As the owner and principal agent of the BC-based Seventh Avenue Literary Agency – one of Canada’s leading non-fiction agencies – he represents over 50 authors with sales to English language publishers and translations rights to over 15 countries for some works. The Agency has negotiated over 200 client book contracts.
He has had a varied career within the book business including: publicity co-ordinator at Stanton & MacDougall/Raincoast Books in Vancouver; corporate and book publishing public relations at Contemporary Communications; and as Vice President and Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Bantam/Doubleday Canada in Toronto. He returned with his family to the west coast in 1996 as Director of Contemporary Management the largest non-fiction author agency in Western Canada.
Robert purchased the agency in 2005 renaming it the Seventh Avenue Literary Agency. Seventh Avenue is known for its award winning and diverse non-fiction client list. In addition, he has negotiated film and documentary rights for many agency projects and attends all the major book trade fairs including Frankfurt, London, and Book Expo conventions in the US and Canada.
Some of the writers he represents include His Excellency Governor-General David Johnston, Ian Mulgrew (seven books), Jonathan Manthorpe, Brendan Brazier (five books – over 500,000 copies sold), Ron Shewchuk (three books – over 70,000 sold), Jim Harris and Mag Ruffman. Notable sales include The Water Boy the autobiography by the late Bobby Ackles, Rick Antonsons’s three travel narratives including his latest Full Moon over Mt. Ararat, and Mental Traps: The Overthinker’s Guide to a Happier Life by Andre Kukla – sold in eight countries.
The agency developed a consulting service, Mackwood Publishing Consultants, in 2009 to work with self-published authors early in the publishing process providing guidance and insight for their projects. He also launched a self-publishing imprint Brilliant Idea Books in 2012.