Ask a Literary Agent

Ask a Literary AgentAsk a literary agent your question here (any question) about getting a literary agency to represent you, so you can get a traditional publisher and book deal. Scroll below to get started. Just make sure you also check out our home page to see all the other info available on this Literary Agents website. If you’ve posted a question here in the past, but you no longer see it below in the comments area… click here to look in our Ask the Book Agent Archives.

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Submit Your Question Below

What question would you ask a literary agent
if you had one all tied up?

Well, this is your opportunity because…

Ask a Literary Agent a Question About Anything

I’m a former book agent.

There’s a form below where you can submit your question.

And I actually want you to ask a literary agent
(this literary agent) your question.

You see…

I like it when authors ask me questions.

It makes me feel smart.

I like talking about publishing.

Ask a Literary Agent Your Question

And I like…

Helping other authors.

In fact, I like it so much that I didn’t get upset when one author
decided he would ask a literary agent (guess who) a question
in the men’s room at a writer’s conference.

Not while I was washing or drying my hands.

No…

I was literally…
using the restroom.

Ask a literary agent in the restroom

* * *

Ask a Literary Agent a Question
(but not in the bathroom)

It might sound crazy, the fact that I didn’t get upset,
but think of it this way…

How do you feel when someone asks you a question
about something you’re passionate about?

Like (maybe), your writing?

I get excited.

So, don’t hesitate to…

* * *

Ask a Literary Agent (Me) a Question
(the one that’s keeping you awake at night)

Question, ask a literary agent

No question is too big or too small.

And no question is silly.

Really.

I’d be honored to help you.

I went undercover as a literary agent for five years
just to find out how get my own books published.

Now I’m having a blast sharing my secrets…
because I know what it’s like out there.

Oh…

* * *

One More Reason to Submit Your Question

Ask a Literary Agent Your Question

* * *

Each time you ask a literary agent a question (or leave a comment) using the form below (or anywhere else on this website), you’ll have a chance to win a $20 Gift Card from Amazon.

Every week I select a winner (from those who left a question or comment the previous week). You can leave as many questions or comments as you want (that will simply increase your chances of winning), but you only need to comment or ask a question once to be eligible.

Winners are chosen randomly, so flattery will get you everywhere (I mean nowhere). In other words, you can win more than once (multiple weeks) if you consistently ask questions or leave comments. Just make sure your questions and/or comments are thoughtful, and not just obvious attempts to win more gift cards!

* * *

Why Am I Giving Away Gift Cards?

Two reasons:

1) I’m a nice guy

2) I want my online community to be an interactive place so I can be of better service to you. The only way I can do that is to get you engaged (in other words… telling me what you like, don’t like, want, and need).

So, don’t forget to scroll down and ask a literary agent a question below (or simply leave a comment).

Not sure what to say?

Ask me anything about literary agencies, publishing, or writing. Tell me (and everyone else) why you like this column or blog. Or, simply reply to someone else’s question or comment.

That’s it.

I look forward to seeing your thoughts below,

Mark Malatesta

Your “Undercover” Agent

P.S. – Your question/comment will be posted and responded to on my blog ASAP!

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780 comments

  1. Flash /

    Am I wrong to use their critique as a testimonial in the first 3 lines of my query?
    “Mr. Stephens shows that his language use is detailed, creative, and powerful. He demonstrates a gift for writing fantasy fiction, with a sense of humor that runs throughout the Novel. Spirit of the Chase, has potential for huge commercial success.” – Bruce Allen Vice President, American Writing Association.
    The story focuses on the journey of Bad Tudabone awakening when he gets rescued from a collapsed

    [Reply]

  2. Patty Hoenigman /

    Hey Mark,
    I’ve written a 13 stanza poem that I’d like made into a children’s book. What I’m wondering is this: How do I protect the confidentiality of my poem when I share it with a book agent, assuming I’d have to show him or her the entire poem? Is there is a legal form to sign? If so, where would I get one?
    Thanks for your help…and love your website!
    Patty Hoenigman
    …writing from Austin, Texas ….where it’s warm and friendly

    [Reply]

  3. Alexey /

    Thank you, Mark!

    [Reply]

  4. D. Anon /

    I’ve read that if you don’t have enough words, your proposal will be shot down before it gets off the ground. Will an agent read the rest of the proposal, or will they simply bin it if the word count is very low?

    [Reply]

  5. Trina Paulus /

    Mark, I received your e-mail today regarding website development. I have just joined Authors Guild and as a new member can receive a free author’s website and a very modest hosting fee.

    Do you know if this is a WordPress based or proprietary? I’m inclined to go ahead and need to do it in my 1st month of membership.

    In Hope always,

    Trina

    [Reply]

  6. Anon, a mouse /

    I’m looking at an agent’s agreement, and have several questions.

    1) It asks for 15% domestic commission and 30% foreign. Is the foreign % a bit steep?

    2) It requires that all of my works (current or future) go through this agent during the term of the contract. Is that typical?

    3) It states that for 2 years after terminating this agreement, any offer that I accept from another entity will also be subject to these terms if the offer is similar to one I didn’t accept from this agent. Kosher?

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    These are great questions but, unfortunately, outside the scope of what I answer here on my website. Those are type of things I only get into in coaching. If you’re interested, I can help you with this during a coaching call that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark

    [Reply]

  7. Mark,

    Congratulations on your new format. It looks good.

    My question is sincere and not intended to take a shot at you or any other agent. But given the changes in publishing, unless an author is John Grisham or J.K. Rowling is a literary agent needed or even relevant? I live about fifteen miles from you, and in the last year three indie publishing firms have been formed in our area. The first release by one has already sold 20,000 copies in trade paperback form.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Wes, good question. I haven’t really written or spoken about the pros/cons of going with a smaller house vs. a bigger house… but I just made a note to do so. The short of it is that you’re much more likely to make it big (and get better terms in your contract) with one of the bigger houses. And you’re also more likely to have a better writing career in the hands of a good agent, which you would have if you were published with one of the bigs. But to each his own. I can assure you that the indie firm your talking about isn’t selling 20,000 copies of all their books. And I seriously doubt that they have any/many books on a major bestseller list. But I think it’s a great plan B. Mark

    [Reply]

  8. I’ll soon complete the first draft, which means another long slog of rewrites until someday there will be a final draft. A point to go looking for one or more beta readers. Folks to read/critique/comment on the ms. My question is how to develop these readers?
    The obvious source would be a local writers group… if such a one exists. But not in my area. Small town living is wonderful but has its drawbacks. So I turn to you, the experts. Where will I find those perfect readers?
    Good site! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Bill, glad you like the site… and that you’re making progress with your writing. You’re right on with thinking about a writers’ group. That’s really the only thing I can think of that will get you the results you want. Of course, if you’re able to invest something financially you’ll have no problem finding someone qualified to critique your work and help you improve it as well. You could attend a writers’ workshop or retreat, as well. Also requires an investment. Mark

    [Reply]

  9. Mark, your new site is awesome. Chock-full of valuable info regarding the agent universe. And it is a universe. A tangled web that you’ve corralled and made sense of. Congratulations! You’ve done what no one else has been able to pull off.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Michael, always good hearing from you… and glad you like the new site. It’s been a long time coming! Looking forward to you-know-what soon. Keep me posted. Mark

    [Reply]

  10. Lorrie Rodrigue /

    Good Morning,
    I self-published a children’s horror (In the Deep Woods of Dudleytown), a famous ghost town in Connecticut with a rich (and real) history through Xlibris. I do not have an agent and wonder about so many marketing areas I am missing as a result. While they have put it on many of the obvious sites, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble, I am curious about getting my book out there in other venues. Think this would also make a terrific film. My writing did get praise in review.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Lorrie, you should definitely be marketing your book as well. You can’t rely on Xlibris. Think of them purely as a printer and limited distribution partner. You still have to be the CEO of your “publishing company” and do all you can to get more exposure and sell books. If you have a follow-up question, let me know. Mark

    [Reply]

  11. As I told you, I have three agents and one publisher reviewing my latest MS. My question is, since I got these requests through Pitch Madness and Pit Mad the agents are backed up. Some say it might take two months before they respond. Is it considered greedy to query during that time? I would hate to wait and not get representation in the end. Also, if you do think it’s appropriate, do I mention that the MS is being reviewed? BTW, your site looks great! Love the make-over.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    It’s not greedy, it’s smart business. If you have six people reading partials and fulls, it’s good to wait. That might be enough. But 3 or 4 isn’t enough. If you want to increase your odds and make this process go faster, send out more queries. When one bites, everything will go quick. Glad you like the site, by the way. It’s been a long time coming! Mark

    [Reply]

    Sue Reply:

    Do I mention I have fulls and partials being reviewed? If so, how?

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Sue, smart question… but that’s higher level strategy that I only share with my 1-on-1 coaching clients… Mark

  12. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the replies. When I try to click on the [Reply] text, I get an error message: “can’t find the ‘commentformid’ div.”

    I won’t let me reply directly to any post. The outside reply button allows me to comment, but it puts the comment in the main comments.

    That’s the hard thing with websites; it could be finding something installed on your computer or it could be because I’m on a different browser/operating system combo. Anyway, I hope that helps you fix the bug.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Oops. Okay, think I just fixed it. Try replying to this and we’ll see. I just updated my site to a different “theme” and that sometimes requires you to change the comment reply settings on the backend… which I’ve now done. Thanks for letting me know! Mark

    [Reply]

    JEN Garrett Reply:

    Yes, I can reply to your comments! Looks like you fixed the problem. :)

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Woohoo! We’re in business. Just glad you caught it early and let me know. I would have been wondering what was going on. Mark

  13. Roy Davis Varner /

    Mark, my book is about a true Coast Guard rescue mission. What specific genre would that be considered? Narrative non-fiction / military? I’m writing a series of books on high-risk adventures/missions and want to find the right genre for approaching an agent. Also, an adventurer with world records wants help writing a book about a series of his adventures — so does he shop for an agent, or does the chosen writer? I may call on you for your consulting but need this quick feedback. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Roy, many books could fall into several categories. Yours is one of them. I always advise my coaching clients, in this scenario, to be aware of the different genres and position their book slightly differently… for agents that lean one direction or the other. Narrative nonfiction works (or memoir if it’s your story or you were a big part of it). If it’s macho/military you could call it military…. but feels like a stretch. If it’s written to appeal to women as well I wouldn’t do that. Regarding the other book you asked about, anyone can shop for the agent. They don’t care. They just want a good proposal that they can sell. Looking forward to speaking with you if/when it’s right. Mark

    [Reply]

  14. Robert Snyder /

    I have written a novel that after several years of frustration seeking an agent I self published. Those that have read it have indicated that they would love to see a second in what I had hoped to be a series. I can see that without an agent the novel will only been seen by those that know about it and ask for it. I understand the importance of an agent. What does one do to get someone to represent them when the novel has been self-published? Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Robert, all the same rules apply… the same methodology to attract agents outlined fully on my website. But… you have to decide whether to tell agents up front that you’ve already self-published. Sometimes it’s best to say it right away, other times better to wait until they’ve expressed some interest and/or ask whether you’ve already published. If you’re going to tell them up front, or it’s all over the internet, just know that they’re going to want to know how many copies you’ve sold. If your platform is pretty solid, but you haven’t sold a lot of books, it can be ok. If not, it’s still possible to land an agent and publisher… but it is more difficult. Don’t let that stop you though. ANYTHING is possible if your book is good. Mark

    [Reply]

  15. Hi Mark – Hope this email finds you well and having a great day! My question for you is this: I’ve written what I guess you’d call a lengthy ‘nonsense verse’ saga which I feel could be popular with the right approach. (Think of it as a cross between Dr. Seus and Lewis Carroll). I think it has the possibility of being adapted into a children’s film (rather like The Lorax)and would certainly make a good audio book. I just don’t know where to go with it? Any suggestions please?
    Thanks Stephen

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Stephen, and thank you for the friendly greeting. Most people just dive into their questions. ;) So I thank you for that, and wish YOU a wonderful day as well. Now, about your question… you have an extremely unique project. It’s going to kill you at first because most people won’t know what to do with it. But that can also be the reason for you having great success with it if you DO break through. You’re going to have to position this perfectly to get people to even read it. So use everything you see here at http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/. Then (if you’re able and interested) set up a call with me here so I can give you more 1-on-1 support: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Of course you can post more questions for me online, but this is a tough project to pitch without seeing it and having the chance to ask YOU a lot of questions. Either way, keep going and good luck! Sounds fun. Mark

    [Reply]

    Stephen Linturn Reply:

    Thanks Mark for the prompt response – I’ll certainly follow your suggestions and hope I get to a point where I’m financially able to work with you on a more personal basis! Fingers crossed! Enjoy your week!

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Sounds good Stephen, if it works out… I’d be honored to help you. At least during one call. In the meantime, have a great week yourself and I hope to see you again soon. Mark

  16. AFTER writing five GREAT & IMPORTANT books, self-publishing, speaking engagements & NO INTEREST from anyone, I am about to give up. But, NO, what do I do? I WRITE A SIXTH BOOK, better, and MORE IMPORTANT! Do you think ANY agent would give ME the time of day? NO – because they are all “Too busy” with clients that MAKE THEM MONEY, or “developing other writers”. I am disgusted w/the entire publishing biz – including the self-important and deprecating AGENTS!
    What to do? I’m at ‘THE END’!

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi James, sorry to hear that… but don’t quit now. You’ve heard the cliche about many people giving up just 3 feet from gold. That might be you. Check out this guide to help you get a literary agent here on my site: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/. Unique query tips, etc. Then, implement everything as best you can on your own… or (if you’re able and interested) set up a call with me here so I can give you more 1-on-1 support: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Either way, keep going. Mark

    [Reply]

  17. @Janet’s question about titles (the direct reply isn’t working on my end): There is a fun site (can’t remember the url) that you put in the title and it spits out a percent of how “marketable” your title is. But like Mark said, most people don’t know what makes a good title. So I’m just going to tell you what I do: I go with my gut and then don’t worry about it. I try for a title that has my book’s essence and would catch my eye if it were on the bookshelves, and then focus on the pitch.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Jen, for now… there are two “Reply” links underneath a person’s comments. One is just a text link, directly under the comment. The other is a reply button, a little lower and to the right. Use the text link if you want to create a “nested” reply like this one. Have techies looking at how to remove the button part. ;) And let me know if you find that title site. Sounds cool. I’d like to try it. But I’m skeptical! Mark

    [Reply]

  18. Steve /

    Thanks, Mark.

    [Reply]

  19. No, Mark, I didn’t duplicate. I’m trying to let you know the problem may exist on your weekly instant win reveal too. I only saw that it was Greg [Last name I can't remember] after I Google Plussed, but not when I tweeted. My tweets were favorited though, so that’s cool.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Ah, okay… got it. Went through a lot of comments at once so I didn’t catch that. And yep, a bug is a bug. When I get it fixed in once place, it will be fixed everywhere. Thanks for sharing my site and have a great week! Mark

    [Reply]

  20. I’m looking for a literary agent who specializes in marketing book stories to HBO and/or Showtime? With a proven track record. What is the costs? How can I meet with this person? Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Pat, check out this fr*ee guide to literary agents on my website: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/. It answers some of your questions. But literary agents typically don’t handle works for TV and film unless they’re handling your book rights. Make sure you also listen to the fr*ee mp3 that you find info about on my homepage here: http://literary-agents.com. Then let me know if you have any more questions. All my best. Mark

    [Reply]

  21. Janet /

    I have trouble selecting titles for my stories. I know certain titles get more attention than others. Isn’t there a place online where a writer can check to see how low or high a score their prospective title might receive?

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Not that I know of, and be careful who you take advice from. Everyone is quick to share their opinion, but most people don’t know what they’re talking about. Not publishing insiders. Mark

    [Reply]

  22. Janet /

    You said manuscripts sometimes get accepted or rejected depending on how the agent feels that particular day. If that is true, then the writing itself may not be why some of us are having problems getting an agent. But how would an aspiring writer know if it is his/her writing or the agent’s whims unless someone with an unbiased opinion is willing to read a few pages to tell them?

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Janet, you have no way of knowing… really. Except your response rate. But, you can increase your odds of increasing yours by having great writing AND a great pitch. Mark

    [Reply]

  23. I tried to reply to Joseph DeAngelis comment about Eaton Literary Agency and it showed up in the main comments. My advice works for any agency, but I thought I would clarify.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Jen, thanks for that. I just switched platforms for my website and that might have caused a hiccup. Mark

    [Reply]

  24. I didn’t know that agent, but I ran it through a few tests, and did not get good results. First check if it is listed on this website, because Mark tries to keep only legit agents on the list. That’s not to say a few can look legit and still have some complaints, but it’s a good place to start. Then “Google” the agency’s name with the word “scam.” I did that with yours and red flags came up all over. Other good places to look are Absolute Write, Writer’s Beware, Predators and Editors. Be Careful

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Jen, just so you know… I don’t vet the agents on my site unless I know they’re really bad. I’m slow to judge and it’s impossible for me to know everything about everyone. Your advice is the best. In the end, you can submit to anyone. No harm. When someone makes an offer, you better make sure you do some extra research. ;) Mark

    [Reply]

  25. Davis Varner /

    I’m a published author (Random House) writing a non-fiction book about a major Coast Guard search and rescue mission in Alaska. Where do I go to find out which literary agents would be appropriate for my genre? I’ve looked at online lists but they are very generic. I thought about picking up a few non-fiction books of similar nature and call the authors to see who they used. Is there a simpler way to narrow down the list to the most effective agents for my interests?

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Davis, congrats on your success with Random House. That’s great. Check out my agent list here: http://literaryagencies.com. It’s the best directory out there. I create custom lists for my 1-on-1 coaching clients that are even easier to use, but the online version might suit you just fine. Let me know, and have a great weekend. Mark

    [Reply]

  26. Hey Mark, I just tweeted your article and the instant winner didn’t show. Then I GooglePlus’d and the name shows up. Every time I’ve tried to share I only get the list when I GooglePlus you. Just thought you’d like to know.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hey Jen, I think this might be a duplicate comment but it’s good to see you again. ;) Mark

    [Reply]

  27. Charles de Bourbon /

    Hi,
    The report came out and I am a member of the Bourbon family and after 200 years there is again a French Royal Family.But no agent yet. I think because I am a one time author. I need a special publisher, one who gets a book on the market in a hurry while the news is still hot. We are waiting for one more report and we will have a major press conference in Paris. Know any publisher who can get a book on the market quickly while the iron is hot. Thanks for all you have done for me
    Charles

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Charles, that is FANTASTIC. Now you at least know that your project has a shot. About your question, you need to find the right literary agent and he or she will help you find the right publisher. Use my new literary agent directory here: http://literaryagencies.com. And keep us posted! Mark

    [Reply]

  28. David Ross /

    Thank you, Mark, for the support your site provides. The choices open to aspiring authors is bewildering, and I greatly appreciate your efforts to simplify and clarify the options. Representation is a necessary step that moves beyond the linguistic/storytelling skill-set that most of us spend so much time refining. My question is: how readily will I be able to determine if the agent I work with is right for me? More to the point – should I hold out for a “stronger” agent? How can I know? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi David, glad you’re finding the site helpful. And you’re right that there is a ton of info out there… and a lot of it is bad or at the very least confusing. Regarding your question, check this out: http://literary-agents.com/finding-a-literary-agent/. It will help. You definitely need to target the best agents that are best for YOU. This article series will help you figure it out. Mark

    [Reply]

  29. I had to sign up again so I’m not sure of how many copies I’ll receive of your newsletter. LOL I do enjoy it and was happy to Tweet it and put it on Google+. I’ve also sent it privately to a couple of authors during the past week. The information is too good not to share. Thank you for providing so much good nfo. I have a literary agent but I can always learn more and more and more….

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Darlene, well… not sure what happened but I’m glad you’re getting my emails again. :) And thanks for promoting my work. I also appreciate you being a constant learner. I am as well. Have a great weekend and thanks for saying hello. Mark

    [Reply]

  30. Joseph DeAngelis /

    Hello Mark,

    I am looking for feedback on the Eaton Literary Agency out of Florida. After submitting my manuscript, I received a letter and marketing contract from them. However, in the letter the agent stated that the novel needed professional editing and he would provide the service for $350. This was a requirement to move forward with the arrangement. In addition, my novel would be entered in their annual writing contest. Is this legitimate or a ploy to promote editing services? Help. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Joseph, when someone presents a situation like that… one that makes you question whether they’re doing it for the right reasons… it’s not a good start. That’s why most agents don’t charge fees like that or do those kinds of promotions. It’s also against the AAR Canon of Ethics. You can read more about it here: http://literary-agents.com/association-of-authors-representatives/. Mark

    [Reply]

  31. Steve /

    Simple question: I want to query potential agents and want to select one for 4-5 books I have in the works. I have narrowed down my list to prospective agents who handle all the genres my books fit into; however, I am unsure how to approach the matter in a query letter; i.e., I wish to mention that I have these five books in the works, perhaps submit samples for one or two, just not sure. Is this taboo? I don’t want to submit a query to a single agent based on a single publication, or must I…?

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Steve, I address this in the fr*ee mp3 that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com/literary-agents-mp3/. All my best. Mark

    [Reply]

  32. I am just writing to say a huge big thank you., Tonight’s coaching session, (first thing in the morning for you) was really helpful and informative, but most of all truly inspirational and gave me a massive boost in confidence, which I really needed. I feel ready to tackle the “CEO” side of my business.
    Cheers
    Erik

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Erik, just updated my website so I’m behind on a few things… but I’m thrilled you’re going in that direction. It’s the only direction as far as I’m concerned. And you’re a good writer so you have a lot to be confident about. So have a good weekend and see you again soon. Mark

    [Reply]

  33. Lorie /

    So I have already sent a much needing to be revised query letter to two publishers. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t resubmit if you don’t hear back. I’m sure I blew my 8 seconds. Is it okay to resubmit the new query to those publishers?

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Lorie, no harm in resubmitting. The worst they can do is say no. I often help authors revise their queries and resubmit. The more different your query is, the better your chances. Mark

    [Reply]

    Lorie Reply:

    Thanks Mark! This is the most awesome site I have found on the web

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Lorie, I’m glad to hear it and I’m always happy to help when I can. Have a good night! Mark

  34. Alexey /

    Hello, Mark,
    Could you please tell me what is the treat of agents to foreign authors like me? For instance, I`m from Ukraine, my Novelette was translated by english speaking person and will I have the same chances as an american author or not?
    Thank you for your website!!!

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Alexey, what do you mean by “the treat”? If your book is in English and it will appeal to US readers, you can get an agent in the US. And thank you for the kind words about my website. Glad you like it! Mark

    [Reply]

    Alexey Reply:

    Hi, Mark!
    I mean will the agents neglect me as a foreign author or not? But you have already answered my question so i take my chance.
    P.S. Could you please advise me a professional translator?
    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Literary Agents Reply:

    Hi Alexey, I understand now. Thank you. Regarding your other question, unfortunately, I don’t have any translators to recommend or know where I can send you to find them. I do wish you all the best though. Mark

  35. Mark,
    Straightaway thank you for your reply. I have all of my focus on this concept!
    this concept has grown over the years~ 4 to be precise, I have been told so many ways of presentation. i.e. Audio website, eBooks, nooks… I am in a tizzy! To be perfectly Honest without long pockets I thought to publish it on Mypublisher.com for a hard copy (full color illustrations) and text. I thought this would be a way of shopping it out to different publishers. will schedule an appt. w. U!

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Darlene, cautious optimism is my prescription for you. There are lots of directions you could go in, so I’m glad you’re setting up a time with me to talk about it. I’ll make sure to point you in the right direction. Have a great weekend. Mark

    [Reply]

  36. hi mark i receive your information i have another question to asked you before i joing. do i have to pay out any more more toward anythings. i just like to know
    mary
    thank you

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Mary, no charge to get my newsletter and use most of the resources on my website. So enjoy! Mark

    [Reply]

  37. How to find an agent, that will share the royalties, but no money out of pocket? See my reviews on Amazon. Look under author Lori Tice. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lori, check this out: http://literary-agents.com/best-literary-agent/. Good agents don’t charge anything except a commission on money they make for you. Mark

    [Reply]

  38. Missiey /

    I have written a great deal of my first book and going back through now. I’m not sure the best way to go about getting anything else done as far as finding a publisher, agent, or anything or anyone else I need. Its stressful and trying to relax can be difficult. What do I do? What advice can u give me?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Missiey, listen to the mp3 on the home page of this website. Then take a deep breath and start using the other resources on my website to market your work. Lastly, if you’re able, sign up for an intro coaching call with me when the time is right or post a question for me here so I can help you get going! Mark

    [Reply]

  39. my question how long dose it take to print book and will my book be in book store

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Mary, that depends on who the publisher is. If you get a book deal with a publisher like Random House, the book usually takes 6-18 months before it comes out. There are a lot of variables, but the wait is always worth it! Mark

    [Reply]

  40. G. Meadows /

    OK, hard question: how do you shop a literary novel with subject matter more associated with genre fic?
    To use a ridiculous example, if you were looking at a MS about a vampire romance that was unexpectedly written like a Jonathan Franzen novel, how would you advise the author? I’m not a shelving snob, but suspect romance agents would balk at the deviation from formula, while lit fic agents would never get past the elevator pitch. Is that book even sellable in today’s publishing climate?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi G, not a hard question… but a good one. Lots of agents, publishers, and readers appreciate that unique blend of commercial AND intelligent and/or literary writing. It’s rare. When pitching something like that, it’s great because you can “slant” your pitch to address both equally… or lean one way or the other… depending on what the agent emphasizes most. Make sense? Mark

    [Reply]

  41. Hi Mark,
    I echo all the good stuff said here about your webcast on Robin’s event. It was amazing, and I liked yours best because it applied to me most.
    Now my burning question today: The Author’s Platform. How big is big enough? How do you tell when the exact number of followers, email list, etc. is impressive and worth mentioning in your query?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jen, always good hearing from you. And I’m glad you enjoyed the tele summit. When it comes to platform, it all depends on the person and the project. As you know, there are MANY things you can do to improve your platform. Some are more important than others for different genres and/or if you’re very strong in one area, it can make up for another area where you’re weak. When working with clients, I only mention things that are strong. Sometimes not mentioning an area where you’re weak is better than sharing unimpressive numbers or facts. I know this is all abstract, but hopefully it helps. Mark

    [Reply]

    JEN Garrett Reply:

    Yeah it does help. I guess the hard thing about platform is that it really is abstract. Where 5k followers may be enough in one specialized niche (especially if those 5k had already invested money in the venture), that number would be unimpressive in a different arena.
    As for me, I think I’ll just say that my online platform is growing exponentially (which it is) and leave it at that.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jen, it is sometimes abstract and a tricky thing to clearly quantify. But the more specifics you give agents, the more likely they are to believe your numbers… and believe in your potential to help sell books! Mark

    [Reply]

    JEN Garrett Reply:

    Oh, that’s true! Saying, “My new blog gets 1000 unique visitors a day” probably sounds better than, “My online platform is growing exponentially.” (That’s just an example)
    It’s the same Show, Don’t Tell and Resist the Urge to Explain that writers have to deal with in their own craft.
    All the Best,
    –JEN

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jen, if the details are impressive… it’s best to share them. Otherwise vague is great. ;) Ha ha ha. Mark

  42. Frank Di Silvestro /

    I’m told self publishing your book is throwing your money away. Is this true? Is an Ebook the way to go these days?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Frank, I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. Regarding your question, read these two articles: http://literary-agents.com/category/self-publishing-book/. Then let me know what YOU think! Mark

    [Reply]

  43. Kristen Panzer /

    Hello Mark,
    I’ve had some success with my self pub. novel but marketing was such a time sucker I set the book aside and got to work on the sequel. Looking back at my book now, the title is very weak and the cover could be improved. Should I change it? Re-release it? The title is Thea Gallas Always Gets Her Man. I’d like to change it to something provocative like
    The T*t Whisperer or something like that. My sleuth is an amateur lactation consultant, that’s the hook. Thanks so much!!

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Kristen, I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. Regarding your question, what is your goal? To simply sell more of the self-published edition? Or to get an agent and/or publisher? Or both? I’ll get back to you right away after you post your reply. ;) Mark

    [Reply]

  44. I’m looking for an agent or publisher who is interested in a boxing story. I am a writer by profession for the last 20 years and have a boxing story I recently finished.I also am a 3 time award winning writer. I also boxed for close to 10 years and got out with all my marbles… I think…Thanks much.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Preston, I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. Sounds like you’ve paid your dues, so I hope you see your project through. Although I’m no longer an agent, my website has everything you need to secure one. If you’re able, you should also sign up for a call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark

    [Reply]

  45. Dear Mark, I have found your website very helpful. Thanks. I have just finished my memoir: The Journey, the Tale of a Bright Light in a Dark World. and am trying to get all the requirements together to approach an agent. I’ve heard so much about platform, that I set up a facebook page, for my book.Would it be a bad idea to publish my synopsis on line, telling the end of the book.? Also, do I need to get permission to use real names of people who were significant in the book? Or use on facebook?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Wanda, great title. Oh, and I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. I wouldn’t give away the ending like that online. Just create something that is more “teaser” copy like you’d find on the flap of a book. I can’t answer the other question, unfortunately, about names. I’m not a lawyer and that’s not my strongest area. I’m much better at book development, pitches, and promotion. ;) Mark

    [Reply]

  46. Your MO3 set me wondering which were my favourite books (favourite of MINE I mean, not necessarily of agents -and yes I’do still love hard copy, lovely touch and scent as you turn the pages):. Of mine the most ‘open’ is definitely ‘Oral Literature in Africa’, most beautiful is ‘Love enpictured’ , wisest is Finnegan ‘Peace writing’, most romantic and saddest happiest ( up to you) Catherine Farrar’s ‘The wild thorn rose’ ( all on amazon or lulu).

    Would you agree?

    And YOUR favourite(s)?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Ruth, I still love “old-fashioned” books in print… the feel and the smell… although I’ve certainly come to appreciate how easy it is to read things on my iPad. ;) Was just talking to my wife about our favorite novels. I lean toward Ayn Rand because I read her work in college and it resonated with me on many levels. Validated some of the things I believed, so I have a soft spot for The Fountainhead. I also like the love poetry of Peter McWilliams and, of course, Rumi. Have a great day and see you again soon. Mark

    [Reply]

  47. Is it ethical and/or effective (not the same thing) to have TWO agents? -and if you’re lucky enough to get that, should you tell them? And/or divide your work (e.g. by genre) between them?

    [Reply]

    JEN Garrett Reply:

    Hi Ruth,
    I have that question too!
    What I’ve been able to gather (so far) is that it depends on your work and the agents. Some agents work on a by project basis, where others want to help you in your writing career. You may find that you need two agents if your are crossing genres or target audiences. For example, a literary agent may not do play scripts, or a nonfiction agent may not do children’s. What you probably don’t want is two agents for the same manuscript. At least, that’s what I think

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jen, I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. I just responded to the person who asked this question, by the way… but I’m not sure if you got a copy. I agree with what you said. ;) Mark

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Ruth! I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. It’s completely okay to have two agents, depending on your circumstances. This is most common when you write something new that your current agent isn’t able to represent or interested in representing. Often a genre thing. Looking forward to speaking with you and have a great day! Mark

    [Reply]

  48. Carrie Fenn /

    Hello there!
    I’ve been querying my manuscript for about eight months (with not even a nibble) and I plan to continue until I’ve exhausted every option for gaining representation. When I’m all out of agents to query I want to look into ePublishing as my next step. If my sales go well, I’d like to re-query with my selling stats included. My question for you is, at what point do I do that? What sales figures are high enough to turn an agent’s head?

    Thank you for your time!
    Sincerly,
    ~Carrie Fenn

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Carrie, I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. I love that you’re committed to getting your work out there, one way or another. That’s half the battle. To answer your question, 20,000 is really the number that will make a difference with all agents. Some will respond positively to a lower number. I highly recommend you do all you can however, first, to improve your pitch and query as many appropriate agents as possible. And sign up for a consulting call with me here if you are able to: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. All my best. Mark

    [Reply]

  49. carl giannelli /

    can i ask that if i think and i am told that my writing is very good and marketable ,then as the publishers go non stop with this deal and that why and how can i get an agent and do any of you request queries i am from Boston ma. i live in Boston and i am told my material would target the baby boomers which is millions ,i have a little facebook following but what i post there is tiny in comparison please help me find an agent anyone who wants a query and someone that may have faith enough in me

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Carl, I just responded to your other comment. Keep believing and keep sending out queries! Mark

    [Reply]

  50. larry Bucaria /

    Why are literary agents slow to reveal their successes? Before I begin to work with an agent’ I’d like to know of his/he published successes..

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Larry, I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. Agents are often so overwhelmed with submissions already that they don’t take time to catalog their successes. Other agents don’t have successes to promote. I’m glad you’re thinking about it though. Wise authors get the best agents. Mark

    [Reply]

  51. Adnane /

    Hi Mr Mark Malatesta, sorry to bother you again , but I did search in -Literary Agents Directory- someone who could represent animation scripts but I received no answer . I also contacted Metropolis talent agency which is specialized in animation but they accept scripts through referral only. May I please ask you if you could help me to find someone who could
    support my query or an animation producer that could accept to read my
    query and possibly adopt the script . Any help will be welcome !

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Adnane, I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. Unfortunately I don’t have information in the area you’re asking about. But I do wish you all the best. Mark

    [Reply]

  52. Kelley Hunter /

    I have worked with serial killers for a few years. I completed a narrative interview book called Murdered innocence; look through the mind of serial killer Keith Jesperson. Sunday Night Australian TV interviewed me and I have been asked to speak at colleges because of the content of my book. The format is question/answer which was gathered over three years and answers questions many would like to know about serial killers. I have 6 potential books, how can I get it out there without $$$$?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Kelly, I had a website glitch that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. Your book sounds good and it’s great you’re getting exposure and building your platform. To answer your question, since it doesn’t seem like you have much to invest in your writing career, I suggest you take full advantage of all the resources here on my website. And then, at the very least, sign up for one call with me here… to give yourself more of an advantage: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Any questions, just let me know. Mark

    [Reply]

  53. Jamie Gentry /

    I am interested in publishing a series of books, not a single book. How would I approach an agent with 12 books to propose?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jamie, unfortunately… it depends… on your goals… the book genres… your bio… how much you have written… and many other variables. Sometimes it’s good to mention more, other times it’s better to mention less. The only way I could tell you for sure would be to talk it all through with you during a coaching call. Here’s a link with more info: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. If you can’t do that, at the very least, just know that there is no sure one way to go about it. Warm wishes. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  54. Torissa Nikole /

    Hi, Mark!

    Thanks for taking the time to answer so many people’s Qs!
    So here are my Qs:

    1. Do they care how old you are?
    2. If you don’t have any experience, what can you put on your query letter to help convince an agent to work with you?
    3. Is there anywhere I can go for specific information and step-by-step walk-through of the publishing world? I have absolutely no experience with it and would like to figure out what I’m doing before considering an agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Torissa, don’t mention your age unless it’s relevant. And check out this two articles that talk about this topic: http://literary-agents.com/young-authors/ and http://literary-agents.com/old-authors/. This article will help you talk about yourself and your experience: http://literary-agents.com/author-platform/. Regarding your third question, just spend more time reading the content on my site. What you’re looking for is there. Start by listening (if you haven’t already) to the complimentary mp3 here on my homepage: http://literary-agents.com. And have a great day. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  55. Lynn Orloff /

    Hi Mark!

    I just want to say thank you for the webcast. I didn’t get to listen to some of the speakers due to snow !@#$%^&*()?>! and other obligations, but I was able to take in a few and they were excellent. Perhaps I am being biased but I especially enjoyed yours. In part, because in all candor what you spoke about I specifically needed to know, and also because you just come across as a great person.

    Thanks to all who shared their time and passions.

    Best,
    Lynn :)

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lynn, now that’s the kind of bias I don’t mind. Sorry to hear about your snow challenges. We’ve been having our share this winter as well. Hopefully you’re staying dry and warm today. And thank you for sharing the positive feedback about my interview. You made my day. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  56. Hi Mark,
    I know you’re super busy right now working on your Query Letter Training and your new websites, but I’m hoping you’ll get the chance to pop in and see my question.
    What’s the difference between a good pitch (such as at writer’s conferences or online pitch contests) and a good query (such as the letter you send in hopes an agent or editor will request your manuscript)?
    Do both need all the same elements?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jen, they’re identical… the in-person pitch, however, needs to be shorter. So you need to know what the most important pieces of your query are… and be ready to elaborate if you’re asked to do so. Make sense? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    JEN Garrett Reply:

    Yes, it does make sense, thank you. Picking the most important pieces out and putting them into just 150 words is a challenge, but I guess that’s why there are coaches like you, huh?
    Thanks again,
    JEN | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jen, well yes… exactly. Ha ha ha. But you can do it, just need to take time with it. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  57. Mark – Hi,
    I always find your articles very informative – how much do you charge per hour and are you able to assist or help me in marketing a non-fiction book which is in a currently non-mainstream genre (i.e. nonsense verse but in the form of a story – think Roald Dahl’ish) I believe with the right artwork and assistance there are many marketing possibilities, I’m just not sure where or who to go to? Any help you could give would be gratefully appreciated.
    Very best regards

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Stephen, thank you for the comment about my articles. Here’s a link to a page that explains the different ways to get support from me 1-on-1: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/. My recommendation is option #2. Any questions, just let me know. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  58. If one already has queried 47 agents and had 20 rejections, what are the chances of still finding an agent after rectifying what one did wrong?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Bob, just saw this question… it went to my spam folder for some reason. As you now know, because we’ve talked, you have a very good chance of getting positive responses with an improved query. I’ve had clients get hundreds of rejections with zero requests for more material… then get many requests… after a query rewrite. The pitch isn’t everything… but it IS critical to get your work read. By the way, got your voicemail but I’m busy for a little while. Will call you back when I have a break. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  59. Hi Mark:
    Great resource – thank you so much!

    1. I live in Fairfield County, CT. Is there any reason to consider an agent outside NYC? I’m thinking no, unless perhaps an AAR agent elsewhere is preferable to a non-AAR agent in NYC?

    2. Law of Attraction – what genre? Spirituality? Pop culture? It’s a journalism format, so that’s complicated the decision process a bit for me.

    Thank you
    Judi

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Judi, I’m happy to help and I’m glad you’re getting a lot out of the website. The only reason to consider an agent outside NYC, in my view, is if you can’t get one that’s in NYC. That is, all other things being equal. You really have to look at each agent individually though, as a whole. Like you said, AAR status is a factor… as is their track record… etc. But you’re thinking right. The genre question I can’t answer without knowing much more about the book. I’d hate to steer you in the wrong direction. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  60. Elizabeth Trombley /

    I have a publishing co. that sends me an email every week. They are very serious about wanting to publish my book, but here’s the catch. They take 50 per cent of the books earnings. And if you sell at least 25000 copies they will advance money for the next book. They do promos here a abroad for the author with great promises for promoting sales to book stores, Kindle, etc. Is this a sucker pitch or is it legit? Since I am still sending queries out every day, you know how that goes. Any advice? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Elizabeth, if you have to pay anything to participate… it’s not the best scenario. But it’s not necessarily a scam. If someone is paying you, however, it’s the best validation that your writing is good and has a chance of being successful. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  61. good evening
    i have just finished my short story for young adults .i want to present it in kindle…..where do i begin? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Evi, congratulations! This isn’t my specialty. I’ve heard good things about http://bookbaby.com but they might just do full-length books. You might need to do a little Googling to figure out if there’s a better option for things like short stories. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    evi Reply:

    thanks

    [Reply]

  62. Wukelanren /

    Hi, Mark!
    As I remember you asked me to tell you when my book will be out. I wanted to send an email to you, but forgot what email it is, sorry.
    Yury | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury, congrats again… I always take a moment and celebrate when any author gets their work finally out there. All my best to you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  63. Hi Mark,

    I’m a published author with two novels published in Australia. I’ve queried a number of US agents re my third, which is international in scope, and gotten half a dozen requests for a full. While a couple declined, though with nice comments, I’ve heard nothing from the others and it’s now much more than three months. I’ve sent polite follow-ups, but no response. All are big name New York agents. Is this normal and what do I do? I’d like at least to get some idea why I’m failing. Thanks. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Alan, that’s completely normal unfortunately. Here’s a link to an article I wrote about response times that will help: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/literary-agent-turnaround-times/. It’s safe to assume that anything past 3 months is a rejection, even if you’ve heard nothing. It’s encouraging that you’re getting requests though, so you should keep going. You’ll eventually get personalized feedback if you do. If you want more control over that, and you want to speed up the process, consider scheduling a consulting call with me and I can help you see what you’re missing when it comes to your pitch and/or writing. Here’s a link with more info: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  64. Billy Turner /

    What mainstream publishers will consider a self-published author who’s book has consistently garnered two (2) four stars out of five; two (2) five stars out of five; a rave review from the San Francisco Book Review and Midwest Book Review? Once a mainstream publisher finds out you’re a self-published author, the door isn’t politely shut; it is slammed shut. Literary agents also frown on self-published authors. Insurmountable obstacles. Help! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Billy, it’s never too late to get a mainstream publisher… it’s just harder if you’ve already self-published and haven’t sold a lot of copies. But it’s still possible. A good book is, after all, still a good book. Sometimes it’s best not to mention (at least not up front) that the book has been self-published. I’m not recommending you lie, just be smart about WHEN you tell agents. Get them hooked first, then you can tell them. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  65. Ok I have two questions but I will do them separately to have one extra chance at the gift. lol… Deciding which genre to use if your book falls into several…that seems impossible…How????
    I’ve spent weeks here and I am very grateful for your website because I’m not sending out query letters that are not ready to go. I’ve learned a lot and still am learning. I have no doubt that by using your website I will have a much higher chance of getting my book published sooner than later. Thanks. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    This speaks to putting yourself in the shoes of agents. Sometimes you can classify a book… put it in more than one genre. When that’s the case, I call it whatever the agent I’m pitching says they want. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  66. John Knubel /

    I have drafted a proposal for a book titled: “America In Denial” with a subtitle: How America’s Excessive Borrowing to Fund the Federal Government:Threatens National Security, Erodes Our Leadership and Will Ultimately Destroy Us.

    Can you guide me to potential agents?

    With respect and best wishes;
    The Honorable (by Act of Congress:)
    John A. Knubel | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi John, my apologies for the extreme delay. Our business has been growing quickly and we’re trying to keep up. A good “problem” to have. I can help you and your topic is interesting to me, as is your credibility and promotional platform. If you haven’t already done so, your next step should be to listen to the complimentary mp3 feature here on my homepage: http://literary-agents.com. Make sure you listen to the special offer at the end and then take advantage of it if it seems like a good fit for you. Of course you can also post more questions for me here or email me privately. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    John Knubel Reply:

    Why R U “undercover” ? Should I beware of some clandistine motive etc? :)

    With respect and best wishes;
    The Honorable (by Act of Congress:)
    John A. Knubel
    Cell: 301 502 1445
    1365 Eliot Road
    Franklin, Tennessee
    37064- 4882
    e mail: johnknubel@gmail.com (preferred) or

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi John, I had a website glitch (having issues) that caused some of my comments to disappear so my apologies for the delay. Nothing clandestine, to answer your question. I explain the name briefly here on my website homepage: http://literary-agents.com. Let me know if I can help you in any way. Mark

  67. Hi Mark,
    I know you’ve said that your platform isn’t as important in fiction as with non-fiction, and I write fiction. With that in mind, would it benefit me to start a blog? Meaning, will I look more profitable to an agent in a query letter stating I have a blog? Or would I have to have a large audience base first in order to even state that? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Sue Reply:

    UPDATE: Forget that question. I just received a request for full manuscript, twenty-four hours after submitting my query and first five pages. Yahoo!! I don’t want to act too excited in my email to her when I attach my manuscript, but at the same time I feel like I should thank her for “loving my first five.” Any advise? I pray you’ll read this today. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Sue, congratulations… what’s the latest? I haven’t had time to reply to comments as quickly as I normally do. By the way, your instincts are good. Be enthusiastic and appreciative when you get requests like that, just don’t overdo it. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Sue, it certainly can’t hurt. And, if done well, it could really help. But yes, of course, an audience for your blog would make it even more intriguing. Oh, check this out if you haven’t seen it already: http://literary-agents.com/author-platform/. The big picture when it comes to platform, but a website/blog is always my recommended first step. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  68. the biggest obstacle is MYSELF …..Thoughts like “who am i to write ” , ” you have illusions about writing , talent and the publishing industry ” “Noone is waiting for your work ” “do you know daily how many people , truly talented and well known in the world fail “?

    do you ever deal with such blocks ? Not only i stop writing but “delete ” the idea of writing in general | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Evi. EVERYONE deals with such blocks. The best antidote or cure, as my wife and business partner like to say, it taking MASSIVE ACTION. Make yourself so busy in the act of creation and promotion that you no longer have the “luxury” of thinking such thoughts. I find that this works incredibly well. You don’t need to be perfect. There are better writers than you and I out there in the world. But we can be more successful if we simply show up more. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    evi Reply:

    thanks

    [Reply]

  69. sawlian cheah /

    Hi Mark

    If a chapter has 15 A4 size pages in double spacing, would it be considered too long? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi SawLian, 15 pages double-spaced isn’t too long to me… when people start getting near 25-30 pages, that’s when I start to lose it. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  70. Lady Caroline Mole Brooks /

    Mark I’ve just sent you a question under coaching but now have another one for you.
    Is a website necessary for an author to sell their book? I’m new at this, as my first book has finally after years of writing, rewriting etc. in completed manuscript form. My questions may be a bit simple but I need to learn before I submit to an agent what I need to do first. I enjoyed your 65 minute mp3 and am already learning a lot from your website. This is a site I have recommended already to author friends. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lady Caroline, check out this 2-part article if you haven’t already: http://literary-agents.com/author-platform/. A website is always my first recommendation, because it’s the fastest/easiest way to boost your author promotional platform. That said, author platform is individual. There are many ways to improve your platform, so it’s best to talk to someone about it before investing too much time and/or money. Thank you, by the way, for recommending my site. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  71. Tom Shipley /

    I published a book with Createspace in 2009 (Silencing the Drums.) Although it’s on Amazon, it obviously didn’t get any kind of distribution. I’ve been told by those who have read it that it’s outstanding, although I realize people are reluctant to say anything else. I queried numerous agents, but I never landed one. Questions – where can I go from here? Could I still find an agent and have it republished commercially? Thanks so much for time. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tom, yes… you absolutely still have hope. And you should do everything you can to write the best query possible and try to secure a top literary agent to get you a top publisher and book deal. If you haven’t already done so, listen to the complimentary mp3 that you can get here on my homepage: http://literary-agents.com. Make sure you also listen to the special offer at the end and then sign up for an introductory consulting call with me if you believe I can help you. But, whatever you do, keep believing. It’s never too late to get a traditional publisher. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  72. Lewis Arnold /

    Mark,
    We have written a book over the last 10-12 years. I hired Bob Mayer from Writers Digest. That was a great learning experience. When we finished the book, we sent it to the great (late) Ardath Mayhar. She went through the book and made corrections, suggestions, etc as such an accomplished author of her stature does. We have incorporated these into the book and he last note in 2007 said we had done well.
    How do we now present this to an agent in proper query? Or a publisher? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lewis, my entire website is devoted to helping you secure a top agent, publisher, and book deal. I highly recommend you do all you can to secure a top agent. Start here: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/do-you-need-a-literary-agent/. Then listen to the complimentary mp3 that you can get here on my homepage: http://literary-agents.com. Listen to the special offer at the end and then sign up for an introductory consulting call with me if you believe I can help you. it sounds like you’ve paid your dues and have something good with your book. All my best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  73. Lady Caroline Mole Brooks /

    Hi Mark

    I’ve just spent an hour on the call 7 Insider Secrets to get a Top Literary Agent and am flabbergasted. I have just written my first book which actually falls into 3 genres: Narrative, Christian and/or Inspirational. I am totally new to this and my head is swamped with the thought of Query letters, Book Proposals and so forth but YOU had my undivided attention and I am so glad I joined in and spent the full 65 minutes. I have a better idea of a Query letter though I will need help. Thx. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lady Caroline, you are extremely kind… and I am THRILLED you found the mp3 valuable. As you know, I’ve been swamped lately but please don’t think for a moment that I don’t appreciate your kindness and enthusiasm. It’s what keeps me going, in large part, even though I’ve been distracted with recent events and promotions I’ve been involved with. Thank you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  74. I wrote a book called keep laughing.my book is an autobiography.its a motivational story that I think would make a great film.i had a movie option for it from a company in Beverly Hills but it ran up so I am pushing my story again.in short it’s about my poor upbringing in a large family,my sister dying when I was younger,my start in tattooing and skateboarding,then here in oakland I get shot in the head protecting my then girlfriend,lost the use of my once good right hand…book to film?how?who? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hey Devon, if you have the story optioned with a legit company… that tells me a lot. That’s great. You have the most important piece of the puzzle… a good story. The easiest way to go from book to film is to get a traditional publisher for the book (if you haven’t already), and then your publisher (or agent) will help make that happen. It’s much more difficult as an author without connections or background in the film industry to make a movie happen. It’s easier to get a publisher. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  75. Hi Mark,
    I just wanted to congratulate you on a fantastic website! It really is the A to Z of this business. Taking your advice, I’m finally getting some “skin in the game,” as entrepreneurs like to say, and hiring an editor. While I work on that part of your process (before my intro call to follow), I’d like to avail myself of my one free question. Here goes: does $2,000 to edit a 75,000-word literary novel offend your sensibilities as either too high or two low, and if so, why? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Todd, thank you for that and sorry for the slow response. I’m glad you’re investing in yourself and your writing that way, and I hope the editing is going well… if you’ve begun. $2k is fine, but… prices can be, and should be, all over the map when it comes to editing. The background of the editor is a big factor, but so is the level of developmental support you get. My problem is editors that charge $3-5k for an edit that consists of them mostly fixing typos and grammar. That’s too much. But that amount for someone to help with those things AND characterization, pacing, dialogue, story arc, etc. is fine… if it’s needed and the editor is capable. Hope this helps. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  76. Claire /

    Hi Gary! just kidding

    hi mark.

    My Question would be , I’ve got 60 rejections so far from agents and they all tell me they are sorry but my book it’s not on their taste, but some of the rejection letters are standard they just[put on my name. I’ve send them sample pages or chapters as they required along with the query.

    My Question would be, do they actually read from the sample pages before rejecting? or they just decide reading the query?

    Thank you. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Claire, it depends. The better the query is, the more likely it is they looked at the writing, too. The only way to know that for sure, however, is when you get one or more agents asking for more sample chapters or the complete mss… from those who were already given a sample. Otherwise, there’s no evidence that they got past the query. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  77. Assuming I have a slush fund of manuscripts, what are your thoughts about working on project-by-project basis, vrs. working with an agent long-term? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jen! It depends. It might be best to solicit different agents at the same time for different projects… to speed up your process. In the end, however, you might end up with one agent. But it’s definitely best to limit the term of the agent contract and/or the number of titles the agent is able to represent, until they prove they’re really there for you and a good fit for you long-term. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  78. I’ve almost completed a tell all and I’m naming names. Though I’m unsure which exact genre it will fit into, it touches on public education and corruption. Is there a genre my work would fit into? Are there a few categories you can name? Finally, how do I schedule a paid consultation call? Thanks so much for your time and assistance!

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lola, sounds good to me… getting your story out there. The genre will depend. Could be narrative nonfiction if it’s about other people… or memoir if it’s a slice of your life… or social/cultural issues. I would need to know more. But you’re probably going to fit into one of those categories. And here’s a link to the page that has info (and a signup link) for my intro call: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. I’m looking forward to it. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  79. Jessie Novak /

    Another question, if you don’t mind.
    I decided I want move some stuff from the end of my book into my next book to cut down on the word count a little. What is a good way to judge where to do this? Also, what is a good word count for a fantasy fiction novel? I’ve seen numerous websites and all of them seem to have different amounts listed. Is there a base line or an actual amount that is required for fantasy books?

    Again, thank you for your time,
    Jessie

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jessie, good questions. Where to end is impossible to diagnose though from here. Again, you’d need someone to read the book and discuss your options with you. Word count varies but as long as your book is more than 70,000 words and less than 100,000 words… you should haven’t issues. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  80. Jessie Novak /

    I’m a first time writer and I have spent the last 2 years working on my book and now that I’m at the finishing point I find myself going back and changing things constantly. I read a chapter and I change something, I read it again and I change it again. I cant seem to read it without wanting to change something. Is this normal? How do I find a stopping point? My book is almost 100k so you can imagine it’s getting tiring. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time,
    Jessie

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jessie, I feel for you… it’s a challenge. And it is normal. The best way to figure out whether you’re overdoing it is to get someone else (who knows what they’re talking about it), to give you honest feedback. A writers’ group, freelance editor, etc. Isolation can lead to great work but it can also make you second-guess yourself. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  81. ed earp /

    Hi, i have wrote several screenplays and think its about time a got myself a Agent. would i be able to sent a query letter to any Literary Agents on your web site. I have looked through the Agents that are listed but cant see any Agents that represent screen writers. please help.

    Best

    Ed Earp.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Ed, I’m sorry to say that most literary agents don’t handle screenwriters… unless they have a novel currently with that agent. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  82. Dear Mr. Malatesta,

    An agent at one of the nation’s top literary agencies has offered me an agency agreement with a provision for a “one work” or a “this and all future works.” He read my book proposal and described it as “stellar” with “amazing information.” We’re planning to write a series of books on the same topic.

    I wondered what the advantages and disadvantages are of each contract.

    Thank you,

    Troy

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Troy, congratulations on the offer. Regarding your question, it’s always in the author’s best interest to have the agent contract be for as little time as possible. The amount of titles doesn’t matter as much. The more titles they represent, the more they can sell. The idea is for you to not get locked in to a contract for any of your work with an agent that you “fall out of love” with in the first few months. Make sense? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  83. Angel Marie /

    Recently I wrote a 64,000 science fiction fantasy novel, as I was unsure of how the process worked I self published. Now that the book has released not more than 30 days ago my publisher is calling asking me to buy more books so that we can fill Amazon’s order. I do not have the funds to cover this order(as its bigger than I could have ever imagined) and since the first quarter sales haven’t posted I have no physical numbers to post in any query. What do I need to do from here | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Angel, I’m sorry to hear that… common story unfortunately. You still might be able to get a literary agent and a traditional publisher. It’s never too late. If you haven’t already done so, listen to the fr*ee mp3 on my home page here: http://literary-agents.com. Then post another question for me online or sign up for an introductory coaching call with me. More info about that here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  84. Sorry. I thought I was emailing your blog. My mistake.
    What do think of Wild Sound Festival? Are they reputible? Do agents pay attention to their videos, like they claim?
    Again, sorry for the confusion. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Sue, no problem. I’m not familiar with that particular festival though. A quick Google search and you should be able to learn more about them. But nothing compares, in my opinion, to simply getting help to create the best pitch possible, and then being able to query as many agents as you want. The pitch is what matters most. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  85. sawlian cheah /

    Hi Mark

    In the TOC, under the four books each in the categories of competitors’ books and those that complement, do we write the similarities and differences for the books in both categories? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi SawLian, if I understand you correctly… you’re asking if you should compare/contrast your work to each book listed in the comparative titles section of your book proposal. If that’s what you mean, then the answer is yes. Have a great weekend! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  86. Cenus Hinds /

    I am a young (relatively I guess) writer from the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent. I’ve been writing my novel for the better part of what….. 4 years (School work didn’t permit much writing time) but now I’m finished and soo proud of myself :). I would really like help with getting a decent agent to represent me and also I’m not sure if me being from the Caribbean would hinder publication in the US. Hopefully you can help me by answering that question and also by providing assistance. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Cenus, you can publish in the US no matter what country you live in. All that matters is that your work is appealing to the US market. If you haven’t already done so, listen to the fr*ee mp3 on my home page here: http://literary-agents.com. Then post another question for me online or sign up for an introductory coaching call with me. More info about that here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. All my best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Cenus Hinds Reply:

    Thanks a lot. I’ve already sent out a few queries to agents on your literary agents directory (Much help I must say that directory is) and also I’ve practically listened all and read everything you have to say on this site so all I’m waiting on is maybe some help with finding the proper agent or getting a referral (I’ll have to wait a while before I could actually afford the call to you… The exchange rate here isn’t exactly friendly)

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Cenus, glad to hear it… that you’re finding everything helpful and making progress. Keep doing what you’re doing, remember that it really isn’t luck… but a decision. And do set up a call with me if/when you can. I’ll help you take everything to the next level. Keep believing. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  87. I wrote the first draft of my novel when I still in high school. I was naive then, and thought it was best to copyright my book. I have since changed several things about the story, and educated myself on the process. I know now that I always owned it. I was terrified to read several sites that said agents won’t even look at queries that have been copyrighted because of that lack of knowledge. Do I update the copyright since it’s there, or do I hope someone will read/represent it? Thank you. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Mary, your publisher will copyright your book and agents really aren’t concerned about that early in your process. Copyright is something that authors care about, and they should care about it, because it protects them. I’m not an expert on copyright but I’m pretty sure you can find the info you need at no charge online. Just google copyright US gov and you’ll find info. I believe you can update your copyright with the newer version. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  88. Kim Aurelia /

    I’m writing a fantasy novel, and there is a character which was inspired by a friend of mine.
    He had an social media account, and wrote some great captions in his own words. If I want to quote him, but change the words a little to match my story, should I footnote him? Or would thanking him in the “thank you” page of my novel be enough? Thank you so much. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Kim, that’s a fine line and definitely not an area that I’m confident about. I always tell authors to have that conversation with their agent and publisher since it’s a legal issue in the end… and agents and publishers have different positions on things like this. I wish I could be more help here, but it’s just not my area of expertise. That said, I wish you all the best and hope you find OTHER helpful information here on my site that’s useful. Warm wishes. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  89. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hey Mark,

    I recently uploaded this crime thriller on Wattpad, need a professional’s opinion on it.
    http://www.wattpad.com/story/10885948-arsenal-of-identities
    Looking for constructive criticism.

    Thanks,
    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul, happy new year! Unfortunately, I only critique work for my coaching clients. Otherwise I’d be swamped with requests like this and not have time for my paying clients. However, I do answer questions here as you know… just those questions that don’t require me to read and review material. Have a great day and hope to see you again soon. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  90. mary gilbert /

    can you please advise if you can help me find a writer and an agent for a book
    my number is 917-969-6876 – please understand that i want a writer who is recognized by the
    5 largest publishing houses and that this concept has already received interest from a
    film company. the reason it has not been pursued with the film company is that we
    are in the process of developing the story. it is non-fiction and a true story. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Mary, it depends… but I’m happy to help you figure it out. Your next step would be to schedule a paid introductory coaching call that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. If you have any other questions you can post them her or email me privately here: http://literary-agents.com/contact/. Looking forward to learning more about you and your project. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  91. Tim Schaiberger /

    Hello. I have transcribed my grandfather’s and father’s handwritten journals which encompass a American Boy Scout’s 3 month journey through pre-civil war Spain,his later recounts of being drafted into WW2 as a medical doctor while my grandmother was pregnant with my father and a memoir started about Vietnam from the view of my father, a combat medic, which he started to research but became sick with a Brain tumor and died before he could finish. Is this Family Chronicle worth pursuing? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tim, Happy New Year! Short answer is yes. It sounds like you have great content, and virtually anything can be made into a great book. The secret is in the execution. If the story is well told and/or the writing style is interesting, almost anything can be done well. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  92. Novlette /

    Hi Mark

    Fantasy and sci-fi have taken over publishing, so how does one market good literary fiction? I’m talking literature for social change in the tradition of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

    You don’t favor self publishing for a host of good reasons but agents and publishers are actively promoting fantasy and sci-fi above other genres. Yet with a plethora of tragedies – suicides, homicides, rapes – surely there’s room for promoting more books that provide insight to help teens?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Novlette, you market that type of writing the same way as any other. Check out this article: http://literary-agents.com/book-genres/. It might help. And have a wonderful holiday season! Mark

    [Reply]

  93. Hello,

    I’m in the process of writing a novel that fits in well with the literary fiction genre, and because I am a new writer, I was curious if you had any tips for marketing this type of book to literary agents. I’m seventeen years old, and I think my writing is very much influenced by Austen, Hemingway, and Tolstoy social critiques (although I don’t really have any of their styles). My book, however, is set in the present day.

    I would appreciate any advice you might have. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Phoebe, there is a lot of info that will help you on my site. Not sure where to send you but here are a few articles that you might find particularly helpful: http://literary-agents.com/category/book-writing-tips/. Mark sure you also listen to the mp3 available on my home page. ;) Happy holidays! Mark

    [Reply]

  94. Sara Cunningham /

    I have just finished writing my Fantasy Fiction novel and I am currently in the process of finding an agent to represent me. As I read through each agents requirements, I’ve noticed several ask for the first five or so pages. This book opens with a prologue that involves the main character but takes place eighteen years before the main plot and isn’t fully explained until later in the book. So my question is, would it be a good idea to send the prologue or skip ahead to the first chapter?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Sara, it depends… hard to say without reading it. Sometimes I suggest doing that, but other times it cause more problems than it’s worth. So it’s situational. I know that’s not very helpful, but it’s the best I can do with the information I have. Anyway, happy holidays and consider signing up for an intro call with me in the new year if you’re still not sure what to do. Love and light to you and yours from all of us here. Mark, Ingrid, Ginger, and Fudge

    [Reply]

  95. Hi Mark

    I am having difficulties writing my book using more expressive words,instead of large paragraphs. I need advice on being more descriptive.

    Thank you

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yvonne, thank you for posting… I can’t answer this particular question in just a few words though. Hmm. Wait, yes I can. I don’t have THE answer, but I can point you in the right direction. You really need to buy a few books on the craft of writing. And read books by your favorite authors to see how they’re handling it. Then practice, practice, practice (but you already knew I was going to say that, I bet). Let me know if you find a great book on craft. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  96. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hey Mark,

    A lot of rejection letters say “Learn from the masters”, and it mentions a couple of big names. So it’s just about reading their books, right? How else can I improve my writing?

    Rahul

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    HI again Rahul, I love that I have an article “answer” to pretty much every question you could ask me. Ha ha ha. Here you go: http://literary-agents.com/how-to-write-a-bestseller/. Let me know what you think. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  97. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hey Mark,

    Long time…:) How are you?

    Well I’m hearing about blogging from many people, and a friend recently suggested that mentioning about it would make my query letter better. But I’m not so fond of blogging about my daily life and all, so I’m on this site called Wattpad, and I’m getting pretty good reviews from people (http://www.wattpad.com/story/9674471-frostbite)

    My question is: does mentioning about either really make a difference?

    Happy Holidays!
    Rahul

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul, doing great… even better now that I see you saying hello on my blog. Blogging is only good if you’re good at it and you enjoy it. If you are good at it and getting lots of followers, you should mention it to agents. But, always remember that there are many OTHER things you can do to strengthen your promotional platform. Read this 2-part article for ideas: http://literary-agents.com/author-platform/. And have a great weekend! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  98. Two questions:
    If you have a novella that starts of a book series, can you query it to a literary agent?
    Would they be more willing to accept it since it will be part of a novel series.

    If you submitted a novel to a small press and it did well, would a literary agent be able to get that novel back, through rights reversal or something, and submit it to other publishers, or would the author just have to wait until their rights came back to them?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Cassie, you can… but most agents won’t take on a project like that unless it’s by an author who’s already published. Regarding your second question, yes… an agent would possibly do that. However, it’s a lot easier if you know ahead of time that the publisher is willing to give up the rights. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  99. Hi, Mark

    I’m Georgian script writer. I’m from Georgia (capital city – Tbilisi). My name is Soso Janiashvili, 33 years old (writer, screenwriter, journalist). 2003-2013 I worked in journalism. Magazine – I was writing articles for newspapers from Georgia and Ukraine, and television writing scenarios. In addition I have published several books and magazines. I completed movie script. I have The writers Guild of America, West – Certificate. My script read and consulting, Hollywood script consultants. I can send a synopsis. I need and find a good agent, who help me sell my script in hollywood. Can I send to you several pages of my script?

    I hope our relationship will continue in the future.

    Sincerely

    SOSO JANIASHVILI

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Soso, it’s great you’ve paid your dues as a writer and I wish I could be more help… but my Directory of Literary Agents on my website only literary agents. Most of them don’t deal with screenwriters. And I personally only consult with authors of books. All genres, but not writers who only write scripts. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  100. Adnane /

    Hi , I’ve written an animation script for feature length , May I ask you , if possible , to mention to me some agencies that accept submission queries from animation writers ? I’m looking for representation for a long time but agents seem to be reluctant to animation scripts ,because most of animation screenplays now are generated in-house. Monteiro rose dravis Agency and Gotham Group are specialized in animation , but they accept queries by referral only. Could you please help me !
    Thank you

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Adnane, great hearing from you but you’ll simply have to go through the agents listed in my Directory of Literary Agents here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/. I don’t recommend individual agents. Unfortunately, I don’t think that many agents specialize in this area as well, so it will take a little homework on your part. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  101. Hi, Mark – I’m a multi-published author and screenwriter with many TV credits, and I just wrapped up a YA paranormal trilogy for HCI Books (Dark Territory, Ghost Crown and Shadow Train), which came out to rave reviews. I’ve also been editor and managing editor for several magazines. My day job is ghostwriting books for other people. After my trilogy was released I sent out about a dozen queries, to no avail. Obviously I’m doing something wrong but haven’t figured out what it is. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Charlene, I absolutely love that you’re the real deal and having success. Not sure why you’re striking out with agents though. If you’ve already used the resources on my site to the best of your ability, and want my help 1-on-1 to figure out how to improve your approach to agents, schedule a call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. I’ll help you make it happen. Any questions let me know. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  102. Hi Mark – I wanted to touch base with you regarding my investment. Things have gotten busy in my chef life (yea!), and I’ve only managed to get to #14 p/o 50 on your questionnaire. Because income is SO much better than outgo, I’ve put you/book on hold until business slows down. I am eager to resume and use your expertise in the pursuit of my writing aspirations, and I just wanted to let you know where things stand. I am assuming there is no expiration on my investment with you. Be well!

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Claudia, it happens more than you think. No rush. The important thing is that you answer the questions thoroughly and then set up a time to speak with me when you can be fully present. That way you’ll get the most out of it. I’m not going anywhere, and I’ll honor your commitment when you’re ready. Warm wishes to you and yours. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  103. vernon slack /

    in starting my autobiography i came to a stalemate i was wondering if you could help me out do i do my autobiography in first person or third person mode

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Vernon, first person. That’s an easy one. ;) Have a great weekend and sorry it took me so long to get back to you! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  104. Hi Mark!!! Hope you two had a wonderful thanksgiving, because I sure did ;-) my question for you is… Is it possible to be completely anonymous when writing a book? And is there a site you know of that I can go to find out more about how to do it?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tina, thank for you for the holiday wishes. About your question, it is possible… but it’s something you would need to discuss with your agent. Until then, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. But it is possible and, in many cases, it’s necessary. I don’t know of any places online that talk about this, but it’s not a big deal. Getting a great agent is what you need to focus on first. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Tina Reply:

    Glad to hear it because I submitted my query to gentleman at the Trident Media Group just this afternoon. I’ll let you know how it goes (or doesn’t) lol!!!

    [Reply]

  105. Mark,
    I feel that I am just as dedicated to getting published as anyone. I went to school to become a writer, and I work tirelessly to complete my current manuscript. However, I see so many people promote themselves through constant blogging. They have many followers and even personal web sites. I admit, I may love writing (and I think I do a good job) but I don’t blog.
    Am I less likely to get an agent because I do not have a blog? I try to be professional but I am such a novice.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Aimee, great comments and question. When it comes to building the best author promotional platform, there is no one best way to go about it. Blogging can be good for some people, but not others. It depends. Check out this article (two parts) and let me know what you think: http://literary-agents.com/author-platform/. I’m happy to help, one way or another. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Aimee Reply:

    That WAS helpful. Thank you. I feel much better about myself. I have one more question. I (for some reason) thought publishing companies had editors, and through your agent you would have access to an editor after finding said agent, I did not realize until recently that this was not true. How am I supposed to get a good editor for my book on a middle to low class income? I simply do not have the money. And even though I think of myself as a great editor, I cant do my own work.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Aimee, glad to hear it… I know it’s a big (and challenging) topic. Regarding editors, yes… publishers do have editors… and they will help… but not as much as they used to. So it’s important that your book already be as good as it can be before you approach agents. If you can’t afford to hire an editor, find a good writers’ group in your area or online. That would be the next best thing. And have a great weekend! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  106. Hello Mark and thank you for your email of today. To be honest I have used a self publishing company and now believe it was a big mistake. As you said in your audio, a lot of new authors are easily sucked in to the promise of fame and glamour, but in reality all I experienced was email after email from the publisher wanting me to pay this and that for additional promotion. I will be contacting you shortly for a one hour chat as both my action/adventure fiction books have already been released.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Stephen, sorry to hear about your disappointment with self-publishing. But it’s never too late to get a traditional publisher. At least you’ve figured it out. Let me know if I can help you in any way. Have a great weekend. And happy holidays! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  107. AJ Nededog /

    Mark,

    I am very excited that I found this website; I have been searching endlessly on the Internet for some guidance to writing my proposal. I have a manuscript going — it’s nearly halfway done, and it’s something I want to propose to publishers. I would love to tell you more about this novel, and hear your professional input on it — you know, what parts that need improvement.

    Best regards,

    AJ Nededog

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi AJ, I’m glad to hear that. If want 1-on-1 help from me you can post questions for me here. Or you can sign up for an introductory coaching call with me here (recommended): http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. That way I can give you feedback on your work. Either way I look forward to helping you get an agent. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  108. are there any sites /forums to present my work ? I need feedback on my writing

    thank you

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Evi, I’m not connected to websites that do that… but it’s a good question and I might write an article about it at some point after doing some research. In the meantime, if you’re able to do so, you should consider signing up for an intro call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Let me know if you find some good websites as well. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  109. what s an international agent ?

    is someone who helps an author from Italy, for example, to enter international market? How does that happen ?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Evi, that depends. Agents in the US that handle rights abroad are called intl agents. But so are agents outside of the US (if you live in the US). Make sense? Also, read this page on my website for an answer to your second question: http://literary-agents.com/international-literary-agents/. Have a great weekend and let me know if I can help you in any other way. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    evi Reply:

    thanks

    [Reply]

  110. Mark,

    I have an incredible story! But….. I’m worried someone could use my proof if I send it to them.
    Dan Brown and other author’s have stories that pertain to certain ancient symbols. Well, I am the guy that can say those symbols belong to me! FYI, I’m a humble dude. In saying that, I’m also the only person on this planet that has the pentagram formation on their astrological chart, down to the second. That is just the tip of the iceberg too. Can we talk about this please?

    Thanx, Pete

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Pete, read this article… it will help: http://literary-agents.com/nondisclosure-agreement-nda/. Then, if you want 1-on-1 help from me you can post another question for me here. Or you can sign up for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Either way I look forward to helping you get your work out there. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  111. Eric Demaree /

    I am writing a Bible handbook with a philosophical centerpiece. I have submitted the philosophical essay to a top journal. They have been reviewing it for 2 months so it is possible they will want to publish the essay. However, if they publish it in their journal they will want the copyright to the essay. Will that be a problem when I publish my book? Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Eric, sorry it’s taken me a while to reply. Long holiday weekend for Thanksgiving and all that. Anyway, to answer your question, if you get the essay published it will only HELP your cause with getting a publisher. It gives credibility. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  112. Mark,

    I would really like to talk to you on the phone. I realize that you don’t want to hear pitches, so I won’t. I just want to know how I can get my thirteen books out. I have many other “Perks” besides the following one…
    A worldwide, Television Program set up a teleconference with me, with famous people from it. They told me, “These books need to get out to the world…’NOW!’”

    Please, could you help me do just that,

    Patricia | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Patricia, I got your email and I’ll give you a call tomorrow. Sorry for the delay, meeting a lot of deadlines this week so I can take some time off next week. But I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. See you soon. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  113. Robin L Swanson /

    Is it okay to submit one manuscript to several agents at the same time? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Robin, there are a lot of variables. So basically, it depends. In general, yes. But when agents say they only accept exclusive submissions, things change a bit. If you provide more info about your unique situation, I might be able to help more. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Robin L Taylor-Swanson Reply:

    Dear Mark,
    Thank you for your quick reply.
    I am a ‘new’ children’s author and being as such very unsure of certain protocols when dealing with literary agents. I remember hearing somewhere that once you submit a manuscript to one agent you have to wait to hear from said agent before submitting the same manuscript to another agent. Yet I saw a writer on your site say after submission he received several offers. Same manuscript, several different agents.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Robin, if you submit to one agent at a time… and many of them take months to respond, or never respond… it would literally take you years or decades to get an agent. Most agents understand that and don’t require exclusivity. Thank goodness. Have a great weekend and let me know if I can help you in any other way. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    Robin L Taylor-Swanson Reply:

    Hi Mark-

    Thank you again for quick response. I will start submitting to several agents at a time. I will also sign up for your services once the holidays are done and I have the money to spare.

    Thanks Again!
    Robin

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Robin, happy to help and looking forward to helping you take everything to the next level in the new year. In the meantime happy holidays and have a great weekend! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  114. Subject:
    your opinion please

    Hello
    i am a french author.
    i wrote an autobiography which has been published in France. The main
    subject is the alcohol addiction.
    A friend of mine (english native) translated my book in english.
    Do i have any chance to find an agent in the USA who could help me
    publishing and selling? What is your opinion?
    thank you very much
    Eric
    http://www.georges-hudine.com | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Eric, great question and I have good news. Yes, as long as you have an English translation, you can absolutely submit your work to literary agents in the United States. Make sure you listen to my complimentary mp3 here that will help you get an agent: http://literary-agents.com. Take advantage of my Literary Agent Directory here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/. And consider signing up for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Warm wishes. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    HEDUIN Reply:

    Thank you Mark
    Eric | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  115. Dave Anderson /

    Thanks Mark, for checking on me and keeping me motivated. Its nice having someone out there who cares, and is willing to share their know age in order to avoid the preverbal stumbling blocks that writers incounter, as you well know. What I need to ask you is, I am, as of now. working with a producer from Californa, with invision productions. He is willing to do all the film work associated with an e-book for a percentage rate. This is my second film offer I have been approched with and I don’t even have my manucript published yet. Should I be persuing an agent at this point, and if so, would I be looking for a literary agent that can take me beyond a book into the film industry? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Dave, I’m just glad to hear the latest and try to help. Your situation is complex and I don’t want to give you advice without all the facts. But based on what you’re saying, and what I already know about your project, yes… you should be trying to get an agent. And yes, an agent can help with film negotiations for you. Great hearing from you, as always. And have a great weekend. Mark

    [Reply]

  116. i would like to ask a question , about people who write in a foreign
    language but still are intersted in entering the us/english language .
    Do you have people to recommend for translation ? In general what
    happens in this case ? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Evi, I don’t recommend people but I can tell you this… if the book has already been published successfully in another country, you might be able to get a translator and/or publisher without paying for it (or paying much). If it hasn’t been published, you’d likely have to find someone and pay them to translate the book before being able to get an agent and/or publisher. If you have any other questions, please post them and I’ll help the best I can. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    evi Reply:

    thank you | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  117. Both my hubby and I want to get agents…. should we look for separate agents or try to find someone who could work with both of us. He has written Confessions of a Butcher- eat steak on a hamburger budget and save$$$. I am more interested in writing for children. We write some projects together and some things separately. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Vickie, great question and the first time I’ve been asked that. The odds of you both getting the same agent are extremely slim. But I’m not immediately thinking of any disadvantages to that scenario. If I do think of something, I’ll come back here and post a follow-up. Have a great Friday and weekend, and hope to see you here again soon. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  118. John Tunstall /

    Hi Mark,
    I enjoyed your audio, particularly your rules for writing a query. I was surprised to hear that a query needs 4 grafs, with the first, or hook, including marketing information. What a revelation, particularly after listening to the supposed “pros” saying anything other than their “standard” is a query killer. Does this also pertain to children’s fiction? My book is a MG animal adventure, and I have some interesting statistics relating to the unique story line.
    Thanks, John | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi John, thank you for that… and I’m glad you found it valuable. Yes, that approach works for every genre. Agents will often reject queries that go too deep into the synopsis. Instead, if you hold back a little bit on that and use that space to “add value” in other areas, you’re able to cover more ground and make a better impression. Mark

    [Reply]

  119. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark,

    Okay, so the thing is that when it comes to writing I’m all about fast paced plots and style, and I realized that I had started overdoing it in my book. So I’ve taken a break from it, and I’m going to try writing short but slow stories in which I’m going to focus more on the character development and descriptive power. I’m going to upload it on Wattpad to see how it goes, but I need help. How do I make it slow, and less happening but not boring? How do I add descriptions?

    Thank you! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul, there are many great books out there that will help you improve your craft as a novelist. Just make sure you also study some of your favorite authors to see how they handle it. Then continue getting feedback on your work. Those three things combined will help you greatly. Have a great Friday and thanks for posting. Good question. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  120. here is my blog address http://flyingmeyrtles.blogspot.com/ | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  121. I just have a journal I thought everybody would be exxited about. Can you count paintinhs for a childrens book as an exclusive query | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    HI Jasmyn, I don’t understand your question. Will you please explain a little more? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  122. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hey Mark,

    I posted this extract on Wattpad and I’m looking for an honest review. Could you please give me one?
    http://www.wattpad.com/29122972-page-1-2-prologue-untitled-ya-project

    Thanks!
    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul, I’m glad you’re getting your work out there and getting feedback from people. I don’t give specific constructive feedback to authors about their writing, however, unless it’s during a consulting call. Otherwise I wouldn’t have time to do the work I do for my clients. That said, I did look at your writing and you’re doing a lot of things well, so I hope you keep marketing your work. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  123. Hi Mark,

    I am rewriting my first book to the series, changing it from third person to first. The one question I have is what format is most popular and acceptable to Literary Agents, Editor’s and Publishers. You have seen my style, however I have taken out all page breaks, section breaks and have placed a small row of ******** in the center where the breaks or page breaks would be. I understand the double spacing but do the margins and fonts need to be a certain setting?

    Thank You

    Karyl | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Karyl, I suggest you check the reference books and Google for questions like this. Font should be Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced for manuscript pages. When it comes to first or third person, it depends what you’re writing. And agents have different preferences. You can go either way most of the time. Start looking more closely at a lot of the published books you’ve read and you’ll see what I mean. Just make sure your tense is consistent! And have a fantastic Friday. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  124. I am and would be author/illustrator of children’s picture books looking to get somewhere, anywhere with my craft. Problem is I’m anti-social, loaner, recluse type and have no interest in as they say ‘playing the game’. Any idea on how to remain in my happy shadows and still attract attention from someone willing to be my face out there in the oh so hatted game? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Logan, thank you for being honest. If it’s any consolation, your’e not the only one. In fact, I feel that way often and need plenty of privacy. More good news. There have been, and will always continue to be, published and/or bestselling authors with no desire to “play the game” socially. You simply have to be a great writer to make it happen. The book is king. Everything else is extra. So keep writing and get those queries out there. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  125. Hello Mark,
    I want to pose a question re proofreading/editing. I recently conducted an experiment with two different proofreaders and two different editors. I sent exactly the same manuscript out but had completely different results when the manuscripts came back. Yes it cost me quite a lot of money but I thought it was worth the investment. I know proofreaders and editors have their own take on things but that said wouldn’t it be more sensible to purchase some expensive editing software? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Stephen, a good experiment and I’m glad you did it because it reveals the biggest challenge when hiring and working with an editor. It’s subjective. Software will never do the trick. You simply need someone who understands your genre, vision, and style… who’s also highly experience and qualified. Maybe there is a directory of them out there, but I haven’t seen it. Thanks for sharing this, it’s good for everyone to see. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  126. Hi Mark. I have a short eBook, about 37 pages, I self published on Amazon. It’s called, “12 Reasons You Need an Accountant for Your Small Business: You and Your Accountant Make a Great Team”. I want to expand it and maybe change the title. I’m an Accountant & Business Coach w/over 16 yrs exp. I’m wondering if it’s a good idea to expand it into a longer book, and if I should send LAs I pitch to a copy of my ebook with the proposal, if one is requested. I need to go trad pub to get more exposure. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi JeFreda, great topic and book idea… although I agree that you would absolutely have to change the title. Instead of send literary agents the ebook, however, you should instead include an expanded and updated table of contents with detailed chapter summaries and a new introduction as well as the first three sample chapters. Consider setting up a call with me to talk it all through: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  127. Hi Mark,
    Per my previous message, can you recommend a quality agent for fiction? There’s a million out there advertising but I am sure not many can actually produce.

    Regards,
    Stephen Cain | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Stephen, check out my Literary Agent Directory here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/. It’s sorted into 116 genres. I recommend you only submit to AAR members to start. Click here to learn more about the AAR and find out why it’s important: http://literary-agents.com/association-of-authors-representatives/. Then let me know what you think. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  128. I have written and published two books this year and those who have read them have given me good positive feed-back. That said I believe unless someone with clout in the publicity business gets involved to promote in the right places good books will fall by the wayside and fade away unnoticed.
    Regards,
    Stephen Cain | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Stephen, too true. Unfortunately that’s what happens to most self-published authors. Hey, did you see my two articles on self-publishing here: http://literary-agents.com/category/self-publishing-book/. Let me know what you think. Then let me know if you’re ready to take the leap and let me help you get a real publisher. I love a good success story. Here are some of mine: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/coaching-testimonials/. Have a great week! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  129. Jerome Mills /

    Thanks Mark, that help very much reading about the Self Publishing Vs Traditional Publishing. I guess I’m going to try & self Publish w/having to pay out of pocket & being a 1st x author. B Wel Mark Thanks Again | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jerome, as long as you understand that unpublished author can get book deals with traditional presses like Random House. Most of the authors I got published when I was an agent were previously unpublished… and most of my sales were to major publishers. Either way, I wish you all the best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  130. Jerome Mills /

    I have two question’s, 1st is Page Publishing & Xlibris a real publishing company (Legit company)? 2nd Would you as an agent deal with either one of them and why or why not? Thank you and I like the humor on the site, puts a smile when needed

    Jerome Mills | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jerome, this article will help you: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/do-you-need-a-literary-agent/. The publishers you mentioned are vanity presses. Literary agents don’t deal with them, only publishers that would pay YOU to publish your work… instead of the other way around. By the way, thanks for the positive words about my website. It’s much appreciated. I hope to keep you entertained for many years to come. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  131. Hi Mark! I’m thinking about writing a historical fiction series following a family or pair of families through American history from birth to present (think Kent Chronicles or Winslow series) and I’m having trouble deciding where to start. From the perspective of an agent, which colony do you think has the best marketability: Roanoke, Jamestown, or Plymouth? They each have pros and cons regarding the historical side, so I’m looking for someone to give me an opinion from the fiction market side. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Troy, I love the fact that you’re thinking about the options like that… makes me believe in you as an author. However, I regret to say that I don’t have a clue which option would be better. That would require a bit of market research. Sometimes there are advantages to going with the more popular option. Other times it’s better to go with the underrepresented option. But, if you can combine the biggest market with a fresh twist, it might be best. Have a great day and thanks for posting. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  132. Mona Mann Beckett /

    Hello, my manuscript Little Mo Daughter of a Schizophrenic is currently an e-book on Amazon.com. I am ready to look for an agent but am confused about which genre. My book deals with my family’s journey from the 1920′s until 2009 when I wrote my story about my Schizophrenic Mother,her years in the Arizona State Hospital, my father’s memiors of turning 21 in a foxhole during WWII’s Battle of the buldge, and growing up in a dysfunctional family in the 1950′s-60′s? Mona Beckett | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Mona, it sounds like it is probably narrative nonfiction since it’s a true story but it might be memoir if you are the main character. Make sense? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  133. Juanita Aydlette /

    Hi Mark.

    I want to enter a writing contest with Writer’s Digest. It’s for a short story, unpublished authors only, no more than 3,000 words. If I do so–and they end up publishing my story, will I have unknowingly signed over my rights to my story? Will I not be able to submit it to agents for publication afterwards? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Juanita, sorry it took me a while to respond. Always read the fine print carefully when it comes to contests. I’m not an expert in this area but I don’t believe you’d have any issues if you entered a short story into a contest and won, and then you later expanded that short story into a novel if that’s what you mean. However, if you enter a full-length novel into a contest, you will likely have more restrictions. Sometimes those awards come with a publishing contract. Make sense? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  134. Martin Blair /

    hi again Mark u ask me to post a question on your blog. as u know by now what I’m seeking from u. what do u want me to do next and please do have a nice day. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Martin, I invited you to this page because this is the main area on my website where you can post questions about how to get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. So post a question or two and I’ll respond here online. There is no charge to post questions. If you want to reach your publishing goals faster and more easily, schedule a 1-hour introductory consulting call. You can speak with me by phone or Skype. Before your call, I will send you a detailed questionnaire and review any/all of the following: your book idea, sample chapters, query letter, synopsis, book proposal, etc. After our call (if we both feel like it’s a good fit) I’ll tell you about my longer-term coaching/consulting programs. Click here to learn more about scheduling an introductory call: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. I also have a great deal of valuable information on my website, starting with the complimentary mp3 that you can get on my homepage here: http://literary-agents.com (make sure you listen to this first if you haven’t already – lots of insider tips). You can also access my Directory of Literary Agents by clicking here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. And have a great weekend. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  135. I actually already have several published crafts/hobbies books; a small publisher approached me with my first book deal, and 4 more later. But since I’ve only worked with this one publisher, I wonder if things could be better – I often feel they aren’t promoting my books enough or my due dates are too short.
    Could getting an agent improve my situation, or at least help me move onto bigger/better publishers? Or perhaps I should be happy that I am still offered book deals yearly. Any thoughts? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Julie, that’s great. Getting an agent could definitely improve your situation, as you said… one way or another. You might consider setting up a time with me here to discuss it: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. The pros and cons of both, based on your current situation… which I’d have to learn more about. Have a great weekend and thanks for posting. Good question, and it’s not one I get often. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  136. okechukwu okugo /

    i have a book on drama of 150 pages and twenty acts with a unique story about a handsome African Prince trying to marry a purported most ugly woman in a hamlet, a peasant – a mere coco yam farmer titled Goliath and the Ant, already published. i need your help sir, Mark Malatesta to marketing the book here in U.S. and i have it in electronic copy.
    sir would you help me? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Okechukwu… sounds like a good story. I have a great deal of valuable information on my website, starting with the complimentary mp3 that you can get on my homepage here: http://literary-agents.com (make sure you listen to this first if you haven’t already – lots of insider tips). You can also post questions here on my website. And I offer an introductory consulting call here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Hope to speak with you more soon. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  137. Hi Mark,
    (Part 2 of question)

    I have also read an Australian book which suggests that it is nigh on impossible
    for an Australian author to obtain an American author. What is your opinion of
    that? My husband’s book is targeted to the American market, complete with
    American spelling and vocabulary.

    I understand if you are very busy and take some time to reply. There is no
    urgency because the last 9 pages of the novel remain unwritten.

    Thanks again for all your helpful input,

    Gai | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Gai, not true when it comes to getting a US agent. Read this: http://literary-agents.com/international-literary-agents/. And then let me know what you think! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  138. H
    I want to first of all thank you for your very thorough 7 part series of
    articles on “Finding a Literary Agent.” I was pretty surprised at the
    various scams in which some agents try to involve unsuspecting clients.

    I made a very short list of the best agents for the genre which my husband’s
    novel is represented by but when I followed your advice to check up on them
    I discovered that 3 out of 4 did not accept unsolicited queries. So at least we
    are saved the trouble of sending queries to them | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Gai, I’m glad you’re getting more savvy about the scams out there. And keep doing your agent research so you can target the right ones… looking for your type of book. That is, you’re husband’s type of book! Have a great weekend and thanks again for being part of my community. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  139. Trudy Mazin /

    Hi,
    My married daughter met her husband 15 years ago, they are 30. This has been a tragedy. Her husband died in May. She is having a baby in the next week. Their 15 year love story started in Middle school and grew to a full out friend to lover story. She is having his baby without him but is a strong, focused, stunning, corp exec woman working from home at this time. I would love someone to contact Nicholas Sparks because this is a novel to be written. NOT BY ME….no way, I can’t write. Sugg?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Trudy. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s story. I’m glad, however, she’s strong and has things going on in her life. Here’s a link where you can find out who Nichloas Sparks’ agent is and make contact: http://literary-agents.com/nicholas-sparks-literary-agent/. However, it’s extremely unlikely that he would even review the idea. But I’m one of those people who says anything’s worth trying. Because you never know. All my best to you both. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  140. Eric Demaree /

    I have written a sociological article titled, “Has Science Finally Discovered God?” Are there any agents who would be willing to negotiate a contract for me with a magazine publisher. My article is currently being reviewed by a philosophical journal, but that process takes almost a year.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Eric. Not unless they’re handling one or more of your books. Any chance you might be able to turn your article idea into a book. On the face of it, it seems like you might be able to. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  141. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hey Mark,

    Is it really necessary to write the plot first? I’ve been writing since years now and I always just start writing and go with the flow. How does having a story-line beforehand help?

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul, let me put it this way… the clearer you can be about the plot before you begin (as a general rule) the less rewriting you’ll have to do. And the better the book will be. It’s an imperfect art but the more you can map out ahead of time, even though many things will change, the more likely you’ll maintain positive control of where your book is going… and the effect it will have on the reader. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  142. Where is the best place to start in order to publish a new and innovative textbook on calculus? Unlike traditional mathematics texts which bog students down by introducing calculus by “theorem and proof” and limits, “The Calculus Toolbox” turns mathematics instruction upside down and instead teaches the students the practical “how to” of calculus. The text contains humor, mirth, and even some sarcasm aimed at stodgy math professors who teach calculus almost incomprehensibly.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi John, this is one of those rare cases when I have to say… I don’t have a clue. My expertise is with publishers producing books for a broader audience. However, based on your unique approach… you might consider researching the market and seeing if you might be able to produce something more accessible and fun that might actually be sold in bookstores. See what else it out there. Let me know what you find. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  143. Rosemary L'Esprit /

    Hello Mark, Just listened to your “Literary Agents: 7 Insider Secrets . . .” I have a finished manuscript of a memoir that I work-shopped extensively with Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver. My question is this: When agents ask for a book proposal along with the query letter, does that usually include memoir? I suppose all agents are different, but I’d like your opinion on this. I appreciate your work and hope to be able to purchase your introductory coaching session
    soon.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rosemary, yes… this has changed over the years. Agents didn’t use to ask for proposals for memoir, but now they do. Most agents will want it. Looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Here’s the link to schedule an introductory call: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  144. Pepe Verdes /

    Searching for international publishers that translate and publish from Spanish langage into English, German, French and Italian.
    Thanks!

    PV

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Pepe, my expertise is helping authors find top literary agents. I don’t have a rolodex of publishers. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  145. Ashish Tripathi /

    Hi!! I look forward to publish a novel internationally with traditional publishing houses e.g Random house
    the problem: i don’t know where to start, how to start, & the way to start
    Waiting for your guidance,
    Ashish
    Mumbai, India

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Ashish, you’ve come to the right place. Start by listening to my complimentary mp3 that you can get access to here on my homepage at http://www.literary-agents.com. Then post another question for me here or sign up for an introductory coaching call that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Either way I look forward to helping you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  146. A legitimate, AAR agent listed on your site, has read my complete manuscript. She has offered to rep my book, but only if I submit it to an editor beforehand. A first rate editor, with 30 plus years of experience will do that for 5k. Problem: he says the ms is strong, but too long at 120,000 words. He’ll cut 5,000. All well and good, except that she had a different view of the work. Not sure how to proceed. And shouldn’t this come after a publisher is involved?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Dan. That’s fantastic. Sounds like the agent is legit and doesn’t care which editor you work with. If that’s the case, ask the agent for names of editors that he/she recommends so you can increase the odds that your prospective agent ends up happy with the final product. You should also include your agent (to some degree) in the process of choosing the right person and editing. This would be very limited to not annoy the agent, but again… to make sure you give them what they want in the end. Can’t explain all of it here but it might be worthwhile for you to set up an introductory call with me here to talk about it: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Also, if you got this far, there’s a chance you can get another agent (maybe a better one) that wouldn’t require you to spend $5K (and a lot of time) to rewrite the book. Either way, congratulations. Hearing these stories is what keeps me going. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  147. Thanks Mark for your help. Question if I decide to leave my self publisher now the book is on sale the reason being they take 75 % of the sales and because their distributions only have a limited out let. If I find a Agent that wants my manuscript and only charge me around 20 %, what happens to the revenue from the sales from there onwards with moneys received from my book with my late self publisher.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Brian, most authors in your situation get a “release” from their self-publisher before seeking an agent or after they secure an agent and/or publisher. Usually not difficult to do. Any residual money that comes in from the self-publisher in this case would go completely to you. Mark

    [Reply]

  148. So I’ve come across a dilemma. I just recently decided to change the plot of my book, and I want one main character to be male (Ryen) and one to be female (Unnamed.) I really want the book to be told from the female’s point of view, but I really need to tell Ryen’s backstory from his point of view. I had previously put it in a prologue, but if I used first-person, it would confuse readers for the rest of the book. I want to use first-person present with the female because it makes everything more real and dramatic. Would it be okay to use third-person past with Ryen in the prologue and then write the rest of the book in first-person present?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Melody, I would try to weave in Ryen’s backstory another way… a bit later in the book… since, as you already know, there’s a good chance the prologue could confuse the reader (including agents). Wish I could be more specific but it’s difficult to do so via blog comments. ;) But hopefully this helps in some way. Mark

    [Reply]

  149. Regina Buckley /

    Hello Mark,

    I read your interview with (PTA); it was fascinating by the way. However, you mentioned eBooks (Kindles). My question: How do you think eBooks are effecting the marketing of Children Picture Books? I guess what I am trying to ask are eBooks becoming a problem for Children Book Authors?

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Regina, glad you liked the interview. About your question, I don’t have an answer specific to children’s books… but I do have an answer for books and ebooks in general. It’s a post I wrote about 1-1/2 years ago. It hasn’t been on my site for a long time because I moved my site and pulled some things offline. But I have it up again now here just for you: http://literary-agents.com/are-ebooks-killing-publishing/. I’ll probably run this in my newsletter again in a week or two. ;) Let me know what you think, and have a great weekend! Mark

    [Reply]

  150. My fourth major book, Diplomarine, is an irreverent romp through the secret worlds of foreign affairs in the raw as I lived them for 10 years as a Marine intelligence Sergeant and 20 as a career diplomat – 19 countries, 5 war zones, Phoenix assassinations, the Cuba embargo, Gulf oil, trying in secret to clean up Ollie North’s Iran-Contra mess. Endorsed by Sen. Harry Reid, It’s ready for self-publication next month via Amazon. But I’d rather go with a major publisher. How can I do that quickly?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Dr. Brown, if you’re a good writer and you’re fully committed to the process I can help you get a top agent within 30 days. Listen to my complimentary mp3 that I talk about here on my homepage: http://literary-agents.com. Then click here to sign up for an intro call with me: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark

    [Reply]

  151. Hugh Hardy /

    I have a manuscript that I would like to get published. I have allowed different people read it, pointed out any mistakes and think it is good. It is a “ripped from the headlines” story. Who and how can I as a new author get it published? It needs to be read in full length and not just a few pages in order to fully enjoy it. I am trying to get it out to mass appeal. I am an African-American author and though I want to be “James Pattersonish” I want to be the first Hugh Hardy.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Hugh. Start by listening to my complimentary mp3 that I talk about here on my homepage if you haven’t already: http://literary-agents.com. Then check out this page to see the different ways you can get help from me 1-on-1: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/. Of course I also have a ton of articles on my website as well. Take some time to poke around and have a great weekend! Mark

    [Reply]

  152. Mark you asked me for the name of my publisher it is XLIBRIS.
    Question,
    Please would you tell me if this Xlibris is a scan.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Brian, as far as I know Xlibris isn’t a scam exactly. But I don’t know of anyone who’s used a company like that who’s made their money back in book sales. These types of companies simply get your book online, but then what? They’ll promise to do lots of things to help you sell books (and charge you for it), but it always costs more that what you get in return. That’s why I’m such an advocate for traditional publishing. Mark

    [Reply]

  153. Mark,I would like your recommendations as to any author that self publishes their books, what is the best way for the distribution outlets. The publisher I am using has very limited out lets for the money I have paid for my package, however they now have advised me to invest more. This additional fee is for their lager distributions, even though they are taking 75% off the sales from the book.
    Regards Brian | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Brian, this sounds like a bad situation with an unethical publisher. It’s a common “bait-and-switch” tactic that many vanity presses use with constant “up-sells” to their customers that don’t result in sales. Tell me the name of the publisher and I’ll be able to give you additional feedback. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  154. Santiago Lopez /

    Is it true that foreign authors are discouraged from publishing in America due to a 30% withholding tax the US government deducts from their royalties? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Santiago, I’ve never heard this but I can say this. If a foreign author gets his/her book published in the US, a 30% withholding tax would be nothing compared to the benefits it would bring the author. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  155. Toni D Flacco /

    Hi Mark,
    I wanted to ask you about writing for young children. I love to rhyme words and I have written several short rhyming stories that I feel would make great short stories with illustrations. I would like someone to read them and just let me know what chance someone can guide me to getting them published.
    I know the publishing market has changed more now with people publishing their own books and also getting them on line with e-books. What do you suggest? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Toni, that’s the kind of thing I do during an introductory coaching call that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Of course you can find someone else to help you as well. Just make sure the person is highly qualified, and has specific knowledge about your genre. Otherwise the “help” you get can do you more harm than good. When it comes to self-publishing and eBooks, read these two articles that I wrote: http://literary-agents.com/category/self-publishing-book/. Then let me know what you think. Thanks for posting and have a great weekend. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  156. I am a Creative Writing major at a Washington State University. I am toying with going for my MFA but not sure what all my options are.
    I have 15 years as a successful outside sales person and wonder how I may combine that with my passion for writing.
    I am not sure what the workings of a successful agency or agent may entail.
    What kinds of positions do they hire for. I am assuming they have a team, other than secretaries to help them. Is there a need for hard working salespeople types?
    Tica | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tica, fantastic question. Now, I’m not the type of person to put limits on anything or anyone… but it would be very difficult for you to get a good paying position at a literary agency right now with your current background, unless it was going to be low level (intern-like position). Although you’re probably an excellent sales person, you’ll have to learn all the ins and outs of agenting to be effective. Agents really just need administrative help and book editing/development help. Once you’ve done that for a while, you’d be ready to start making sales… but not until working in the environment first and figuring out how everything works. Check out this article to see some of the subtleties: http://literary-agents.com/how-to-become-a-literary-agent/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  157. Hello again Mark
    I have paid a publisher for my book it has now been copy edited and it is nearly ready for printing.
    I had a very long phone call this week about my story the rep said near the end of the call his company believes the story is brilliant but it needs a lot better copy editing than the price I have paid. All though his company out lets for the finished book are very limited if I pay the extra money his company could send it to over 500000 out lets. Should I pay the extra. Brian | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Brian, busy week so sorry it took a while for me to reply. What is the name of the publisher? This sounds like a scam. Or, at the very least, an investment that might not be worthwhile for you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  158. Santiago Lopez /

    Hi Mark,

    Does sending manuscripts at random to unknown literary agents, or publishing houses, invite plagiarism? How can this risk be minimzed or avoided?

    Santiago Lopez | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Santiago, the book business isn’t nearly as bad as the film industry. You should always copyright your work, but it’s rare that authors have issues like those you described. Have a great weekend and thanks for posting. Good question. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  159. Gwenne Gorman /

    Mark,
    Do you know of any places a writer can go to so they can have some peace and quiet to write on their book? Do you know of any writer’s retreats? Or a place where there is daily structure to write with groups of people? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Gwenne, nothing specific but… one of the best secrets on the web is a site called Shaw Guides. They have a lot of information about writers’ conferences and retreats of all types. Here’s a link: http://writing.shawguides.com/. Let me know if you find something, and have a great weekend! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  160. Babette Levin /

    Regarding memoir queries, do most agents require a book proposal along with a query letter, or do they prefer just a query letter first? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Babette, most agents didn’t use to require a proposal for memoirs, but most now want a proposal at some point. Some will ask for it up front with the query. Others will read the query first and then request it. The only way to know for sure is to access each agents website. My Directory of Literary Agents has links to all their websites here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/. And have a great weekend! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  161. Hi Mark,
    Do you have any information on Library Tales Publishing Group? I have not been able to find out anything online. Thanks for your help.

    Best regards,
    Ed Schroeder | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Ed, check out the faq section of their website. Doesn’t appear as though they charge their authors any fees, if that’s what you want to know. So I don’t think they’re a vanity press. Let me know if you find out anything more. And have a great day. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  162. Jane Jago /

    Hi Mark,

    I’m carefully compiling a list of agents for a multiple mail out with my revamped submission materials.
    One agency has two agents that I see as good targets. Usually this would require choosing between the two….These agents are with an international group and one is in UK with the other in the US. Can I query both without committing a Faux pas? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jane! You’re instincts are right. Only submit to one at a time. Then wait 6 weeks and submit to the other one if you haven’t hear back (or sooner if you get a rejection from your number one). And good luck! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  163. Should I invest in a web site before my book is published? How exactly would I capitalize on it? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lynn, this 2-part article about Author Platform will help: http://literary-agents.com/author-platform/. But having a website before seeking an agent and/or publisher is almost always a good idea. But it depends a bit on the type of book you’re writing and your goals as an author. I guess what I’m saying is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to building an author platform. Let me know what you think after you read this article and post again. Happy to help. Mark

    [Reply]

  164. What do you think of e-publishing? Some say it’s the wave of the future, while others tell me you can’t charge enough for your work to make it pay.

    Looking forward to your insights! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lynn, great question and it’s one that a lot of authors are thinking about. Check out these two articles to get my take on it: http://literary-agents.com/self-publish-a-book/ and http://literary-agents.com/should-i-self-publish-my-book/. Then let me know what you think. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  165. amanda waite /

    im wanting to get book published can someone help me | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Amanda, I sent you everything you need by email. You can post questions for me here (no charge). Or you can sign up for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Just make sure you ALSO listen to the fr*ee mp3 available here on my home page: http://literary-agents.com/. Then let me know how I can help you. Looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  166. How long does it generally take to find a good literary agent? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Good news. Four of my clients have gotten positive responses from agents, asking for more material, less than five minutes after sending out an email query. Another one of my clients got a top agent AND book deal with Random House in approximately 30 days. But that is EXTREMELY unusual. Most likely it would take someone 30-90 days to get an agent if they make it a priority. Agents need time to request more material from you, read it, send you a contract, etc. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  167. Would you limit yourself if you published a book on create space and later looked for a publisher for future books from same author? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Almost always. Again, unless you sell many thousands of books as a self-published author… agents and publishers will get the impression that you’re not able to help them sell books. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hey Jendayi, one more thing… in the future please just post each question separately. You can see that I separated the questions into separate posts here for you. Thanks and see you again soon I hope. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  168. If you wanted to have a long term writing career and create book in the least amount of time for distribution, what is the best way to go about publishing a book with the desire to get it picked up form a big publisher eventually? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jendayi, I don’t recommend that approach because unless you sell many thousands of copies… it’s going to be a negative with agents and publishers. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  169. Dawson Carter /

    Hi Mark, so what can be done when the time comes when I can sign up for an introductory consulting call, and how long will it be afterwords for you and I to get to work on my first publication? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Dawson, not sure what you mean. All the info about how my introductory calls work is listed here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. If we both feel it’s a good fit for us to work more together after that, we’ll talk about it after the call and figure out the best way to move forward. Looking forward to it. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  170. I need help in marketing but would love an agent. Rosie is 13 and the book is a historical fiction of California and the Spanish Trail | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Dianna, I’m responding to questions and comments on my blog today so I thought I’d say hello… even though I just sent you a private email. Have a good night and hope to talk with you more soon. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  171. Michael /

    How do I get a legitimate booking agent? My book is copyrighted and I need it marketed to acquire a book deal with cost from my pockets | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Michael, you mean book agent right? Click here to read a fr*ee 17-part article series on how to get an agent: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/. Click here to learn more about literary agents: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/. And click here to get a valuable mp3 as well: http://literary-agents. Then let me know what you think. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  172. Do I finish my book before I get a top agent? Or should I get one first | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tina. I’ll answer this in a generic way for everyone’s benefit. It depends on the genre. Fiction must be completed to get an agent. Same thing goes for memoir, most of the time. If you’re writing nonfiction, however, it’s often possible to get an agent and have them sell the book for you before it’s complete. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  173. Okay, so I’ve got a huge problem. I started writing a book about my life and its gotten pretty in depth. I was a abused as a child and when I was out of the situation, I basically found no insight on what I was to expect in life. My husband believes I should write this book to help other people get an idea of what to expect…but he wants me to remain anonymous. I’d like that too, but I think I’d be able to give help to these people. Maybe have a site they can go to. How can I do it anonymously? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tina, I want to applaud you for turning your painful past into power… by writing your book. However, I understand your dilemma. You’ve essentially answered your own question. You have to choose between staying anonymous and potentially reaching fewer people, or putting yourself out there even more… and making more of a difference. The most important thing, in my mind, would be to try and get a top agent first… then you can decide which way to go. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Tina Reply:

    Okay, thanks Mark. Your site is awesome. It’s been a major help. Now I’m going to go and find out what you mean by top agent. Thanks for the silent handclap ;-) have a great weekend. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Thank you Tina, I love what I do so your words are much appreciated. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  174. iyimide. O /

    Dear Mark
    I have a few questions, please enlighten me.

    1. What is the minimum word count for a fiction novel.
    2. I have a suspense book that is about 45,000 words, do you think it has enough words to get published.
    3. I live in Africa, considering the distance; do you think agents/publishers will be interested in my work?
    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Thank you. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hello Iyimide,
    1. Depends on the genre but 60,000 words is a good number.
    2. 90,000 is a better number for this genre.
    3. This won’t be a problem as long as you’re a good storyteller (that’s what matters most).
    Have a great day and good luck!
    Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  175. S. L. Scott /

    Dear Mr. Malatesta,

    During last twelve years, I have written a series of eleven sci-fi novels. The first novel has about 125,930 words. All novels in the series are almost finished. I say “almost” because although I have “edited” the first novels more than fifty times, I have not paid for professional editor to read them. Can you comment on how to select an editor, what to expect from a good editor, and a minimum reasonable cost per page? Thank you. Sandra | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Sandra, good question… need to write an article about this at some point. Price varies wildly depending on the type of editing as well as the background of the editor. The most important consideration in my mind would be finding someone who’s very qualified, not just as an editor but in your genre… and great testimonials by authors published with traditional houses. You’ll pay more, but anything less probably isn’t worth much. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  176. Mark,
    Gavan’s question made me wonder… do agents send out feelers to publishers before accepting a manuscript from a writer? Or do they accept the manuscript with the hopes that they will find a publisher for it? In which case… what if they can’t make a deal?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Joy, it’s VERY rare. Only the best agents do this because they have the best relationships with editors/publishers. And most agents don’t need to do this… because they already know (from experience) what the odds are that they’ll be able to sell a project. If they aren’t very confident about it, they don’t take it on. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  177. Gaven Busker /

    Hello!

    So when I first heard back from an agent at a respected NY agency she requested the rest of my manuscript, but told me very clearly that she never officially represented a novel until it had been written three times. She gave me great advice on the first draft I sent her, providing excellent line editing and assistance with plot and character. The book got better. She worked with me on the second draft and we went even deeper, sometimes working together in person. She even told me it might take years to get the draft just right. She even told me she had spoken to publishers about the concept and they had asked to be kept informed about the development of my book over the months and possibly years to come. About a year and a half later I resubmitted what I hoped was a pristine (or close to pristine) draft, but now it’s been 6th months and she still hasn’t read it. I know this business takes time, but should I be seeking representation elsewhere, or is this wait time normal? I know I’m not required to stick with her, but I feel bad looking elsewhere because she put so much work into it with me. Thoughts? I don’t like feeling like I’m waiting for just one possibility to work out, especially with the weeks flying by. But as I said, we HAVE put a good chunk of work into this manuscript together, so this long wait seems odd. I just feel like if you’re really interested, and you’ve got publishers interested, wouldn’t you want to push that particular manuscript closer to the top of the pile? Maybe I’m wrong. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Gaven, I feel for you and yes… 6 months is a long time. You should call the agent’s office at this point. Think of it as you making a “courtesy call” to check in and see if they’re still interested before shopping the book to other agents. You should send an email as well at the same time. Let me know how it goes. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  178. I received a request for the first three chapters of my story within two days of my query. I forwarded the chapters immediately. It’s been two weeks and I’ve not received anything. I’m trying to be patient, but don’t know how to read this. The first request came so fast that I figured they’d either love or reject my writing immediately. Should I be optimistic that they’re mulling over it so long or should I take this as an indication that I should continue querying other agents? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    P.S. I got the response after revising my query using advice from your mp3 download. Thanks! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Now THAT made my day. Send me a private message here and tell me a little more: http://literary-agents.com/contact/. I might have a little surprise for you that you might like. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Joy, congratulations. That’s great. About your question, always be optimistic until given a concrete reason not to. Two weeks doesn’t fall under that category. It takes time. Send a polite follow-up email in another week or two if you haven’t heard back. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Amk Reply:

    Hi Joy, What category does your book fall into? just asking. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    It’s a YA novel. | Ask a Literary Agent

    Joy Reply:

    What have you written? | Ask a Literary Agent

    Amk Reply:

    What have I written? well its fantasy, Young Adults or Children I cant say that yet..
    Its about a boy whose normal school life is changed when they become the prime suspect for their principal’s murderer…
    but thats just the beginning, he has to defeat the dark king Hegamont whose powers are beyond imagination? but can he? after all, the dark king is none other than his own father!! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Amk Reply:

    *they and their= he and his 4-5 other friends | Ask a Literary Agent

    Joy Reply:

    Wow, sounds interesting. Mine is about a girl with extra sensory perception (ESP) who discovers her past. She is a product of a government agency that was created to develop psychic abilities in children. I write about the recently declassified defunct STARGATE program in which the CIA and Army used (self-reported) psychics in intelligent operations. This program produced unreliable results and was met with much criticism. | Ask a Literary Agent

    Joy Reply:

    In 1982, utilizing the critical age theory (which states that there is an age, beyond which, children find it difficult if not impossible to learn certain skills, including language) the intelligence community decides to develop the psychic skills of children. My protagonist was a product of this program. In the mid 1990s, major defense budget cuts forced the closure of the program and my protagonist was given a new identity and placed in foster care. | Ask a Literary Agent

    Joy Reply:

    She grows up as an outsider with skills she doesn’t understand. She has no memory of her beginnings.

    It’s really hard to summarize a book in 500 characters. | Ask a Literary Agent

    Amk Reply:

    That’s some genuine stuff you got there, Joy…

    By the way, I am 15 years old so my writing is not that great but some of my friends really like it while on the other hand some criticize it….well, I have re-written this book again and again, I think this is my 4th time but as english is my second language, perfection is still way ahead of me… | Ask a Literary Agent

    Joy Reply:

    That’s so admirable! Don’t make excuses for yourself. I’m sure your writing is very good. You’re so young, you’re certain to have a long writing career ahead of you. From your plot summary, your book would probably fall into the middle-grade (MG) category. (MG books are the gateway to a love of reading.) Having re-written and polished your story you’re obviously dedicated. I’m confident you’ll be a published writer! And a non-native English speaker…WOW! Keep up the hard work! Good luck!

    Amk Reply:

    Thank you very much for the advice and the motivation…
    Good Luck to you as well…

  179. Dear Mark, I was wondering if its possible to re-send our manuscript to the agents who have already rejected us? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    I’ve noticed this addressed in some agent’s submissions guidelines, they’ll either say: “Please do not re-submit a work that we’ve previously declined.” OR “If you choose to re-submit a work that you’ve made revisions on, please indicate such in your query.” I suppose it differs from agent to agent. Mark, is there a general rule for those agents who have not addressed this in their guidelines? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Joy, good comment. Most agents don’t mind if you resubmit… but it’s best if you indicate it if a lot of time hasn’t passed. It’s also best if you made significant changes. Otherwise there isn’t much point in doing it. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Amk, absolutely. If not a lot of time has passed, it’s best to mention that you’ve improved the work significantly and you’re resubmitting it. You can also submit to a different agent at the same literary agency. Most of them don’t mind that, either. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Amk Reply:

    Thanks a lot Mark and Joy…this helped me a lot. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  180. Is digital publishing considered self-publishing? Also, do you need a literary agent (or an undercover one) to digitally publish? What are the benefits, risks? I know that’s more than one question, but, hey, I’m an author. Once I get started typing I can’t stop. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    You can publish digitally and be represented by an agent. My sister is a successful self-publisher and 99% digital – hard copies of her books can be purchased through a print-on-demand vanity press (I purchased her books in print for posterity). Self publishing is difficult because you have to self-promote. I’ve decided to go the other route. I work two jobs and don’t have the time to promote my book. Benefits/risks: don’t share profits vs. hard work to sell and promote your own book. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Amen, sister. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Anne Marie, it depends. Self-published authors can publish their books electronically but legitimate publishers do the same thing. Click here to read two articles I’ve written about self-publishing: http://literary-agents.com/category/self-publishing-book/. Then click here to get started learning about literary agents: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/. You should also get my mp3 here: http://literary-agents. Then let me know what you think! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  181. Jeanann Rader /

    Hi Mark,

    Sorry….was unable to find this site the other night. Some things were reorganized on my email server, and I lost usual source information.

    Sincerely,
    Jeanann | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jeanann, no problem… just post questions for me here in the future unless coaching related. Saw Patterson seak once. First thing he did was pull out a picture of his family and talk about them, to establish the fact that he’s not a psycho. People can get nervous around him because of the nature of his books. I thought it was a smart strategy to put some of the audience at ease. Enjoy Mistress and don’t be a stranger! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  182. John M. Dennis /

    I have a rich, multilayered, fun and thought provoking story inside of me waiting to come out. The first part (book) is completed and the second is on its way. What I don’t have is a budget (we are paycheck to paycheck). How can I find help to improve the story without spending money?

    These books are intended to supplement our income.

    Thanks in advance for your help. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi John, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you can post questions here on my blog, no charge. The bad news is that I’m limited in the amount of things I can help you with on my blog. And I can’t go as deep with you as I could during an introductory consulting call that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Also, you should look at your books as a business if you want them to make money. And every business requires some investment to get established and become profitable. This is a common mistake that many authors make. You should go through all the fr*ee content on my website (and others), but at some point, if you’re going to get serious about getting a top literary agent and publisher, you’ll benefit greatly from 1-on-1 feedback… from someone who’s taken the time to get to know you, your work, and your goals. Make sure you listen to the fr*ee mp3 available on my homepage as well if you haven’t yet: http://literary-agents. A lot of valuable information there as well. All my best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    Look into whether your community has a writers group (or check with your local college). They are great resources. They give you an opportunity to share portions of your work and critique others writing. It’s helpful to have those others sets of ears. While less personal/intimate, there are online writers groups where you can post portions of your story. You are required to write critiques to earn opportunities to post — that way everyone’s works get critiqued. Good luck! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Great suggestion, you can almost always do this with little or no investment as well. However, you need to be careful to find a GOOD writers’ group. Critical but constructive and kind. And also knowledgeable. Not just about craft but also about what it really takes to get published. Also important that the people you trust know the “rules” of your genre. A lot of people act like they know what they’re talking about, when they don’t have a clue. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    Joy Reply:

    Very true a GOOD group is key. The group I belonged to had to modify its bylaws to limit submissions to only published writers and those seeking to publication. We had a member who enjoyed reading long-winded diary entries to the group. Although I enjoyed being a member of the writers group, it’s not nearly as helpful as having a mentor. We were limited to around 10 pages at each meeting and met once a month. It was nearly impossible to have a whole manuscript reviewed. | Ask a Literary Agent

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Exactly, many writers have gotten sucked into writers’ groups that aren’t so great… then find themselves getting less done than they would have alone. The head of the group is the one that has to be on point, setting the right rules and expectations. Otherwise you can find yourself drowning in a sea of drama and chaos. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  183. Mark,
    i published several books with different topics. 3 books deal with contatcts I had with spirit celebrities whose messages I got through by automatic writing. For instance, Frank Sinatra, Princess Diane, One book is presented in form of a science fiction.It deals with the invasion of this planet by extraterrestrials 6000 years ago. I also have a 6 part slideshow ready for pre-production of the extinction of the dinosaurs, the mega fauna etc. Are there agents specialising in these fields? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rich, although I can’t guide you to agents specifically interested in those types of books… you might find my only literary agent directory very valuable. You can get complimentary access here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/. After you enter the directory you’ll see that I have all literary agents sorted by 116 genres. So that will be a good start. Let me know how it goes, and thanks for posting on my blog. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  184. Jane Jago /

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for previous.
    My query is devoid of market comparisons that you outline and focuses on pitching’story/dilemma. I’m not bad at honing supporting docs but feel clueless as to just how to position a psychological thriller about the rehabilitation of two juveniles guilty of murdering another child.
    Existing query results in requests, the writing is praised, some have seriously considered but then passed.
    What would we focus on in a one hour consult that could turn this around? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jane, you might be able to tweak something in the first 50 pages or your synopsis that might make a difference. Those are things I always look at. I also have a checklist of 125 elements that can be used to create an irresistible query. Not all of them are right for every author. What I do is help authors use as many as possible. Part of the process is pulling valuable information out of the author. The other part is coming up with ideas of my own that the author wouldn’t think of. Improve your query results and you’ll improve your chances of securing representation. If you’re getting some positive responses from agents, it makes me more hopeful that I could help you. It’s easier to take someone from good to great. Thanks for posting and have a great weekend. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Jane Jago Reply:

    Thanks Mark.
    I’m very keen to learn anything I can about tailoring my approach to agents, and targeting the right agents, in such a way that the commercial potential of a novel that deals with disturbing themes can be packaged – so to speak .
    I am intending to book a consult and see what we can come up with. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jane, I’m looking forward to it. It’s fun positioning more challenging books. There might be as many agents interested in books that are very unique but there are some, you only need ONE agent for it to happen, and unique books have greater potential to make it big once they’re out there. Have a great weekend and hope to speak with you soon. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  185. Luke Williamson /

    Hi Mark,

    Do publishers have ethical codes about what content they will publish? Do any of them have a set of rules that says they will not publish a books if, say, the violence or other offensive content in it crosses a certain line? How does one find out those codes? As a writer, I would be more comfortable associating myself with a publisher if they DID have some such code. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Luke, it depends on the publisher. I wouldn’t say that there are written rules as much as unwritten guidelines and expectations, based on the backlist of titles that have already been published by a house. That’s the best way to see what a publisher is comfortable with. Great question, by the way. Thanks for posting and have a fantastic weekend. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  186. victoria /

    how can i get a list of literary agencies for free? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Victoria, this is one of my favorite questions because I have a wonderful answer. Click here for the best literary agent directory on the planet: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/. Then let me know what you think. Thank you for posting and have a great weekend. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  187. HI Mark:

    How can a writer who’s got a memoir manuscript that’s been edited, but still needs some strengthening in the middle benefit from your services?

    I’ll check back to read your answer.

    Thanks! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lynette, my recommendation would be to set up an introductory call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. We can talk about your concerns and see if they’re valid… and discuss your query, synopsis, proposal, etc. I do a lot of developmental work with nonfiction authors, sometimes with fiction and/or memoir writers. But we’d need to see first if we’re a good fit. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  188. Jane Jago /

    Hi Mark,
    While reseraching agents I found your site and listened to your recording.
    Incredibly informative and a bit of a shock.
    I’m an Australian writer and have been querying UK Agents with a psychological thriller and had requests for chapters and for the full ms. More than one agent has enthused but ultimately passed.
    My query is very different from the one you recommend and would explain why I havent had responses from queries to US agents. Are conventions for the query different in the UK? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jane, thank you for the kind words… glad you got a lot out of the mp3. Regarding your question, a good pitch is a good pitch. Based on my experience with authors (in the UK and the US) pitching agents in the UK, the same principles apply. You might want to consider scheduling an introductory consulting call with me to discuss your query. Learn more at http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. You can also post more questions for me here. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  189. Ed S, /

    Hi Mark,
    In your opinion what is the best guide out there for literary agents and book publishers. There seems to be quite a few. Thanks again for your help. Take care, Ed | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Ed, for literary agent searches, I recommend you use my online directory that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/. If you go to that page and scroll all the way down, you’ll see that I also discuss the pros and cons of all the other popular directories (in print and online). When it comes to publishers, there aren’t as many resources… but you’ll see mention of those as well. Good luck! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  190. My query begins:
    I am seeking representation for my first novel, FINDING HOPE. My book features a young protagonist with unusual mental abilities. It is set in the real world and features scientific theories, historical events and government agencies giving a sense of realism to the story. The main character discovers the top secret roots to her abilities as she struggles with the everyday challenges of being different.
    No responses. Where am I going wrong? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Joy, I’m sorry to say that one of the few things I don’t do here on my blog is evaluate queries. Otherwise I’d be doing it full time. ;) However, you’d be a perfect candidate to set up an introductory consulting call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. I’d be happy to give you feedback and help you improve your query that way. Feel fr*ee to post more questions on my blog, however, as well. All my best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  191. Serenity Davis /

    Dear Mark,

    The main character of my story is an nine year old boy, but the themes and undertones of what goes on in the book aren’t suitable for middle grade and children’s book, but it isn’t necessarily gory or adult enough to be considered an adult novel, considering the things they put in most YA categories these days. I know YA books are targeted for teens, and the character should be as such, but does that always apply? May I have an eight year old in a YA book? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Serenity, what’s the word count of the book? That will help me figure this out with you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Serenity Davis Reply:

    It’s exactly 63, 378 words. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Serenity, I can’t be sure without looking at your work. But based on what you’ve told me… your book might be closer to an adult novel. Young adult books usually have a protagonist or main character that’s 15-18 years old. That’s because teens/tweens are looking forward. They want to read about someone older than them. Make sense? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  192. Mark,

    I have a book entitled “Have Belly Will Travel” an autobiography with 732 pages and photos with celebrities like, Bob Hope, Elvis Presley, William Shatner from Star Trek series, etc.

    I’m also a screenwriter.

    How can I get an agent? Or an agent’s list?

    Tanya | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tanya, great title. My entire site is devoted to helping auhtors get top literary agents. The fastest/easiest way to go about it, however, is to start by listening to my complimentary mp3 that you can get here: http://literary-agents.com. Then set up an introductory consulting call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Of course you already know that you can post additional questions for me here on my blog as well. Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  193. Lawrence Martin /

    Dear Mark,

    As requested, I am re-posting my question concerning a humorous autobiography I have recently finished and entitled “You Sell What?, The bumbling trials of an international sperm merchant.”

    How does one pick the best agents/author matches among the 524 agents listed under the “autobiography” category in your search engine? Should I browse 524 individual author bios or is there a more efficient elimination process? Thanks for any advice and or tips. Lawrence Martin | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lawrence, the best way to reduce that number is to make note of the agents that are AAR members. Less than 1/3 are. Check out this guide on my site that will tell you all about the AAR: http://literary-agents.com/association-of-authors-representatives/. Also, I created personalized agent lists for my 1-on-1 coaching clients. You might want to consider scheduling an intro call with me here to discuss your situation: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Forgot to tell you that you can see if an agent is an AAR member by looking underneath the name of their literary agency in their listing in my agent directory: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/ (I’m posting the link for others who might be reading). If the agent is a member it will say “AAR member.” Have a great weekend and check out the post I’m sending out later this morning… a video interview of top agents discussing the latest trends. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  194. Agents have rules about how to query them. One of the common rules is to paste 5, or 10, or 50 pages from your manuscript at the end of your manuscript. I’ve tried to do that but the formatting gets lost and it becomes almost unreadable – the alternative is to retype the whole thing.

    Instead, I created a website for the book – http://www.anamericanfamine.com – where the first chapter, and other good stuff about the book could be easily read. But agents won’t go there – why?? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Kurt, I understand your perspective and I appreciate your creativity. The problem is that agents can hardly find time to read the queries that come in to their email box. So they want queries and writing samples there that they can read quickly and easily. Some agents get more than 1,500 queries a month. They don’t have time to go to websites and click around to different pages… UNLESS you wow them with a great query and writing sample. Then they’ll check out your site. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    kurt dahl Reply:

    I understand about the time constraints – except, it takes *less* time to click on a website than to scroll down the email to the pasted (and usually poorly formatted first ten, or fifty). There just seems to be an unwritten rule that they blindly ( bureaucratically ) enforce. If I was an agent, I’d prefer, and be somewhat impressed by the effort, to go to an author’s website.

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Also, make sure you check out the post I’m sending out later this morning… a video interview of top agents discussing the latest trends. Have a great weekend. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Joy Reply:

    Another option is to cut and paste your sample chapters from a text format (save a copy of your manuscript in .txt). That will remove the formatting that is getting jumbled through e-mail. Also, send the sample chapters to yourself or to someone who uses a different e-mail server to see how the formatting is coming through. I’m sure agents are aware of this problem. I would hope they don’t hold the formatting against the author. Just to be safe make it as clean and readable as you can. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Joy, great tips. This is something I suggest to my 1-on-1 coaching clients. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  195. Claire /

    I noticed that a lot of black authors get their books placed in the AA section, even if they don’t write about black characters. I’m black and I want to get my book published, but what happens when my agent finds out I’m black? Is it acceptable to tell them that I don’t want my book sales limited to the AA section because the main character of my book isn’t black? Or would they not care and place me there anyway? And what about “white washing” my book? How much of a say in my book do I have? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Claire, great questions… and they make me trust you as a writer. I can tell that your writing isn’t primarily about ethnicity and culture and pushing propaganda. So you have nothing to worry about. Don’t reveal your race when you pitch your work. It’s nobody’s business and it’s not relevant. Also, you have a lot of say when it comes to making changes with your work. So don’t worry too much about that. Thanks for posting. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Also, make sure you check out the post I’m sending out later this morning… a video interview of top agents discussing the latest trends. Have a great weekend. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  196. I want to know how to get my foot in the door with and agent? Do I need
    a literacy agent or what is the best way to get in with publishers with out have
    to pay money to many of theses companies? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Marty, click here for my answer: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/do-you-need-a-literary-agent/. Then visit my homepage and get my complimentary mp3: http://literary-agents.com. It contains a lot of valuable information and will help you take your next steps. Have a great weekend and make sure you check out the post I’m sending out later this morning. It’s a video interview of several top agents discussing the latest trends in the industry. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  197. Mark: I am not an author. I do seek some hard-to-find data about successful authors. I represent a financial concept that will be of enormous benefit to a few of the more successful professional writers in America .It allows a company, or individual, to greatly reduce income tax liabilities in a totally safe, guaranteed way through fully insured by a major insurance company. I do not seek referrals. I want to ask a few questions about how authors do business. Jim Ady | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jim, I wish you all the best but that’s outside the realm of questions I answer here on my blog. You can probably find most of the information you need by doing some quick Google searches. My focus here is helping authors develop their books and get publishing deals. However, if you later want to share some of your information for authors about how they might benefit from your ideas… let me know. I might be able to help. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  198. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark,

    How do I develop the characters of my book? Till now they are just reacting to situations. How do I add more depth to the characters and develop their personalities?

    I tried basing a character on a real person, but I can’t base each and every character on a real human. I need help, so that the scenes in my novel do not look forced and mechanical.

    Writing till fit to do so,
    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Rahul Abhyankar Reply:

    …or I can frame the same question in a different way: What separates a human from a machine, personality-wise? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    There has to be something important at stake for you character, motivating them and driving them, all the while them wondering if they’re going to reach their goal. Then your readers will care. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem like the outcome matters. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul, I haven’t written anything specific on this topic yet… but I’m planning to soon. In the meantime, this article might help: http://literary-agents.com/how-to-write-a-novel/. This one might as well: http://literary-agents.com/its-not-your-book/. They are somewhat related. The main thing you have to remember is that you must have a likable character that people can relate to somehow. I’m reading a book now that is only about evil characters, hard to care about them or the story. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  199. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark,

    What is the ideal font, font size and spacing for a 350 page- thriller? Also is it OK if the name of the chapter has a different font?

    Writing till fit to do so,
    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul,

    Times New Roman, 12 point, double-spaced… for every genre. Keep the chapter titles in the same font and size.

    Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  200. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark,
    I am a 16 year old author trying to get my book published. But I feel a certain amount of complex shown by the agents due to my age. However I don’t think it would be right to hide my age. So how do I make the content of the query stand out? It’s a thriller, not a children’s book.

    Writing till fit to do so,
    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul, you shouldn’t disclose your age. Click here to read an article I wrote about this topic: http://literary-agents.com/young-authors/. And click here for query letter writing tips: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/literary-agent-query-letter/. Have a great weekend and make sure you check out the post I’m sending out later this morning. It’s a video interview of several top agents discussing the latest trends in the industry. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  201. Ed Schroeder /

    Hi Mark,
    I am a published author. The publisher that I am with is small and does not specialize in the area that write. They mainly publish Zombie/Dark fiction. I have little to no help with the marketing of my book. I am in the process of completing a sequel to the first book. Should I look for a new publisher? The easy thing to do would be to go with my current publisher, I write military fiction. Also my publisher does not accept returns which severely restricts exposure in book stores. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Ed, it’s a personal decision and it seems like you’re already aware of some of the pros and cons of going both ways. You pretty much know what you’re going to get if you go with your current publisher again; however, there’s an incredible upside to going with someone new. So maybe it’s worth exploring. Have a great weekend and make sure you check out the post I’m sending out later this morning. It’s a video interview of several top agents discussing the latest trends in the industry. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  202. Dear Mark

    You offer a great service; I like your style.

    My debut novel has garnered great reviews from professional sources, which almost universally mention the book’s potential for film or TV. The book was NOT self published although I don’t share the prejudice of others against books that are.

    Is there a directory of literary agents that deal with TV and film rights to newly published books where the agent did not place the book with its publisher?

    Many thanks.

    Gordon | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Gordon, thanks for stopping by my blog… and I’m glad you’re getting a lot out of it. I’m sorry to say that I’m not aware of a directory like the one you mention; however, many literary agents will handle TV and film rights for a book that they didn’t get published… if it was very successful. Have a great weekend and make sure you check out the post I’m sending out later this morning. It’s a video interview of several top agents discussing the latest trends in the industry. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Gordon Osmond Reply:

    Many thanks, Mark for your reply. It relieved me in a way because I consider myself a fairly skilled web surfer, and I couldn’t locate such a directory.

    I’ll certainly look in on your interview. I’m sure it will be very enlightening.

    Thanks again, and best of luck with the very important work in which you are engaged.

    Gordon

    [Reply]

  203. Hi Mark,

    If I queried a literary agent before and received a rejection but now have a new query letter–based on your 7 secrets–would it be okay to query again?

    Thank you.

    Rick Bettencourt | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rick. Absolutely. When I work with clients 1-on-1 the new query letter looks completely different than the original so it’s a no-brainer. I also sometimes recommend that an author change the title of their book if possible (even if it’s just temporarily) so they get a fair shot the second time out. By the way, you might want to consider having me review your query this time around before you send it out: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/ Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Rick Bettencourt Reply:

    Mark,

    Thank you so much. I may very well hit you up for a look. Interestingly, I am considering a title change as well.

    BTW, this is a great service and concept you have. It fills a great niche. Best of luck to you!

    Rick

    P.S. Talk soon! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Thanks Rick, have a great weekend and make sure you check out the post I’ll be sending out later this morning. It’s a video interview of several top agents discussing the latest trends in the industry. See you soon. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  204. Kieran /

    Hey,
    Please can you answer my question
    Does this query letter sound Good, or how can I improve on it:
    Representation Required For The Book: “The Science of Prayer and Miracles”
    Authored By “Kieran Aitken”
    Brief Overview Of The Book:
    Scientists have just proven that God exists.
    In this potential bestseller, the author describes how God controls all things that happen to the human being, and gives a clear message that is sure to send shockwaves through the religious community, and the whole worlds perception of God. The easily explained scientific principles described in this book are sure to change the lives of all the people who have the good fortune to read this masterpiece.
    About The Author:
    After many life changing experiences at a young age, Kieran Aitken has been on the hunt to uncover life’s most secretive mysteries. After many months of intense, obsessive research, Kieran was introduced to some sacred teachings that after reading and understanding them, have the potential to change anyone’s view of the world in which we inhabit. At Fifteen years old, Kieran is sure to stand out from other authors and teachers, and use this great asset to its full potential in the promotion of the book. Kieran is qualified to write about the field of quantum physics, due to Hugh quantities of research, personal experiments that are described in the book, and the personality that will suit the religious and scientific communities alike.
    Why this will be a bestseller:
    Similar books on the subject of God, such as “the god delusion” have sold over two million copies. There have been various other books on the subject of God, and all of those have been great successes. Instinctively, we all know that a subject like God, with the various beliefs, opinions and emotions that everyone attaches to it, is guaranteed to attract media attention, and stir up the communities of religion and science.
    How we market this:
    I am of course, open minded to all suggestions on the marketing of a book from you, due to your experience in the sector book promotion and publishing. But, I do feel that I can bring some valuable suggestions to the table. My research on marketing suggests that the key to making this book a success is to get the media’s attention, and I believe I have done so by making some bold statements in the book, such as “You bring illness upon yourself” and “current religion is dated and misunderstood by many, and a change is needed.” | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Kieran, I’m sorry to say that I don’t evaluate queries here on my blog. Otherwise I’d be doing it full time. ;) However, you’d be a perfect candidate to set up an introductory consulting call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. I’d be happy to give you feedback and help you improve your query that way. Feel fr*ee to post more questions on my blog, however, as well. All my best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  205. francesca griffin /

    what ever happened to the book of the man on the sample consulting call about autism. This issue is not important to anyone who has a healthy “normal” child. Unfortunately, this problem is growing at an astronomic rate. The days of counting 10 fingers and 10 toes is, sadly long gone. If you could put me in touch with him it would be tremendous for both of us.

    Thank you,
    Francesca Griffin | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Francesca, you can learn more about Scott here at his new website (in development) at http://www.TheUnbreakableBoy.com. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I’ve been busy with speaking events and my 1-on-1 coaching clients. Have a great day and I hope to see you again soon. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  206. Philicia /

    I have published a great book and it was through west bow press. The few copies sold has had great reviews. But I failed to understand the marketing or lack of it. I thought I paid for marketing services. But apparently not enough. I don’t want to invest any more with them because I don’t see the outcome. I believe in my book and I want to market it. How can u help ? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Philicia, sorry to hear about your experience… especially since I’ve heard similar stories 1,000 times before. If you haven’t already done so, listen to the complimentary mp3 that I talk about here on my homepage: http://literary-agents.com. Then visit this webpage here to learn more about scheduling an introductory consulting call with me: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Of course you can also post more questions here on my blog. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  207. Renee /

    Hi, Mark,

    How much need I change (including a renaming of) my currently published novel before I could resubmit as “new” work to a different publisher?

    Would the book past existence prejudice future acceptance toward publication? Would I even need to specify a previous incarnation of the book?

    Is it best to cancel my current publishing contract, then to submit my book to an agent and/or publisher toward a better publishing situation? What are my chances of success that way?

    Thank you | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Renee, that’s a great question but a difficult one to answer. Every agent and publisher will have a different opinion. Yes, there will be a negative bias if agents/publishers know you published an earlier edition (if it didn’t sell a lot of copies). But if you change the title and didn’t sell many copies it’s less likely to be an issue. Did you self-publish or is the book with a traditional publisher meaning you didn’t pay anything? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  208. A. Matthews /

    What would capture the attention of a literary agent should the author be someone that has not been published before? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi A. Matthews… your question is so good that I’ve devoted my entire website to it. ;) I recommend you start by listening to my complimentary mp3 that you can learn more about (and get access to) here: http://literary-agents.com. Then take a look at my fr*ee guide to help you get a literary agent here: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/. If you do that you’ll probably find what you need but you can always post more questions right here. Happy to help. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  209. Tyrone Bruinsma /

    I’ve emailed a gaming company -Guerrilla Games- who developed the Killzone series and they said they would be interested in my novel, but they said that they would only consider it if it were officially published.
    Which means I need a publisher ASAP. Which is the most successful action/military publisher in New York?
    I’m also looking to possibly get this developed in Asia(primarily China or Japan)-Do you know any publishers in that area?
    Thanks | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tyrone, congrats on getting interest… but 9.5 times out of 10 you need to get a literary agent to get a publisher. Check on this article on my site about this topic: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/do-you-need-a-literary-agent/. It’s part of a series. If you get a literary agent and publisher here in the US, they will then help you get published abroad. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  210. Marcus E. /

    I’ve been having a lot of this response to my submission attempts:

    “Thank you, but we’re not enthusiastic about selling your book” and “maybe you’ll have better luck with another agent”.

    Now, I’m unsure if it means “your concept sucks” or if it’s “we don’t know how to sell this to publishers”. I’d like to think it’s the latter, but I’m hoping you could elaborate that response for me. Do I need to start going directly to publishers or just give up and find another calling? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Marcus… don’t give up. Read this article: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/literary-agent-feedback/. And don’t call it quits. Very few publishers accept unsolicited direct submissions from authors. Your best best is to improve your query and/or book. If you haven’t already done so, consider taking advantage of this introductory consulting call that I offer here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  211. I have been submitting query letters for my true crime story with many rejects, of course. I have been told that despite the poise and polish that it’s not the right fit. On the other hand another suggested that I work with an editor or collaborator to smooth out the writing. What is your suggestion for my next step and how do I get an editor without an agent. Are you a collaborator and editor?

    Cindy | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Cindy, as long as an agent doesn’t recommend a particular editor or collaborator… it might be legitimate and good advice. But you might be closer than you realize to getting represented and simply need to send out more queries. How many have you sent out so far? Also, you don’t need to have an agent to get an editor. You just need to be willing to invest the money. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  212. Kimber /

    Hi Mark! About 4 years ago when I first started taking writing classes, I won a local contest that resulted in a MG choose-your-own adventure style book being published. They also agreed to publish 2 follow up books in the same series. But all they really did was pay the createspace fees so the books are basically self published. I’m in the process of writing a YA book that I’m hoping to find an agent with. Will having those other books out there, make it harder to get an agent? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Kimber Reply:

    I should also mention the books in question were never marketed and haven’t sold much. The contest people didn’t market them and I didn’t know how. They also could have used a better editor because I’ve found some mistakes in them.

    So they may not show my work in the best light between the errors and the low sales numbers. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Kimber, yes… it will almost certain negatively impact your efforts to get literary agents interested. But it’s still quite possible. I help people do it all the time. Your best bet would be to remove the books entirely offline if you can. Then you won’t have any problem at all. That would be the easiest way to go. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Kimber Reply:

    Thanks, Mark. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question… to answer all of our questions here. It’s really awesome to find someone who is willing to help us newbie writers.

    I’ll definitely see about having the books removed before I start shopping for an agent. Thanks again for the advice. :) | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Sounds good. Feel fr*ee to post more questions. And consider scheduling an introductory call with me before you send your work out… if you’re able to do so. I can do a lot more for you there. Here’s a link with more info if you aren’t already familiar with it: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Either way, I look forward to (hopefully) being part of your success story. Have a great weekend. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  213. Dear Mark,
    While investigating a murder in 1886, a couple gets together. So my book is a mystery, a romance and historical fiction. I am planning to market it as a mystery because in subsequent stories, the couple solves more crimes as their relationship grows. Should I just go to agents who do mysteries or should I also try romance agents and women’s fiction agents?
    Thanks, Jean G | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jean, excellent question. Agents interested in all three genres would be your best fit. If you strike out with those agents, then you have to start approach agents that are interested in only two of those categories, etc. That’s how I would approach it. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  214. Juanita Aydlette /

    Hi Mark. Will I still have a shot at getting an agent if I self-publish first? There are some things, such as artwork and choice of book-cover photo that I want to maintain. My brother is a wonderful, closet-artist, and I would love to have his artwork gracing the front and back covers of my book. I thought of having a few dozen copies printed to sell at a local bookstore here, and also put on consignment at the Walmart store where I use to work. We had one published author at that store. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    A lot less likely, unless you sell MANY copies (numbers vary based on genre, agent, and publisher). It’s possible to do it without those numbers, but it’s significantly harder. I would try not to be too attached to things like your title, the artwork, etc. Publishers have a lot experience. They know what will sell and what won’t… at least more than most authors. So there is a good chance that they might want to change a few things. But you can always cross that bridge when you get to it, as they say. Hopefully you won’t have to! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  215. sawlian cheah /

    Hi Mark

    In Michael Larsen’s ‘How to write a book proposal’, he said in the proposal, we need to read about 10 competing novels and as many complementary books for a comparison with our manuscript.
    Must it really be 10 books for each category? Seems like a lot. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi SawLian, reading that many comparative titles is great… but you only need to compare/contrast 4-6 titles per category in my opinion… in the proposal. That should be plenty in my experience. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  216. Doris Konate /

    What is the procedure for submitting a fiction book for movie production? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Doris, it depends. Are you talking about a book that’s unpublished, self-published, or published with a traditional publisher like Random House? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Doris Konate Reply:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your quick response, the book is my first, fiction, self-publishing through Outskirts, which should be completed at least by end of August early September. I called Tyler Perry Studio’s and they told me that any work submitted for movie production had to be submitted through an established literary agent. I feel that the story would be great movie material and I’m trying to figure out what my next step should be so that I could try and submit the work for movie production. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Doris, not a problem… I genuinely enjoy taking a few moments each day to answer questions for appreciative authors. Based on your situation, you will need to get a literary agent or film agent to pitch your work for you. But literary agents probably won’t be interested unless you’re going to let them shop the book to publishers as well. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    Doris Konate Reply:

    Hi Mark,

    Are film Agents commissioned pretty much the same as Literary agents commission post productivity? | Ask a Literary Agent

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Doris, yes… film agents work similarly to literary agents in the sense that they should only be getting a commission for work they’ve sold or helped sell. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  217. ART /

    Might be a dumb question however I am not a writer but feel it extremely important to write a whistle blowing type book. Been in a business for 15 years and found dirty filthy secrets that affect all of us especially our children . Very surprised a book has not been done before . My question is can a agent or publisher steal my idea by finding a true writer just like what happens to inventors? If yes how do I avoid the theft. And yes I think this information would be big news for a book. thanks | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Art, it’s a good question so thanks for posting it. More likely, an agent or publisher would try to pair you up with a qualified ghostwriter to help you produce the book. But you’d have to write a compelling pitch explaining the project well enough so they could understand it and see its value. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  218. Jon Glapa /

    If you have a verbal offer from a publisher (complete with an advance) that you bring to an agent to a) help secure an agent for the future, and b) help negotiate the contract — is it okay to ask for a lower fee than 15% (maybe 12 or 10%) for that particular book since half the job is already done?

    Thanks,

    Jon | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jon, it’s generally a bad idea to try and reduce the commission (although I get it). For starters, the agent might be able to increase your advance and improve your royalty terms (among other things in your deal)… and/or get other publishers interested (if you move fast). Also, even though it makes sense to a degree to make such a request… I’ve had it done to me and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. You want your agent on board 100%. I wouldn’t do it. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Jon Glapa Reply:

    Thanks for your advice. It’s good to get an agent’s point of view. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    No problem Jon, happy to help. Let me know how it goes. Would love to help celebrate your success. There aren’t enough of those stories to go around. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  219. Hi Mark,
    I’m highly impressed with your insights (and the quick responses). Wow!

    My question revolves around building buzz for an unagented/unsold/unpublished manuscript. I’m working on my second novel and would like to start having art contests, etc, to help create visuals of characters, settings and scenes. Would an agent and/or publisher have any issues with that? In other words, is there any reason NOT to do so? My inclination is that any and all buzz is good.

    Best,
    Elias | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Elias, thank you for the kind words and it’s good to see you here. Happy to help. Anything you can do whatsoever (for the most part) to get more exposure and/or build your mailing list pre-publication is a good thing. Your idea falls into that category. So I say go for it. Thanks for posting. Looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  220. Franka /

    Hello Mr. Mark.

    Thank you very much for your information in your website. It is very helpful, especially for me.

    I am Albanian and I am a first time writer. Recently I’ve been reading on Internet about literary agents and the book business but I still don’t understand it very well. My novel is in Albanian. I have been asked for a partial of my manuscript of 2 literary agencies.

    Translating a book costs a lot of money here but my question is: Is it worth it? The fact that they asked me a partial and I am hopeful that they’ll like it, is a good start, but how much guarantee may I have about getting published? How many possibilities may I have? Also, it may sounds like a very stupid question but, can I trust them? I’m so far away from America or UK.

    I’m only 17 and I know I’m very young but my fiction novel is a very good one.

    If you could help me by telling me how should I act, you’d really help me because I’m a little bit confused in here.

    Thank you very much for your time and sorry for my bad English. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Franka, if your query is getting interest from US agents that is a very good sign… but no guarantee that they’ll be able to get your work published here. However, the fact that you have interest is the best guarantee you can get that your work might sell here. So it would be a reasonable investment for you to get some sample chapters translated as a start. Have you published your work outside of the US? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Franka Reply:

    Hey Mark,
    Thank you for your information. So you suggest me me to translate and send some sample chapters?
    Yes I have published my book here but I haven’t done too much copies and also it has been just for pleasure. I have sold it at my friends, family and some well known writers who made every great comments which push me to ask for literary agencies.
    I am concerned about something else. Is it okay if a literary agent who is very well known, makes grammar errors in writing?
    Thank you! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Franka, if literary agents are interested… in my mind it’s worth the investment to have some sample chapters and a synopsis translated. Regarding grammar errors, I wouldn’t put too much weight on that. The agent might have been writing in a hurry or it might have been an assistant, etc. I’m guilty of those mistakes myself. Good luck and keep me posted on your progress. Wishing you well. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  221. sawlian cheah /

    Hi Mark

    In the TOC, do I indent my chapter outlines at the first line and do I double space the lines? Why do we need to double space everything in the book proposal and in the manuscript? Is it for easy reading? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi SawLian, I would single-space the chapter outlines and most of the proposal with the exception of the sample chapters. Indenting doesn’t matter for the chapter outlines. Agents have different preferences for many of these things. Double-spacing for sample chapters and manuscripts is standard for everyone as it makes it easier for agents and editors writing comments. Make sense? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  222. I have an novel that in its earlier drafts was shortlisted in the international Dundee (unpublished novel) Prize 2010 and Virginia Prize 2011. I am British but living in Africa and completing my final edit. It is based on a true story. Years ago I submitted as memoir and an agent wrote to say she was interested but her boss said memoir was flooded. Is it best to send the book as literary fiction or memoir? Also, what would be the difference for me getting a UK or US agent while in Africa? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi JG. Congrats on your accolades. Your story sounds promising. Every market is flooded, in its own way. I recommend you submit the book as memoir since that’s what it is, and approach US agents first. Then, if you haven’t gotten an agent, pursue UK agents. I don’t have space to explain why here but that is your best approach. You should consider setting up a call with me. More info here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  223. Wukelanren /

    Hi Mark! I have a new question for you > If the 1st book of the trilogy was released by one publisher, can I query a Literary Agent with the 2nd book of this trilogy, so the agent could find another publisher? Will it effect in any sense on the publisher, which released the 1st book?
    Thank you!
    Yury | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury. Although it might be possible to find another pub for book #2 in a trilogy, it’s highly unlikely. If you’d already sold tens of thousands of copies of #1 you’d have more of a chance. Pitching #2 as a stand-alone book (if possible) would increase your odds. And check your contract to make sure Pub #1 doesn’t have an option on #2. Sorry to not have better news. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Wukelanren Reply:

    Hi Mark! When I was signing the contract, I asked the Manager about that. I said: am I signing the contract for all books under this title?
    He said that: You’re signing a contract only for one (first) installment. If you prefer to create series based on this title, you have to submit it to us in usual form and we will decide to accept/decline the project.
    Thanks,
    Yury | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury, I understand that… just make sure you read your contract to see if it says anything about future titles. You might not be committed to publish a second book with them, but they might have what’s called an option. Read your entire contract and make sure you understand everything. And have a great week. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  224. Wukelanren /

    Hi Mark! I’ve sent a letter to 1 publisher and received this answer. Do you know what this supposed to mean? > Thank you for your inquiry. Please know, however, that we are no longer accepting submissions for YA (we have recently updated our Web site and our Publishers Marketplace listing to reflect this change).
    For the youth market, we’re interested in middle-grade novels and chapter books only.
    Wishing you the best of luck.
    They changed that after few hours of my submission!
    Thank you
    Yury | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury. It simply means they used to publish books in the young adult genre and, unfortunately, they recently decided to stop. Middle grade books are for younger readers, as are chapter books. I wish I had better news for you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Wukelanren Reply:

    So, that’s a rejection? And they won’t consider my work?
    Thanks
    Yury | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    I’m sorry to say so, but yes. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  225. Hi, I was was wondering if as an agent, you’d ever rejected a piece of work that was written in second person? Do you, or any other literary agent you know, bother reading second person writing? I don’t mean those choose your own story type of books, but long, narrative books with a good plot, character interaction, etc? Is that particular form of writing something that most agents won’t take on, or does it matter? I wanted to know in case I submitted one. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Kara, my point of view on the best way to write a book (any book) or anything at all for that matter… is to use the style that’s most effective to tell the story or make the point. There are many books that are published written in second person. And any good agent will consider your work if it’s written that way, if it’s well-written. So focus mostly on writing the best book you can, and trust that agents will see your vision. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  226. Tikaani /

    Hello I had a question about identity as being a writer. See I do not want people to know who I am, right now most people do not. I am only known as Tikaani Moon, the image of a black wolf. I would like to keep it this way and never let others know my real name. I feel strongly about this decision but wondered was it possible for me to do this. I feel my pen name image better fits my books and is more interesting. Is it possible to keep my identity secret? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tikaani. It is possible to keep your identity secret… and, in some cases, it can be used as an advantage for marketing purposes. To maximize the effect, you might consider having a good reason and/or story behind why you want (or it’s necessary) for your identity to remain a mystery. Thanks for posting. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Tikaani Reply:

    Is Tikaani Moon okay? I wanted something that no one else have and suit the image of a dark wolf howling at the moon at night. This is what I developed already. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Tikaani, I don’t see it as a problem. Pretty much any name you use will be okay as long as it isn’t offensive or misleading somehow to agents, publishers, and readers. You can discuss this more with your literary agent, and you should. Have a great week! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  227. Craig Seaton /

    Mark,

    The answer to my question about where to place punctuation when using quotation marks is a bit too involved for a blog post; so here is the very best online grammar source I’ve found. There’s an American method (punctuation always goes inside quotation marks; and a British method which has some exceptions).

    http://www.grammarphobia.com

    The site is authored by Pat and Stewart O’Connor. I would highly recommend their site and any of their books to your readers.

    Blessings!

    Craig Seaton | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Craig, thank you for sharing this… I believe one or more of their books is on one of my bookshelves. ;) And I’m glad you found their site, because the answer to your question is even longer. The answer is, as is the case with lots of things when it comes to language, it depends. The most important thing to do is choose something, and be consistent. Happy writing. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  228. Hi Mark,

    My military fiction book, Duty, Honor, Country: Kill, Capture or do Nothing was just published. As you know today the author is responsible for most of their own marketing. I would really like to have my book carried by the Military Book Club or any of the other big book clubs. I have searched all over the Internet but have not been able to find information on submitting a book to these clubs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,
    Ed S. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Ed, to tell you the truth I don’t know a lot about this. When I was an agent, publishers always handled it. That said, I wanted to know the answer so I started looking online. Check out this link: http://www.bookmarket.com/sellingtobookclubs.htm. I’ve met John Kremer and he’s good people. Here’s another link but I don’t know these guys: http://www.inktreemarketing.com/Articles/BookClubs.htm. Let me know what you think. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  229. Wukelanren /

    Hi Mark! I have sent a query to one agent and received an auto-responce with these words: if you have books published please tell me the name of your publisher(s) and the year the book(s) were published.
    Do I have to resend a query with the name of a publisher that will publish my book this year? Or just leave the query like it is?

    Thank you
    Yury | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury, you should definitely tell agents that you have a book being published… especially since it’s by a legitimate publisher. It will give you added credibility. Even if agents don’t ask, you should tell them. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Wukelanren Reply:

    Hi Mark! I told about it to the agent in my query, but I didn’t tell the name of the publisher. And.. I don’t think that she would request for more parts of the ms. Don’t know why.. maybe I just feel it.
    Yury | How to Be a Famous Author

    [Reply]

  230. What would you say the difference is between going with a mainstream / big time publisher and going with a small publisher? I know big time is more reputable, but to who exactly? Do they get better distribution if a big time publisher? And also my understanding is that YOU, the author has to do most of the promotion and publicity these days so does it matter at all who you’re published with? Pros/cons please — or maybe an article out there somewhere? Thanks! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    B Reply:

    Also, do you get a bigger advance if you go with a bigger publisher? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    In general, yes. Bigger company = more resources = bigger advance. In most cases. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi B, the short (and probably frustrating) answer to your first question is… it depends. In general, I believe you’re better off with a bigger publisher. Across the board, you’re going to have more resources and more reach that way… to augment your own promotional efforts. You’re right that this would make a great article, but it’s one I haven’t written yet… so I’ll add it to my ever-growing idea file. ;) Thanks for posting. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  231. Eight rejections in,there is finally some agent feedback.

    “I’m not connecting wholeheartedly with your writing,despite its poise and polish.”

    Translation?

    This from a query and ten pages.I’m also twice his age.

    Any insight is greatly appreciated.Thank You. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Doug, sorry to hear that… this article that I wrote might help. Let me know: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/literary-agent-feedback/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  232. I’ve written a children’s picture book and a publisher wants buy the rights.

    I read the book to over 300 children and the response was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!

    The publisher want’s to know how much I want???

    Can you help me please?

    Thank you

    Michael | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Michael, I love it when someone has good news to share. Congratulations on having such a wonderful problem. There are many variables to consider, however, and there is no way that I could possibly know what kind of advance you should be hoping for. My suggestion, without having more info, would be to ask the range (low to high) that they usually pay for your genre… and go from there. You can probably find some of this online as well with some searching. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    You might want to set up a 1-hour consulting call with me: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  233. doug /

    Good evening, Mark
    Perhaps you’ve addressed this question many times before,but here it is again.
    I comprehend English when a submission page states a rejection from one agent of the agency is the same as a rejection from the agency in toto.
    If such a statement is not found,is it fair game to query another agent from the same agency?
    I comprehend decorum/protocol,and don’t wish to inadvertantly stomp on any tootsies. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Doug, in short… yes. At least that’s how I advise my 1-on-1 coaching clients to interpret the lack of specific instructions. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    There is a chance that one or two agents might get uppity about it… but, hey, if that’s what you want… say so. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  234. Wukelanren /

    Hi, Mark! It’s me again)) Can you give an advice?
    Well, the thing is that I’ve made some video, it’s a book trailer actually, and I thought, do I need to tell about it to my publisher, after I’ll receive the book cover and add it into the video? I mean, before I’ll post this trailer in the net?

    Thank you,
    Yury

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury, it’s always best to keep your publisher in the loop about your promotional activities. Sometimes they will want to provide input. Other times they might even help finance certain things (just don’t tell them I told you that). I’m sure they would be happy to provide you with a cover image as soon as it is ready. Make sure you tell me when it’s done! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  235. Belle Degenaars /

    Good morning.
    I am interested in publishing a book I recently translated from Italian. It is the history and story of a small village preserved in time so to speak from which my grandparents emigrated. I have grown up hearing stories of this ancient village and have now translated a book written about it’s history. It is non fiction and would appeal to readers interested in history as well as students of Italian language and culture. I am interested to know how to pursue identifying an agent. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Belle, thanks for posting. I have a great deal of valuable information on my website that will help you, starting with the complimentary mp3 that you can get on my hompeage here: http://literary-agents.com. You can also access my Directory of Literary Agents by clicking here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents. You can get 1-on-1 support from me in three different ways. Learn more here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  236. Wukelanren /

    Hi, Mark! Today I remembered about a responce from Lit.Agent and thought, Did any of your clients ever received such a responce: I’m not qualified enough about your work. I’d be glad to reffer you to other agents, but I don’t know such.
    What a responce, right? That reply I received about a year ago on the book that will be out soon..

    Thanks,
    Yury | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury, good hearing from you. It’s virtually impossible to interpret that kind of literary agent feedback without more information. Could mean they’re not knowledgeable about the genre or have connections in the category. It sounds sincere, if the agent really would follow up with referrals. So take it as a compliment. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  237. I don’t know the numbers of sales as my former publisher denied any. But when I saw some of the 26 online sellers reordering my book even after I cancelled my publisher, and the prices they are being sold at, I suspect it is a sizable amount. I tried to find out from Lightening Source, but they said they could not give that info to a 3rd party. I said, excuse me, I am the Author and 3x copyright holder, I am 1st party. It did not help. Can I compete with my own book via an Agent? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jim, even though it’s your book… the publisher created a contract/ agreement with Lightening Source so they probably aren’t going to give you any information. You really should contact an attorney. Also please explain what you meant when you said: “Can I compete with my own book via an Agent?” In what way??? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  238. Greetings,
    My publisher denied any sales and went bankrupt. Twenty six online sellers have been selling my book worldwide and I get no part of it because they were set up under the publisher. I cancelled my publisher. The last I checked my book was being sold for $18. -$32. per copy and reordering. I tried making it an eBook with no success. My website is not available as I need to renew my subscription. Can you tell me how I can get s slice of profit from my own book? I have 3x copyrights. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jim, I’m very sorry to hear about your story. It’s hard enough to get published, and then this. If they went bankrupt, I’m not sure what you can do except get in line with everyone else they owe money and try to collect. I don’t see how you would be able to do this without contacting a lawyer. If I were you, I’d be putting most of my energy into figuring out how to get the rights back so you can sell it yourself and find a new agent/publisher. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  239. Mr. Malatesta, does the fact that I’ve independently published four novels, prohibit an agent from picking up my work from Amazon? I own and retain all national and International rights.

    Sydney Cade West | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Sydney, not at all. But the better your sales figures are, the more likely they are to be interested. Several thousand copies sold of each title is a good start. It’s possible to place something that has sold less, but it’s more difficult. I hope that helps. Feel fr*ee to post a follow-up question. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  240. I have two questions! How often do you think agents select a book based on the body of work they represent vs. something new and exciting? I know they are in it for the money – and so should we – so safe is easier?

    How much do you think coming from eBook publishing is going to hurt my chances of getting an agent – even with a significant back list and some good success?

    Thank you! | Nicholas Sparks Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Margie, one clarification question. Do you mean based on the body of work that the agent represents… or the body of work of the author, who might already be somewhat established in a different genre? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Margie Church Reply:

    I’m sorry – the body they represent. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    No worries, but glad I asked. Big difference. Most agents are very slow to branch out into a new genre. It’s similar to a successful author of a genre deciding to “roll the dice” and try out a new one. It’s an investment of time, without any guarantee of success. Plus there is a learning curve since each genre has its own “rules” or conventions. Your previous pub experience could help you or hurt you, depending on your numbers. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    Margie Church Reply:

    Thank you. | Ask a Literary Agent

  241. John Silver PhD RN MBAC /

    HI,
    I have just published my first book using a hybrid publisher after being jerked around by Springer Publishing for almost a year. How many sales would I need to attract the attention of a major publisher? I ask because I am starting my second book now and the effort with getting this first book published was tremendous.

    The book is titled “just a union…of nurses” and is now listed on Amazon.

    Can a literary agent be helpful? In what way? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi John, thanks for posting. Sorry to hear about your experience with your publisher. The numbers you’ll need to impress agents and/or new publishers will depend on many things… how long the book has been out… genre… who the original publisher was… etc. In some cases a few thousand copies would be impressive. Other times you might need a much higher number to be persuasive. After checking out your book on Amazon, your numbers are impressive. You should really try to get an agent to help you place your work with a new publisher. What can a literary agent do for you?Read this and feel fr*ee to post a follow-up question: http://literary-agents.com/best-literary-agent/top-literary-agents/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  242. What if I sent a query, with notes on similar and dissimilar books in my genre, and offered 150 pages of my manuscript (nonfiction). No proposal, although not a problem to create… what do you think about this idea? Query + Comparisons + Offer to send 150 pages. A unique way to pitch? Or totally crazy? … your thoughts? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    B Reply:

    What if I added sample chapters with each query I sent? After all, let them read the book. ?? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Query only, although you should have some competitive analysis thoughts or context in the query. No longer than one page. Don’t offer anything extra or add anything extra that they didn’t ask for. If they ask them for something, give them exactly what they ask for. Anything else is a red flag and agents will make assumptions about you that you don’t want them to make. Put all of your wonderful creativity in the book, instead. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    B Reply:

    What assumptions would they make? :) Good article topic

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi B, I was just going to tell you what a great idea that is… that I should write an article about it… then I realized I already did (quite a while back). Here’s a link: http://literary-agents.com/literary-agent-guidelines/. Mark :) | Ask a Literary Agent

  243. What is the fine line between Memoir and something else…? I’m writing a true story, but some of the scenarios and conversations are a little tweaked. They were all said and done at one point but for the sake of the book and my memory, the order in which these things happened and the way they were said may have been changed. Would this still be considered memoir? Or do I go into another category? And what category would that be? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi B. It’s admittedly a fuzzy line. If you do your best to tell the story as accurately as possible, you can still call it memoir. Agents/publishers/readers understand that you can’t remember every detail and you have to re-imagine it. If you’re nervous about it, you could also call it narrative nonfiction based on true events. Or, you can make it a novel based on true events. I hope this helps. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    B Reply:

    thank you

    [Reply]

  244. Wukelanren /

    I was thinking about our talk that we had in December. Especially about the part when I told you that French publisher was interested in my book that will be released this year. And I thought, does my publisher have to send me the final edited draft of my book? Because, in other case I’ll have to send the original manuscript with mistakes to French publisher. And if I will, what I need to say in the description of the work? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Wukelanren Reply:

    For example: This book was published under the pen name George A. Kos by US publisher and if you’re interested in this work, please contact with (publisher), (email), in order of purchasing the translation rights.
    How do you think, will it be fine for this publisher?
    Of course, I’ll do that after the release of the book. But I don’t know if I have to do that? Or I might have to try?.. :(
    Can you give me some advice about that?
    Thanks,
    Yury

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi again Yury, I don’t remember all the details regarding the French publisher. If I were you, I would contact my publisher and ask them how they prefer to handle it. They will give you a contact person there to mention in your letter. Or they might ask you for the information and contact the other publisher on your behalf. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury, make every effort to get a copy of the final edited version. I know an author that lost his publisher after many years… and then decided to self-publish the book. But he didn’t have the edited version and had to spend a great deal of time doing it all over again. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  245. Good afternoon Mark.
    My first novel is 200,000 words,an upmarket treatment of college life in the 70′s,a compelling read.
    Naturally,it will never be published as a debut effort.
    This necessitated my second novel of 86,000 words,a man’s view of romance in the 80′s,which will have to suffice as a debut effort.
    I am currently querying the shorter work.When is the opportune time to mention the longer manuscript to an agent? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Doug. That depends on whether you have a third manuscript and, if so, what it’s about. Let me know that and I can give you a better answer. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    doug Reply:

    Mark,thanks for the response.
    Currently pulling together ideas for a third effort(only recently completed revision on #2,and will go through #1 again).
    I do have the confidence to follow up with a #3.
    I began each manuscript with a sketchy outline(basic timeline) and each day my hand merely followed the ink pen(s) across the blank paper.
    Now,if I were retired and didn’t work 50+ hours/week…

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Doug, don’t do it in the query. It’s very long and very different than the shorter work, so it might spook some agents. They also might feel like you’ll try to pressure them to sell it. I would wait until you have an agent (assuming you get one for the shorter work) and then bring it up if/when the agent asks about other works. Just don’t come off as overly attached to getting that agent to shop it, and you’ll be okay. He or she might love it. Just no pressure. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  246. saw lian cheah /

    In sending photos in the book proposal, do I caption it on a strip of paper and tape it below the photos or do I caption it on the back of the photos? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Don’t include original photos, scan them into the proposal. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  247. saw lian cheah /

    In the website on Bookends, LLC, it says to inlcude photos, newspaper clippings of interviews etc to showcase your platform in the book proposal. What if I don’t have anything and just a few newspaper articles on my prize winning stories in previous short story contests and some news articles with my byline when I worked for a news agency years ago as a reporter. Do I include them in with the book proposal or do I wait for the agent to request it? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Always best to give agents what they’re asking for, to increase your odds. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  248. saw lian cheah /

    If I have photos coming after a particular chapter, do I need to write that in the summary in that particular chapter in the TOC? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Can’t hurt. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  249. saw lian cheah /

    My chapters don’t have titles so in the TOC chapter summaries, is it okay if there are no titles or do I put titles in the summaries but let it remain titleless in the memoir itself? Do you think titles in a memoir help sell the book? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    You don’t need titles, or you can simply number them. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  250. saw lian cheah /

    Hi Mark

    You said chapter summaries tell the reader the entire chapter. But Michael Larsen in his tips on how to write a book proposal says that each chapter outline in the TOC should cover only the main points. And on Bookends, LLC, the literary agency’s website, it says to make the chapter summaries read like the book itself and not start each chapter with ‘This chapter includes…’ which means it has to be interesting. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Saw Lian. Since the chapter summaries are short, you can only cover the main points. Just make sure you cover the main points. Regarding the other statement, it’s most important that the person reading your summaries understanding what’s happening in each chapter. It’s less important that the summaries read like a novel. Make them as interesting as possible but make sure, first and foremost, that they’re clear. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  251. saw lian cheah /

    Hi Mark

    In the table of contents, for chapter summaries, can I encapsulate the whole chapter by using a paragraph from that chapter but condensed and with a hook at the beginning? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Saw Lian, I so wish that I could say yes. But chapter summaries should be written differently. They should allow the reader to understand exactly what happens in the entire chapter. Step by step. It’s not meant to be interesting reading, or even suspenseful. It needs to be clear, accurate, and comprehensive. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but I have to be the one to tell you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  252. Wukelanren /

    Hi, Mark! I have a question for you. Can I send it on your email?

    Thank you
    Yury | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury, yes… fire away. You can use my contact form page here. It is private. http://literary-agents.com/contact/ Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  253. Hi Mark, I sent an email to you with a number of updates that I look forward to talking over with you.

    Also, on the copyright question below, can my company hold the copyright? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Janet, I hope you got my email… regarding the copyright question, I’m not sure to be honest with you. I’d probably always prefer to use my own name since that will never change. Companies change, get sold, etc. You never know. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  254. Mark, once again I come to the mountain. What did I do before I found your web sight?
    With you advice, I now have a query letter ready to shoot out the door, but a question ocurred to me today. Should I copyright my manuscript before putting it out there, or does the publisher or agent do it? I am blond, so it is ok for me to ask such questions so far into the game.
    thanks
    lynn | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lynn, you just made me realize that I need to do an article this… so I just put it on my list. Good topic that I know a lot of authors wonder about. I’m a big believer in doing everything 100% when it comes to those things that are most important to me. And my writing is one of those things. So I would actually file it with the copyright office. Even though your publisher will do it for you. Same thing goes for backing up websites and emails, etc. I have several different types of backups. I’d be a mental case if I lost my data, or if someone copied my books. Take the time and copyright your work. Thanks for always being so kind, and there are no silly or blond questions! :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  255. I guess you deleted it. I am tired and I have many screens open. Time for bed. thanks and I will look for your email. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  256. I thought I was sending this to an email–can you please delete my last post?!?!? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Got it… done. No worries. Will reply in a moment by email. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  257. What’s with small publishers like New Horizon Press, AMACOM, or Career Press? I am looking at agents and one has lots of titles with these. Do I need an agent? Granted, I want to get published and my name isn’t Stephen King, but are these good deals? Fly by night? Advances? Worth waiting out something better? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jim, some authors do better with houses like that than with big houses. All depends on the nature of your book. Amacom, for example, has a huge network and marketing potential for the right books in their niche. So you could potentially sell more with any of these houses than even Random House. A good agent should be able to help you decide. But it would be best to find an agent that’s also sold to the big boys. What’s your book about? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Jim Reply:

    Thanks. It’s a history of rock music–but with a fresh, in-depth approach (don’t want to give it all away!). | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Jim Reply:

    It’s tough, I am trying to be realistic–and i have the greatest book of all-time. (haha). I certainly want some credibility with a first book and I would like to think that if it is good I would at least have a shot at some positive reviews and some exposure. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hey Jim. I sold a few books in that genre as an agent. The publishers you referenced earlier are probably not the best fit. My Directory of Literary Agents has book agents listed under music in nonfiction. Take a look if you haven’t already: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents. Then consider setting up an introductory call with me to talk about your query, etc. You can learn more about hat here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    Jim Reply:

    I can’t “Reply” anymore? I have been on this site. I feel pretty good about my query, really but I am willing to talk more. | Ask a Literary Agent

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hey Jim, just hit one of the reply links above… earlier in this discussion thread. That’s what I just did. I think that will work for you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    Jim Reply:

    I get it. I have been using your service and have some bites. I like my query–what else could you do for me or me for you? | Ask a Literary Agent

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Jim, what do you mean by “service”? My Directory of Literary Agents here at my site? The information on my mp3s and/or articles? Sounds like you’re saying that you used one or more of those things and it might have contributed to some of your success. Or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking. I’d love to know that I was somehow part of your success story. Tell me a little more, then I’ll know what to suggest. I’m just happy for you. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    Jim Reply:

    I am querying agents from your directory. I looked at some other articles, too, which were good, but mainly the directory. | Ask a Literary Agent

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hey, that’s still a win and I’ll take it. If you want, send me your query and/or proposal privately here and I’ll tell you if I think I can help you in any way. But it sounds like you’re doing pretty good. I’ll ask you more about your response rate numbers from agents via email. And give you a couple things to think about that you might not have considered… that could make a big difference. Here’s my email page: http://literary-agents.com/contact/. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  258. david buckner /

    Is Amanda Urban currently accepting queries? I have read that she is on one post and that she isn’t, on another. Thanks. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi David, that’s one of the few things that I don’t track in my Directory of Literary Agents… because it changes constantly. The only thing you can trust is what an agent says (sort of) on his or her website. Even that can be dead wrong. Although it might be controversial to some, I say… if in doubt, send your query. What do you have to lose? Check out my agent directory for more info here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  259. Mark, I know having been a reporter that each profession has its own language, Now I need to ask about the meaning of some literary terms. What does literary and commercial mean? If you have time, some time between midnight and 5:am, you might want to make a dictionary of terms, just a thought.
    Your agent directory is priceless, and to think you did all that work, and offer it to you writing community for free. You are putting success within my grasp, thanks, lynn | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Lynn, I love this question and will be posting definitions online. They can be confusing, even to industry insiders because everyone has slightly different interpretations. That said, here are mine. Literary: More complex sentence structure, usually more flowery/poetic language, challenging vocabulary, and unusual/distinct writing style. Commercial: Appealing to a broad audience, often falling into a clear genre like mystery or romance. And thanx for your kindness. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  260. Hi,

    I have already published my book and holding legal copyrights certificate. Details are on my website. Pl. advise, how to proceed to make it a worldwide project.

    Regards | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Prashant, the best place to start is listening to my fr*ee mp3 that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com. After you listen to that, I recommend that you take advantage of the many instructional articles on my website. In your case, you might to start here: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/. Then post another question on my site so I can help you start applying everything. Of course, signing up for 1-hour introductory phone or Skype call would allow you to do everything more quickly and easily. You can learn more about that here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Either way, I look forward to helping you create your success story. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  261. Hey Mark. Once you sell your 1st 50 pages to the publishing house are they going to hold you to keeping those chapters the way they are? Also, I give an outline of addt’l chapters and then later organize it differently or want to add 30 more pages or subtract 50, are they going to say NO, we want it like how you sold it to us? Thanks! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi B, awesome question. The short answer is, no. It’s best to stick as much as possible to what you “sell them on” because that’s what they agreed to. But, if you make changes that make the book better, of course they’ll appreciate it. And this is expected to some degree. However, you’re putting yourself in a position that will require you to “sell them” AGAIN on the changes. However, a good agent can help you with this if needed. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    B Reply:

    Thanks Mark! Related to that question, if I have a certain way (generally) that I want my book to be shared with the world (minus editorial & grammar stuff) is it best to write the whole nonfiction book and sell as is (to a certain extent) rather than sell the first 50 pages w/proposal…? Thank you! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    That’s always better… more likely to sell that way and possibly get you better terms… because there is less risk for the publisher. They don’t have to worry about whether you’re going to finish and/or whether the book is going to be as good as the proposal. However, the obvious down side is that you have to be patient and write the whole book before getting paid anything. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    B Reply:

    Thanks Mark. Do you have an article talking about the “better” terms you may get if you have a finished product… as it relates to nonfiction (not sure if that makes any difference)
    Thanks | Ask a Literary Agent

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    The terms vary so widely depending on the particular genre, agent, and publisher… that it’s difficult to suggest a range. I’m guessing you mean advance and royalties? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    B Reply:

    Oh, okay, I guess that’s what you meant by it :) Potential for a higher advance/payment and better deal with royalties if sold as book already finished… Thanks! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  262. I have a screen play I can’t get anyone to read. I have had published 5 books, so I do know how to write Query letters (and I only contact people who say the are interested in the kind of stories I write). An contests are out—I know the odds. Since I don’t know thec gardeners of power people, what am I to do? Again, I onky ask for reasonable consideration as I know without an agent, my project will never get produced | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Gary, since you’ve ruled out contests, all that’s left is pitching agents, managers, and/or producers in person… or via query letter. You can also try connecting with them on social media but you’ll still need to follow up with a great query letter. By the way, there are many published authors that know how to write query letters… but could still use some help making them better. So be open to getting advice from someone you know that you trust. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  263. So Mark… When is enough, enough? You know, the times an author says: “…ugh, I should have used that word instead of that word. Really! Just one word can then derail the paragraph because to change one word may—no actually does—change many things. So Mark, when is enough, enough? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Janet! Hmm. Good question. Fun question. Okay, here you go. How about… when you simply can’t take it any more… you’re not sure if your changes are making a difference… or, when your spouse says they’re going to divorce you if you don’t just get it done already and stop stinking up the house because of it. Just kidding (sort of). Can you tell that I have experience with this? Working with another writer to get his/her feedback helps. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  264. Hi Mark,
    I’m not able to find success from two months, what should i do. Self Publish? Lulu and Createspace are Okay?
    How to get attention from agents, how to make them feel you’re amazing?
    Bye | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Amk, sorry to hear that you haven’t gotten the results you want… yet. That said, two months isn’t a long time. And it’s possible that you simply need help with your query. Let me know if you’re interested in 1-on-1 help with that, and take a look at these articles on my site that present some of my thoughts on self publishing: http://literary-agents.com/category/self-publishing-book. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  265. Esther /

    I am sort of a literary fan maybe a-la-Toni Morrison meets Edwidge Danticat and Maya Angelou mixed with Christianity. I wonder what category I fall under and I wonder what agents are looking for I also want to know the pros and cons of self publishing? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Esther, anything Christian… is Christian. So, if it’s literary fiction but also Christian… then it’s Christian literary fiction or Christian fiction that’s somewhat literary. When it comes to the pros and cons of self-publishing, look at these articles that I believe (and hope) you’ll find both insightful and entertaining: http://literary-agents.com/category/self-publishing-book. Let me know, and be sure to post a follow-up question. I’m happy to help. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  266. saw lian cheah /

    Hi Mark,

    When quoting from a letter or reproducing a letter in full in the mss, do I use italics and do I need to use open and close quotation marks? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Saw Lian, when it comes to these kinds of detailed manuscript formatting details… I’m not the best person to ask. I’m also of the opinion that it’s not going to help or hurt you in your quest to get a literary agent and publisher. If you can’t find the answer to a question after doing a bit of searching on Google, that probably means it isn’t an issue that you need to worry about. That said, I admire your effort and willingness to get everything just right. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  267. How do I become undeniable to agents? Or better yet, get attention from them? My book is amazing and so am I. Why have I had little to no luck getting a book deal?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi DC, there are two possible suspects… your query and your sample chapters. I usually suggest that authors have someone qualified look at their query letter first. 9 times out of 10 I can help someone improve their response rate. Many authors go years with no requests for partials or fulls. Then we rework the query and… boom. Multiple requests. Plus, it’s a lot easier to make a query better (compared to a book). How many queries have you sent out? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  268. Hi Mark, I just wanted to thank you for the book “Story”. Just skimming through the pages, I can already tell that there’s going to be a phenomenal wealth of information to gain. I’m looking forward to reading this book. Robert McKee offers seminars. Maybe one day I’ll have the privilege of attending. That would be awesome! :)

    Thanks again. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Sabrena, I’m so glad… that book really opened my eyes in many ways. Happy Holidays! Mark

    [Reply]

  269. saw lian cheah /

    If the agency requires only a table of contents, does the agent actually read through the outlines of the more than 100 chapters?

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    They might. If they are interested in what they see at the beginning, they will continue reading. Agents don’t ask for anything that they won’t potentially use. Mark

    [Reply]

  270. saw lian cheah /

    My memoir has more than 100 chapters, 800 pages. It’s not possible to write one to two page synopsis. Can I write a synopsis based on the more interesting chapters and ensuring it flows and limit it to about 15 pages and send it with the Table of Contents? Will the agent reject my mss because the synopsis coverage of chapters doesn’t tally with the number of chapters in my Table of contents. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    It is possible to write a 2-page synopsis, just look at all the back cover copy and flap cover copy on books in bookstores. That is what you are trying to accomplish with your short synopsis. It will provide just a little more detail that what you see on the back of books and on flap copy. Big picture. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  271. saw lian cheah /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark

    On your question when as to when my mss is to be finished, I’m doing the second last draft. After this, I’m going to redraft the sixth and final time. After that, I’m going to write my book proposal and start querying.

    In one of your articles, you mentioned that synopsis is required even for non-fiction. What if in the submissions criteria, the agency doesn’t ask for a synopsis for non-fiction but just a Table of Contents, do I still need to send a synopsis? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Saw Lian, always send only what an agent asks for. However, you might mention in your query to this particular agent that you have a synopsis available. Happy Holidays! Mark

    [Reply]

  272. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark,
    Is Times New Roman 12pt with double spacing good for my novel? What font should the chapter titles be?

    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Rahul Abhyankar Reply:

    I tried out double spacing the novel and it seems a bit weird…or maybe I’m not used to it. Please tell me your opinion. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Rahul, it will take a while to get used to it… just make sure you do it. You will get some rejections on that basis alone if you don’t. Chapters titles should be the same font and size. :) Mark

    [Reply]

    Rahul Abhyankar Reply:

    Shouldn’t the chapter titles be Bold, bigger and different font?

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    All caps, but don’t worry about these types of details. If agents rejected authors over things like this, no one would get published. And… not every agent/publisher wants everything formatted exactly the same way. Happy Holidays! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  273. Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark,
    Glad you’re back! :) Obviously you’re doing great things. I didn’t noticed what the increase will be for the one on one consultation, but it is my goal to schedule with you sometime next month. I was editing my book and placed it to the side to meet the nanawrimo challenge last month. So, now I’m back on track. Hopefully, I’ll stay on track because I have “New Year” goals starting next month. Part of my problem is editing down my word count. Any suggestions? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Sabrena… me, too. It was tough to be away for so long. Much more fun to be here interacting with real people. Especially when they are nice like you. :) By the way, I didn’t say what the increase would be since I’m not sure yet. That’s why you didn’t see anything specific. But you should definitely sign up before the end of this month or the first week or two of the year to be sure you get the current offer before it changes. And… what is your current word count? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Sabrena Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | My word count is a little over 123,000. Yikes! I’m trying to get it down. :) My challenge is knowing how. I have deleted somethings that I thought I really didn’t need and I’ve reworded some sentences. That has helped me cut out over 2,000 words so far. So, any suggestions would be appreciated. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Sabrena, the only thing I can say in 500 characters or less… is that the book “Story” should help. I assure you it’s going to help you immensely. Let me know what you think, have a wonderful weekend, and keep me posted! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  274. Wukelanren /

    Thank you, Mark! This is a traditional publisher, but they offer me only an ebook contract, because I’m not from US or Canada and they don’t take authors from outside of US at this time. I’m sorry but I’m not able to call you. I’m waiting for revised contract from this publisher now. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hey Yury! I don’t think you got the last private email that I sent you… let me know. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  275. Hi Mark, do all agents use contracts with writers? Is it normal to just have an oral agreement? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi JM, I’ve actually written a few articles about this. Click here to check them out: http://literary-agents.com/hiring-a-literary-agent/literary-agent-agreement. Then come back here to let me know what you think and ask me a follow-up question: http://literary-agents.com/ask-a-literary-agent. I’m happy to help. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  276. Alexandra Hillcoat /

    Hey Mark, sorry to bother you again, but I have another question.
    In my manuscript I often switch POV in the middle of a chapter. I’ve read in some places that I shouldn’t do that because it can confuse the reader. The sources weren’t very reliable (things like yahoo ask) so I want your opinion if you’re willing to give it: Should I edit it so that it’s a new chapter every time I switch POV? It’s just that the chapters might be really short if I do. Thanks, once again I’m sorry to bother you. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Alexandra, no trouble at all… however I’m not the best person to answer this question. I suggest you post it on my friend Robin Hoffman’s site. She has a page just like this set up on her website here: http://getpublishedcoach.com/ask-robin. Just do me a favor and come back to here to post an update for the benefit of everyone else reading this post. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Alexandra Hillcoat Reply:

    Will do! Thanks | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Rahul Abhyankar Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Alexandra, Try reading “Kane Chronicles” by Rick Riodan. It’s been written by two people’s point of view. Rick has given it a very different POV: that of a listener. The book has been written as the script of a recording which the protagonist sends to Rick Riordan. So basically it’s the script of many people talking to the camera. And it works more than fine! Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

  277. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark,
    Suppose I get my manuscript edited from a professional, and then some literary agent likes it. They offer to edit it. I agree, submit my manuscript. What if the new editor has opinions different from the older one? And after my book is published, whom should I give the credit of editing to?

    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Always focus on the immediate task. Right now you simply need to improve the book as much as possible, without knowing what agents are going to think about your work. So you have to focus on that now. If an agent later wants to discuss additional changes, you can work through that then. Same thing goes with your publisher. You can credit all of them on your acknowledgements page when you are published. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  278. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark,
    Would it be a good idea to get the book edited before I submit it to literary agents? Do you know any good ones?

    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Always. First, try to connect with a good local writers’ group. That will save you money and give your more perspective. Second, hire an editor to ONLY provide an overall critique… big picture stuff that a smart writer can then apply throughout the book like story improvements, etc. Third, hire someone to do a final line edit to help fix any final mistakes including spelling, grammar, etc. We will be starting to offer these services in-house soon. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  279. Hi Mark, I self-published my first science-fiction novel as a POD. I just completed my second novel and it is a SEQUEL. An author I know suggested I get someone interested in the second one on its own merits before mentioning the first. I’d like to find a more traditional publisher for both books, and was assuming that because I was trying to sell both that an agent was the only way to go. Do you think that’s correct? Thanks! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hey Scott, (had to shorten your question due to my new new website platform – sorry). The suggestion you got from that author is a good one, if book two works as a standalone. An agent is always the best way to go if you want a traditional publisher. Check out this article: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/do-you-need-a-literary-agent. And consider setting up a call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. Keep me posted. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  280. HI Mark, I am half way through my novel and am really wanting to submit it to a literary agent to 1. See if it is a concept and style which will be a hit and 2. Hopefully get some advice for certain parts of the second part as some mentoring would give me some momentum. Is this something agents are prone to do? Accept unfinished manuscripts and help develop the piece more? Thanks Mark. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Emily! Agents will sometimes help you improve your manuscript, but it has to already be great. The things they ask you to change will probably be things that you don’t even see are problems at the moment. My suggestion would be to hire a freelance editor if you’re able to do so. At the very least, consider signing up for a 1-hour consulting call to discuss everything. You can learn more about what I do on these calls here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  281. Nicholas /

    I’ve worked desperately to come up with the “perfect” query with only a couple of REALLY promising responses, yet after all this effort I remain unrepresented… and fairly frustrated. Accidentally stumbling upon your presentation has compelled me to pause for thoughtful consideration. Your responses/advice to others sounds good; your background also gives me a point of reference for you. Keep up the good work and thanks for helping us! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Nicholas, happy to help. Just keep at it and don’t give up. I just posted a LOT of knew articles on my site that might help. Click here to take a look: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent. Sounds like your query letter needs improvement. Consider signing up for an introductory 1-on-1 coaching call with me here to discuss it, if you’re able to do so: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. Of course, you can also post another question for me here. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  282. Angela Cosco /

    I’ve tried over a hundred agents. It seems that they do NOT READ MY MATERIAL AT ALL! My novel is sure to be as good as Twilight or better. Why would agents not listen if I mention things like this? The agents answer so quickly, I know none of them have had the time to read the first three chapters I submitted to them. ”WHY?” WHAT ELSE CAN I DO??? Do you know of an agent who would be willing to look over my work and give me a real evaluation? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Angela, sorry to hear that (by the way, had to edit your comment for length when I moved my new website so don’t take offense). If you aren’t getting the response you want, it can only be your query or your book. I don’t recommend specific agents but you can access my Literary Agent Directory here (no cost): http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents. You can also sign up for an intro call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  283. Wukelanren /

    Hi Mark! In March I have received an offer for contract from an E-book publisher for my first novel, but I rejected it. And now, after not having found an agent or publisher for this novel, I thought of re-submitting this work to this e-book publisher. How do you think, will it be fine to submit this novel again to the publisher which contract I have rejected? But the problem is, what will I tell to this publisher? I’m in despair… :( | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Yury, all you can do is go back to them with honesty and humility. You have nothing to lose. Although I still suggest you send out more queries to other publishers instead, until you’ve exhausted every possible avenue. Keep me posted. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Wukelanren Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark! I’ve got an offer from a publisher for my first book. They sent a contract to me in which I’ve found some mistakes and questions. Then I’ve sent them 2 letters in which I asked them to confirm if they received any of my letters. But the publisher keeps silent for more then 10 days. Is it fine, if I’ve sent them letters worrying if they received any of them? Do you think they can change their mind and call back their contract offer? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Congratulations! Is it from the ebook publisher or someone else (print edition)? It’s difficult to know if your letters created a problem or the publisher is just busy. Now would be a very good time to set up a phone call with me (if you’re able) to make sure you handle this properly. I will let you send me the contract and your correspondence so we can discuss it in greater detail. Here is the link: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

  284. I have NEVER gotten an agent or a publisher by writing a query letter. So, why (and here’s the question) are we all wasting our time on a pitch? In my experience, the only way to get an agent is to receive one for Christmas, from another agent – or – to get drunk with one at one of those infernal “pitching” conferences, which, as you know, agents absolutely dread… Seriously, Mark. You’ve been there. You know how it works. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Erica, had to shorten your comment for length due to moving my website with a new comment system. So plz don’t take offense. I’ve gotten lots of authors agents and publishers by writing a query letter. When I was an agent, that’s also how 95% of my clients got me to represent them. The other 2%? Referrals and writers’ conferences. And my favorite thing in the world to do as an agent was sit through pitches. Seriously. Granted, that’s rare. But I’m not the only one. ;) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  285. Alexandra Hillcoat /

    How many words should a thriller/romance novel be? What do you think is too short and what is too long? Also, when I asked a friend of my mom’s who’s a published author if she would read over the first two chapters of my manuscript and give me advice, she told me she wouldn’t because I’m only 13. Would being that young make agents not even read the parts of my manuscript I send them? If yes, then how could I get them to read it? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Alexandra, first of all… shame on the “friend” of your mom that wouldn’t at least look at something and give you some direction and/or encouragement! I’m glad you found me. Click here to check out this article: http://literary-agents.com/young-authors. Then leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Regarding word count, it’s more important if you’re an unpublished author. Shoot for 70-100,000 words as a start. And keep writing. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  286. Peter Lau /

    I have created a new animated cartoon series and i am looking for an agent to represent me to help me get my series to “air”. I have written the series but it has not been animated. Who do you think i should be searching for as an agent. I’m completely stumped but my cartoon is fantastic and i really need someone to have a look at it and see its full potential. Many thanks in advance for your help Mark. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Peter, are we talking about comic books (short) or graphic novels (60-120 pages)? I can steer you in the right direction to find literary agents interested in graphic novels, but not comic books. Just let me know. Mark P.S – Just converted my website to a new platform so I had to shorten your original question/comment. :) | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  287. Hello, Is it possible that a literary agent would ever work with someone under the age of 15 in which to find a publisher to publish their book? Thanks. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hi Anya, believe it or not… I wrote an article just for you. Well, not exactly. But sort of. Click here to check it out: http://literary-agents.com/young-authors. Then leave me a comment to let me know what you think! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  288. Cheryl /

    Mark, I’m a published author of nonfiction but I’m trying to peddle my novel to agents. I’ve had several ask to see the full manuscript or partials. Is this just standard or should I read into this that at least the query is successful? And when an agent asks to see the full, do they really read and are they serious or they are just going through the motions? Thanks. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Cheryl, a 40% positive response rate of agents asking to see sample chapters and/or your manuscript would be excellent. 10-20% would be very good. When an agent asks for a full, they are very serious. I can’t give you a percentage on the number of full manuscripts that result in representation, however. That really depends on the agent. If you want, send me your query via email here: http://literary-agents.com/contact. Sounds like you did good. I’d love to see it. Mark :) | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  289. Brian Holliday /

    In the last three years I have written three books, none of which have been submitted to anyone as yet. I am still trying to step gingerly through the minefield of publishing but after three years I am no nearer either an agent or a suitable publisher. I have found through blogs etc that publishers are very much up their own and there should be a fairer way of submitting. The information on your website about Writing Scams I found invaluable. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Brian, hang in there… and keep going through the information on my new website. I’ve added a LOT of new articles. Also, if you have the means to do so, seriously consider signing up for an introductory consulting session before pitching your work to anyone. Here is more info: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. Of course you can post more questions here as well. Either way, I’m happy to help. Keep me posted. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    brian holliday Reply:

    Thanks Mark,
    I will look into a consultancy session; thanks for the reply – I’m glad there’s someone out there that understands the publishing world. My guess is that there are hundreds of people like myself trying to get published but sadly the rest of us will never read their work because of the fierce publishing filter. It seems that most manuscripts are doomed before they get on the editors desk and quite frankly I didn’t spend months writing to end up in a slushpile.
    Many Thanks
    Brian | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Brian, that’s true… about the competition. The good news (for you) is that most authors don’t have a CLUE how to position themselves and their work in the best way. Use all the fr*ee resources on my site and you’ll have a much better chance of getting agents interested. Schedule an introductory consulting call with me and you’ll have an even greater chance. Education and having someone help you see what you can’t see alone is huge. Looking forward to learning more about you and your work. | Ask a Literary Agent

  290. I don’t want to seem disrespectful, but how can a novel writer ever expect to get an agent to represent his works if all agents look at queries looking for reasons to reject them instead of looking for reasons they can promote the novel? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Gary, I understand. Agents face the same dilemma when they are pitching publishers. It’s not a negative. The competition is fierce. As a publishing insider here on my site, you knowing that simple fact is half the battle. Most authors don’t have a clue and don’t take the submission process seriously enough. Do what I do, and encourage my 1-on-1 coaching clients to do… which is all that you can to create the absolute best pitch possible. Use every resource on this website. All my best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  291. Sorry for another question! Years ago I got a lot of press but haven’t had a lot for several yrs. One agent told me to get more. To start it up again.I will do press if it comes but don’t want to exhaust myself to get it. I follow the flow of the Universe. I know that’s not publishing talk :) Is it MY responsibility in how to “sell” my NOT having press for some yrs or the agents selling skills to come up with a response? How would one explain this & still sell big? THANKS! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi B, I don’t mind the questions. :) There are many ways to improve your platform. Current press is just one of them. By the way… it’s always up to the author to try and eliminate any “red flags” or “weaknesses” in a pitch. Give agents a good rationale why you’ve been out of the press as a starting point, to improve your chances. Oh, about the Universe… my two cents. Although you should follow the flow of the Universe. It will follow yours as well. Commit to what you want and go for it. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  292. A bit hesitant here…. want to be a good “shopper” I have 2 agents I’m considering. One more than the other. How do I know they are a good salesperson? That they’ll have a good sales pitch & twist in selling me? Our call was fast, rushed & asking ME questions. How do u get over the nerves & just go for it, sign the contract & trust? Dont want to be tied into a contract with a “bad” fit agent. I got into the zone of selling myself instead of interviewing them. New writer issues :) Thoughts? :/ | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Congrats! You have to tell me if you used any of my strategies (from my mp3s or on this website) to help you improve your query letter. That would make me VERY happy. To answer your question, look at the new articles I posted recently here: http://literary-agents.com/hiring-a-literary-agent/how-to-choose-a-literary-agent. That will help. You can also set up a call with me to help you decide: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. Let me know how it goes. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  293. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark,
    I’m really confused while writing a one page synopsis of each of the six books in my series. How do I write it? I keep missing important details and if I add them, it goes more than a page.

    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, you can find some of my best tips on this topic here: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/synopsis-for-literary-agents. Personally, I find the process of writing a query letter MUCH easier than writing a book synopsis… especially for fiction. Good luck, and keep me posted. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  294. Ashanee C. /

    Hey Mark :)

    Okay, straight to the question…
    We draft a query and after the information we receive (on silly websites),
    We email them to our top choices for literary agents,
    Agents we literally dream about.
    They then reject.

    Then we meet someone who actually knows what they’re talking about (M-A-R-K), and we finally make the right query, except, we just blew our chances with the agents we truly adored.

    Is there a period of time you should wait before emailing them with your new and improved query letter? Is that not accepted in the world of agents, and should we forget about it and move on?

    Thanks for reading! | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Ashanee, great question and good humor. The answer is, it depends. When someone works with me to improve their query, they can resubmit it to the same agents the next day. The query will be so different that agents 9 times out of 10 won’t recognize it. Sometimes I recommend changing a title, however. If someone isn’t working with me, their best bet is to wait 3-6 months and try to “reinvent” the query as much as possible before resubmitting. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  295. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Hi Mark, If I have to mention “Officer xyz” or “Commander abc” in my novel and I haven’t mentioned the names “xyz” or “abc” to the readers yet, then do I refer to them as “the Officer” and “the Commander”? Or just “Officer” and “Commander” | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, good hearing from you and sorry it took a while for me to reply. Just got back from a trip and, as you know, I’ve been putting a lot of my time into getting my new website done. Regarding your question, I would defer to Robin’s reply on this one. I think you can go either way, depending on the context. Keep me posted on your progress. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Rahul Abhyankar Reply:

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks.
    You’re getting a new website? What’s it about? Could you give me the link?
    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  296. cheah saw lian /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, What is the Chicago Manual of Style for a quotation within a narrative e.g. Farmer James wanted to tell his wayward son the proverb Make hay while the sun shines to make him realize he should make good use of his life. Do I italicize the proverb or put it in quotation marks? Couldn’t get the information I needed on the website you recommended and it wasn’t in Your Dictionary website either. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Saw Lian, I would use quotation marks. Sorry I was so slow to respond. Been busy traveling and getting my new website done! Hope you are well. When is your mss going to be done? When are going to start sending out queries??? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  297. cheah saw lian /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, When I quote someone or write a quote from a book, do I italicize the quote or do I put it in inverted commas? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Saw Lian, take a look at this article… I think it will answer your question and possibly some others that you might have: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/single-quotes-versus-double-quotes.aspx. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  298. Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark. Love your website! I know several bestselling authors that I could ask for an endorsement for my book. How do I chose which is the best one to ask? I know someone might say the one with the most FB fans, but I feel pulled to ask the one who I love the most (& is not the most promo savy).Is this a bad marketing? Also I don’t think my followers know this person, whats the point of an endorsement anyway? I dont think any of the authors would promote me anyway, what’s the pros to them? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Thank you for the kind words JM. Do you already have a literary agent? How/when you get testimonials should partly be affected by that. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  299. cheah saw lian /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Are you still writing your weekly articles as I haven’t been receiving any in my inbox? If you’re posting them on a website every week, let me know the link. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Saw Lian, I’m putting all my extra time/energy into getting my new site done. I’m not sending out emails at the moment but you can see a lot of the new content here: http://literary-agents.com. Just mouse over the items on the nav bar to see all the new articles. Once I’m done with the website, I’ll be sending out regular emails again. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  300. cheah saw lian /

    Ask a Literary Agent | In Eat, Pray, Love, I noticed the author had started each new chapter on the last page of the previous chapter and the book has 107 chapters. I was wondering whether it’s okay to do the same for my memoir which has more than 100 chapters and whether the agent will reject it. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Saw Lian, either way is fine. You seem like a very detail oriented person and I trust that your writing is good. That’s the most important thing. Good agents won’t reject you over a simple formatting issue. All my best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  301. Ask a Literary Agent | Mark, Thanks to the useful guidance on your site, I’ve spent quite a bit of time reworking my query letter and it’s now totally different (and far more engaging) than the earlier one I sent out. Is it poor form to submit a new query to an agent that said no (or didn’t respond) previously? Thanks, LR | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | I like the sound of that, and thanks for the positive feedback. It’s not poor form if the query is radically different from the first one, to the point that many/most agents won’t even recognize it. I do this often with my 1-on-1 coaching clients, the letters I help them produce are so different that it’s not an issue. By the way, if you’re able to do so, you should schedule a call with me to talk about your query before sending it out (or sending out more). Info here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. Either way, I’m glad to know that your current query is better than it was. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  302. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, This Sunday I read all of your blogs twice. It’s showing unbelievable effects! I made a lot of changes in my query letter and sent it to 10 agents. I really cannot believe that 4/5 agents who replied wanted to see my manuscript. Thanks a lot! You’re definitely guiding me and others on this website on the right path. :D Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, I’m delighted to hear it. As you can see I’ve been adding a LOT of new content to my website. If you don’t mind, send me your query letter using the email form on this page when you have a moment: http://literary-agents.com/contact. I’m curious to see how you applied all of the suggestions. Sounds like you did a very good job. All my best. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Rahul Abhyankar Reply:

    Hi Mark,
    It’s the very same letter I sent you some weeks ago.

    Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  303. cheah saw lian /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, One of the tips Michael Larsen gives for book proposals for non-fiction is that in the table of contents, each line in a chapter outline must represent one page of the chapter which means ten lines equals ten pages. Do I follow this tip? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Saw Lian, that’s not bad advice… as a guideline… but you certainly don’t have be that specific. Good hearing from you, enjoy your Sunday. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  304. Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, This question is really to anyone who knows :) So, I have always done my writings in Microsoft Works to which few people use, I guess. I changed my novel over to Microsoft Word because I haven’t seen an editor thus far who uses Works. It added over 30 more pages to my novel and it changed the format somewhat. What I want to know is how do I make the format 30 pages smaller without chopping my story? I’ve used Word for letters and term papers, but not totally familiar with it. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Sabrena, your best bet might be to Google “convert works to word” to find tips on this. In my experience, the conversion process is better than nothing but it still requires a lot of manual, tedious smoothing things out. I’m not sure you’ll be able to find one quick fix setting that will do what you need. But Google searches are always my first thought when I run into these types of situations. If you find something good, please post it here for me and everyone else. Tx, and good luck! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  305. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, Just wanted to thank you for http://literary-agents.com/self-publish-a-book That blog helps me to retain my confidence when my publishing journey never seems to end. It always fills me with hope. Thanks a lot. :) Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Yes Rahul, based on the positive responses that you’ve already gotten from agents and publishers… you should be taking your work more seriously. It might take a while but have a good chance of getting a traditional publisher if you’re persistent. I’m happy to know that I was able to give you that reminder. Keep believing, and keep us all posted on your progress. Your passion gives others strength and hope as well. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  306. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, I just rejected an e-book offer from a major e-book publisher. Why? Oh yes, it’s my dream to see my book published, no doubt about that. But it’s my dream to see my published book in a BOOKSTORE. I hate to say but e-book are killing traditional publishing. It’s destroying the “tradition” of flipping pages with fingers, not swishing pages by finger. It’s destroying the scent of new books, the quotes on bookmarks, the attractive spine of a book…it’s destroying all the fun! Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, this is probably a good decision… unless it turns out to be the only offer that you receive. But based on everything you’ve told me so far about the reception you’ve been receiving, it sounds like you will have more prospects soon. However, I think you made a good decision because the publisher who is willing to invest the money (more) needed to put your book in print, is also more likely to spend the money needed to PROMOTE your book properly as well. All good things. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  307. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, Recently, while filling a submission form on a website, there was a box titled “Exclusive”. What is it for? Do I tick it? Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, that means you are ONLY submitting your query to that particular agent… and you’re going to wait until they accept or reject your work before you send additional queries for the same project to other agents. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  308. Djilali /

    Ask a Literary Agent | I am an ex international fashion model that had children with 2 public personality that each had company that sold for about to 100 million dollars. I lived the life of the elites and I feels ready now to tell my story to the world. I am not a professional writer and I am willing to let some one write my story for me. How to proceed? Thanks you in advanced for any help you could provide. | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Djilali, The next steps you should take will depend on your story… seems like you might have the potential for an interesting book/movie… but it is hard to know without more info. The second factor is your financial resources. Since you’re not a writer yourself, you’re going to need someone to help you write the book, or write it mostly for you. If you want to know exactly what type of potential your story has, and find out what kind of options you have when it comes to hiring someone to help you write and sell your story… set up a one-hour consultation with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. I will ask you for a lot more information before our call, then tell you exactly what you should do next. Like I said, it will depend on your story and the resources you’re able to invest in the project (time and money). All my best, Mark | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

    [Reply]

  309. Ask a Literary Agent | Mark, It’s funny that you suggested joining a writer’s group to assist with critique. I just read that like a couple of hours prior to your email. So, thanks for the suggestion! :) I have seen some in nearby areas. Looking forward to joining one or two. | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

    [Reply]

  310. Anonymous /

    Ask a Literary Agent | I am a six times published novelist, although I do not, currently have a literary agent. Since I became a writer, I have encountered several publishers who offer no renewal option in their publishing contracts. This means that, once you’ve signed your work over to them, they’ve got it forever, and the author has no say in the matter. I have never signed one of these, but are such agreements normal? Or are they some kind of control game? | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | This varies by publisher and also by country. In the United States most publishers get your work forever. The contracts I’ve seen with time limits are generally for American books that have been licensed to another publisher abroad. Great question. Mark | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Hey “Anonymous” …I’m online and just wanted to send you a quick note to tell you that I finished your novel this morning. Hot stuff. ;) But that’s your genre, isn’t it. Just kidding. You’re a good writer in multiple genres, as you already know. Wishing you well and just wanted to make sure you know that I’m renewing my membership in your fan club. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

    [Reply]

  311. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, Just curious…which are your favorite fiction/non fiction books? Rahul | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | My favorite novel is Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” because I read it in college and related in some ways with the main character Howard Roark… and also some of the author’s philosophy on creativity, relationships, and success. Nonfiction is more difficult and I can’t say that I have a favorite, although I do have a soft spot for Anthony Robbin’s classic bestseller “Unlimited Power” which was a gift that I read when I was 16. Also changed my life. Thanx for asking. Mark | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

    [Reply]

    Rahul Abhyankar Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, Do you like reading fantasy? Which are your favorites? Rahul | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, I like fantasy but don’t have anything that I can say is my favorite. Mark | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

  312. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark. Recently an agency called the Gilbert Literary Agency accepted to represent my work. What do you think of them? What would you do if you were in my place? Rahul | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

    [Reply]

    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, I don’t provide agents reviews or recommendations online. I even don’t do that with my 1-on-1 coaching clients… although I do help them see the pros/cons of different types of agents. The agent selection process is very individual. You might find this new series of articles helpful when making your decision: htttp://literary-agents.com/finding-a-literary-agent. Let me know. Mark | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

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  313. Ask a Literary Agent | Mark, I have two novels at Amazon, iTunes, B&N and elsewhere, in paperback and eBook editions, under my Pine Tree Arts imprint. Based on reader reviews, I think one of them is worth promoting to a hard-cover edition. It’s the culmination of a 45-year background in journalism and 10 years in Montana. If you happen to know an agent who might be interested in brokering this effort, here’s a link to “Montana Midnight”: http://www.amazon.com/Montana-Midnight-David-Emil-Henderson/dp/0615473016 Thanks | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi David, I don’t make specific agent referrals/recommendations… even to my 1-on-1 coaching clients…. the agent selection process is very individual. But I did just post a series of articles that might help you decide which agents are best for you: http://literary-agents.com/finding-a-literary-agent. As you get farther along, please don’t hesitate to post a follow-up question with more specifics. I’m happy to help in any way I can. All my best. Mark | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

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    David Emil Henderson Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Thanks, Mark. I’ll check your articles. I’ve been through the agent process before, and I have been represented by two of them. But that was years ago, before emails, when authors were told to query only one agent at a time and wait weeks or months for a reply. I wasted so much time on that process that my work became outdated. It’s only now that it has achieved historical timelessness. Your efforts are refreshing. Best wishes for success. DEH | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Thank you for your kindness, David. Based on your last post you should consider taking advantage of my introductory consultation call that I have available right now: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach. If you’ve had agents in the past, but you’re not accomplishing what you want right now, I can definitely help. I just helped another author in a similar situation get a new agent (signed yesterday). Hope the articles are helpful. Mark | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

  314. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, one of the agents I queried replied, “Your plot development shows promise. Perhaps, at a later date, when you have some other manuscript or choose to redo the current one… And aslo send us synopses of all six, we can see where your stories are going and whether they have the potential for a 6 book series.” My major question is: Should I send them the synopses of ALL the six books? Because there are some pretty MAJOR twists in the end. Is it necessary for the author to reveal the ending of the series to the publisher? Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, if an agent/publisher wants more info about your series… I don’t see a way around sharing it if you want them to consider making you an offer. If you’re worried about your ideas getting stolen, that rarely happens. If you’re simply worried about spoiling the ending, don’t be. Agents/publishers need to know what you have. Also, in the future, please limit your questions to one per post (note how I consolidated your multiple posts into one here). Best, Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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  315. Rahul Abhyankar /

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Mark, How exactly do editors edit? What’s the procedure? What’s the technique? Rahul | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, are you talking about an editor at a publishing house? Or a freelance editor that you would hire to improve your work? Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Rahul Abhyankar Reply:

    Both | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Rahul, agents (and editors at publishing houses) will do some editing with you. Your agent will usually do less, but not always. And they both do this for no charge, sometimes going back and forth several times (multiple reviews/revisions). Hiring a professional freelance editor, on the other hand, requires you to pay and you have to be careful to get someone who is qualified and the right fit. They’re also less likely to do multiple reviews/revisions. Mark | ASK A LITERARY AGENT

  316. cheah saw lian /

    How many pages can a chapter in a fiction and non-fiction have before it’s considered too long by the agent? | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | That depends. But, if you’re wondering if your chapters are too long, there’s a good chance that they are. Every genre is different, so I suggest you look at books in your category that have already been published to see what’s typical. Your first book isn’t the best time to try to do too many things that are unconventional, at least when it comes to format! Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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  317. cheah saw lian /

    In the book How to write a book proposal, it say to write 25 sixty character lines about 250 words per page. Do I need to stick strictly to this guideline? | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Not important but it’s a good guideline. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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  318. cheah saw lian /

    When writing the Author’s Bio, do I need to put in the year for the relevant employment just like a job resume or do I just write some lines on my relevant experiences to my writing? | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    The latter. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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  319. cheah saw lian /

    Hi Mark, One tip given by Michael Larsen in his How to Write A Book Proposal was that to look more professional, we could put the proposal in the right pocket of a folder while the sample chapters, illustrations etc go into the left. I couldn’t find this type of folder and bought one folder with a buttoned cover for the proposal and a separate slip in folder where I could just slip in the sample chapters etc. Is this type of folder okay? | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Doesn’t make any difference. Just make sure, if you use a folder, that the papers are loose and not bound in any ways… so agents can easily make photocopies for other readers in their office, etc. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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  320. cheah saw lian /

    I thought of having photographs in my memoir. I’d just like to know whether the presence of photos in a memoir will enhance its sales. | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Always. :) Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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  321. cheah saw lian /

    Supposing you already have an agent for your first book, do you still need to write a book proposal with an Overview, author’s bio etc. and chapter outlines for each subsequent manuscript whether fiction or non-fiction each time or do you just hand over a few sample chapters and the Table of Contents (non-fiction) or a synopsis (fiction) to your agent instead of a full formal book proposal? | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Good question. I would say yes although there could be a rare situation when you wouldn’t need it. But don’t plan on that. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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  322. cheah saw lian /

    If an agent requests for your non-fiction book proposal and you have photographs meant for the memoir, do you send the photos together with the book proposal? | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Include some of the better ones as a sample if you have a lot of them. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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  323. cheah saw lian /

    Hi Mark, I was looking for you answers to my previous question on font sizes for book proposals in my email as you used to send your replies to my email but couldn’t find it. Is it a new policy of yours that you no longer send replies to email inboxes? Also, I remember you mentioned that your Literary Agent Directory will be posted online. Can you tell me the website for it? Also, must each page of a book proposal contain twenty five lines each and do I need to use indentations for the Overview, Author Bio etc (introduction) even though it’s double-spaced? | Ask a Literary Agent

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    Mark Malatesta, Literary Agent Undercover Reply:

    Ask a Literary Agent | Hi Saw LIan, you can find old questions/answers on the old site for now: http://literary-agents.com/ask-a-literary-agent/. I’m still responding to questions and you should get the answers via email. You can access my Directory of Literary Agents here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents. The amount of lines per page in a proposal isn’t important. Indent your paragraphs in a section after the first one. Mark | Ask a Literary Agent

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