sales.

Commerce vs Art debate

In the small, incestuous Australian publishing industry, debate always rages about the value of titles written purely for literary merit, against those of a popular or commercial bent. Literary editors and book critics tend to write or critique for the ‘literati’ rather than the average book reader. In 2003 a number of leading authors voted on the best 40 Australian books of all time. The works of Colleen McCullough, Bryce Courtenay, Tom Keneally, Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson were not mentioned. Apparently their sin was to be commercially successful. Although their books sold in the hundreds of thousands they were neglected by their peers. But there is a big gulf between literature and what Australians actually read. There is a feeling that popularity has been superseded by pretentiousness.

Bruce Kennedy Management is firmly in the latter camp. Our aim, in conjunction with the publisher, is to sell as many copies as possible. If the book happens to win an award that is a bonus. But it is not the motivating factor.