Ask a Literary Agent – Submit Your Question About Book Agents

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.

* * *

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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1,713 comments

  1. Just wish too ssay your article iss as astounding. The clarity inn our
    post is just coopl and i ccan assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  2. Michael Mitchell /

    Hi Mark,
    As I look at your website, it appears that I need an agent before I work with you on marketing. Am I reading this correctly?
    Thanks,

    Michael Mitchell

  3. Hello Mark,

    I have never written a book for money. I believe if you are writing for money then it’s a big shame. If my book is accepted by any agent, will they invest all my royalties in promoting worldwide because I want everyone to read my book rather then enjoying life in five star hotel with royalty money. Secondly, I write under my pen name. I don’t want my photograph to be inserted at the back cover of my book. I want my identity to be hidden from everyone. Will my agent provide me with this advantage?

  4. Tayo Akiwumi /

    Hello Mark,

    Following recent publication of my peer-reviewed article on Mars in a science research journal, I would like to propose a book series. The topics would be on Mars, Europa and other planets and moons that are being targeted for missions by various space exploration agencies.

    More details: http://www.esciencecentral.org/journals/martian-life-a-possibilityremote-exploration-of-martian-subsurface-2332-2519-1000146.php?aid=64967. Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks,
    TA

  5. saw-lian cheah /

    Also, can I start a chapter summary with the same introductory paragraph as in the first chapter if it has a hook?

  6. saw-lian cheah /

    Ijust re-read your article on tips to approach agents at writers’ conferences. When an agent asks for sample chapters, do the chapters need to be in sequence or any three chapters that showcases your different voices throughout the manuscript?

  7. Christine Walters /

    Hi Mark!

    I’m looking for an agent and I wanted to reach out to you in hopes you may know of any agents that would be interested. My book is 96 pages based on a true story. I added amazon link below so you can view my book. My website is below. If your interested I can email you a PDF copy.

    Thank you,

    Christine Walters

    http://www.authorchristinewalters.com

    Ginny and Me:: Reflections of What God Can Do
    by Christine Walters
    Link: http://amzn.com/1496964217

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Christine,

      I hope you get your book out there in a bigger way since you’re dealing with important themes. I’m happy to help if possible, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former literary agent, who now helps authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals as a coach/consultant.

      As a next step…

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here to access to all the valuable resources I have about getting an agent in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a great day, and weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  8. Joseph Rosselli /

    I have copyrighted five books. I have my first one published. I am looking to get a conventional publishing of my other four books. One book stands on its own. The other three are the continued story of the first book that is published.
    If you wish to read my manuscripts, I would be happy to send them to any of the agents.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Joseph,

      You’ve paid your dues…

      I’m happy to help if possible, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former literary agent, who now helps authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals as a coach/consultant.

      As a next step…

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here to access to all the valuable resources I have about getting an agent in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a great day, and weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  9. Kirstin Lynch-Walsh /

    Hello, I am a drama instructor at a School of Performing Arts in New Jersey and we are interested in producing Holes by Louis Sachar this spring. We have done his works in the past and just love love how creative they are. Could you please let me know how I can apply for the royalties and purchase scripts? The show would be performed in May so we would need to get rolling as soon as possible. Thanks so much for your assistance!

  10. Colleen /

    My children’s book was starting off with great success but, because I didn’t have a literary agent couldn’t pursue the big guys. I want my book to continue with it’s success but keep running into road blocks. I was able to get my book into one Costco store, a couple Barnes & Nobles, Hastings, and a couple local gift shops. That’s where it stops. Is this something you help with?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Colleen,

      Are you hoping to get a self-published version out there in a bigger way… or secure a literary agent now with the goal of getting a traditional publisher and book deal?

      When it comes to advising authors about how to get more exposure or improve their platform is one of the most difficult topics to handle online here (in few words) because the best marketing strategies are going to be different for each person… based on their unique goals, skill sets, personality, lifestyle, and time/money resources. There are literally hundreds of ways to improve your platform and get more exposure, but to be successful (and happy) you need to find the few strategies that are right for you. These two articles might help: http://literary-agents.com/author-platform/ and http://literary-agents.com/social-media-for-authors/.

      If you want to get an agent instead…

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here to access to all the valuable resources I have about getting an agent in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  11. Laura Wolfe /

    Hi Mark,
    Last year I had my first novel (a YA thriller) published by a small publisher (POD). I’m in the process of querying agents for my new commercial thriller. Someone at a conference I recently attended told me not to mention the first novel unless sales were impressive (They are not.) Should I mention the publication of my first novel in the query letter? I always thought being published would help my chances of getting an agent.
    Thank you for your feedback!

  12. Minda Powers-Douglas /

    Since you insist … my question is: “When should you approach a literary agent who represents non-fiction? Should you have a completed manuscript or earlier in the process?

    Thank you!
    Minda

  13. Anthony (Tony) Scioli /

    Hi Mark!

    I am a clinical psychologist and an author of two books on hope: Oxford, 2009; HCI, 2010). I am one of the leading psychologists on this topic. I have two book proposals (self-help; hope and the presidency). My agent past away. I’m looking for an agent to launch a brand of hope-related products(see http://www.gainhope.com).

    You caught my attention for a personal reason. I was born in Italy (Molise) and mother’s maiden name is Malatesta. Can we talk/email?

    Tony Scioli

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Tony, sorry I’m slow getting back to you. Right after you posted your question, I had some website issues that caused me some problems. But now I’m back, and I would LOVE to help you get another agent.

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here to access to all the valuable resources I have about getting an agent in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post more questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  14. Josh McCray /

    is it better just to self-publish now? Can an author get publisher’s attention that way?

  15. Ethel OQuin /

    Hello,
    I wrote a piece of fiction and submitted it to the Literary agents that I found on-line for first time publishers. One wanted over 8000 dollars, they were gonna do this massive book launch, with Barns & Noble Amazon,book signing tour, Then another one offered some of the same things on a smaller scale, apparently the book was good for some one to take interest in it but does it really have to cost me this muchto publish a book?

  16. Mary Brotherton /

    What do you think of pred-ed.com?

  17. Silvana /

    Hi Mark,
    How do I find a literary agent that could cover all my works: English and Spanish; children, YA and adults; short stories, flash fiction, novels and writing activities?
    Thank you very much and have a great 2016

  18. Brian /

    Hi Mark –
    I am sending out query letters for a novel. I understand that my sample submission should be double spaced, but now-a-days everything is done electronically, and when I copy my double spaced text, and paste it to an e-mail, the double spacing and format disappears. I’m afraid to send my query if it’s not following guidelines. Is there a way I can fix this? Thanks in advance!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Brian, your story is what matters most, so don’t get too frustrated if you can’t get your email submissions to behave completely. That said, you should do your best to make everything look the way it’s supposed to so agents can immerse themselves in your writing… not get hung up on your formatting.

      Unfortunately, different computers and computer programs (including email), and different combinations of computers and computer programs, act differently. So there’s not really a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. If you end up scheduling a 1-on-1 coaching call with me at any point, I might be able to help you figure it out while helping you with other things as well.

      If you want help with anything else, I’ll try to be more helpful. You can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. You can also (if you haven’t done so already) get access (no cost) to all the valuable resources in our private, members-only area here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a great week, and good luck querying!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  19. Max Oberon /

    Hi from Australia. I have self published my first novel TILT a climate change conspiracy thriller. So far it is receiving excellent reviews on Amazon http://amzn.to/1MYbcZe
    Based on the reviews across the Amazon world, it seems to have the potential to be a best seller as well as the basis of an excellent movie. However, it needs promoting correctly and this is where I need an agent to help me. My next book is also well under way and I’d like an agent to handle this for me.

    Hoping you can help.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Max, seems like you’re off to a good start and you’re right, if you can, why not see what you can do with agents and major publishers who have the ability to help you get out there in a bigger way… and possibly help with feature film?

      As a next step…

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here for access to the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  20. Deborah /

    Hi Mark,
    I just finished reading part 2 of “how To Get An Agent” and one comment you made stopped me cold. In re: simultaneous submissions. It’s been my experience so far, that most don’t want simultaneous submissions, so how do you get around that without coming across as arrogant?

    Love your articles and appreciate your time

    Deborah

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Deborah, thank you for the love, and great question.

      Now, I have so many articles that I’m not sure which one you’re referring to here… but you should read this (it will help): http://literary-agents.com/finding-a-literary-agent/stop-looking-for-a-literary-agent/. Here are a few other thoughts that I don’t believe are in this article. First, agents don’t want to “compete” with other agents, whether those agents work at their agency or another agency. The most important thing is that you don’t submit your work to more than one agent at the same agency at one time. But you can/should submit queries to different agencies at one time. Otherwise it would take you years to get an agent since some agents take months to respond (or never respond). And, again, because agents don’t like to compete, I suggest your refrain from letting them know you’re submitting simultaneously. It’s none of their business. It gets tricker when an agent responds to your initial query and asks more material though, because some agents will say that they won’t look at more material unless it’s on an exclusive basis. If that happens, you’ll then have to decide, on a case-by-case basis how you want to handle it since every agent and scenario is slightly different. This is something I help my 1-on-1 coaching clients with, for that reason.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. You can also (if you haven’t done so already) get access (no cost) to all the valuable resources in our private, members-only area here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  21. Rebekah Willhite /

    I recently self-published a poetry book. I am at a loss on how to promote it or find an agent to promote the book to publishers. I enjoy writing. I have an editor that love to work with, but am missing needing assistance for the next steps.

  22. Sara Dahmen /

    Hi Mark –

    Just following up on my question on Twitter the other week…I have sent out many a query. Sometimes I get a response back, and it’s usually along the lines of: “Your work is great, but just not what I’m looking to represent right now, don’t be discouraged, etc.” My question is…do I email that agent back and say “Thanks so much for your time! Many cheers!” I want them to know I appreciate them. Or do I let their email be the last point of contact? What’s proper etiquette?

  23. Michael Soward /

    Hi Mark,

    I’ve self published via Xlibris my first book (over a year ago) and done lots of marketing plus radio promo. nationwide.

    The product is:

    Michael Soward
    Life-Ology 101 If All Else Fails, Smile
    Amazon. Barnes and Noble, Book Nook and more….Would you have
    any possible comments and suggestions that could help move me along to the next level please?

    Many Thanks for your time and attention sir.

    http://www.michaelsoward.com

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Michael,

      I like what you’re doing, but…

      Are you talking about promoting a self-published book or… trying to secure a literary agent with the goal of getting a traditional publisher and book deal?

      Let me know, and…

      If it’s an agent and traditional book deal you’re after…

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here for access to the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  24. Dan Sapienza /

    I have a question about your opinion about Austin Macauley publishing copany.

  25. Melinda Renken /

    Hi Mark,
    I’m a graduate student currently researching agents to query upon completion of my manuscript. It’s historical fiction with a touch of magical realism and psychological thrills. Many agents seem to want you to specify a genre within your query letter, but I’m unsure how to pitch this since it crosses genres a bit. I know you can’t give specific advice, and I wish I could afford a one on one call, but I can’t. Any thoughts on how to pin this down?
    Happy Holidays!
    Melinda Renken

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Melinda, sorry I’m slow getting back to you. I took some time away for the holidays and I had two clients get agents in the last couple weeks… so it’s been busy here.

      When it comes to book genres, I often tell my coaching clients they’ll need to call their book different things… depending on who they’re pitching. Some books could be categorized in more ways than one, and that’s good news since that means more agents to pitch to. Those labels sometimes include the broader genres of commercial fiction, mainstream fiction, and general fiction as well.

      Take a look at these articles as well, they might help: http://book-genres.com (my website devoted to book genre definitions), along with this article about which book genres are “best”: http://literary-agents.com/book-genres/.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. You can also (if you haven’t done so already) get access (no cost) to all the valuable resources in our private, members-only area here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. And, if and when you’re able to do so, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And Happy New Year!!!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  26. Michael D. Moody /

    I am writing an anthology aimed at Chinese women literate in English. The anthology is science fiction set in a time when the Chinese have bases colonies on the Moon and the outer planets. Every story in the collection will have some element of romance.

    This is such a specialized niche that I wonder if there is any literary agent who would deal in the marketing of this kind of book. I couldn’t begin to guess what publisher I should try to approach with this work. Any thoughts appreciated.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Michael, sorry I’m slow getting back to you. I took some time away for the holidays and I had two clients get agents in the last couple weeks… so it’s been busy here. To your question, I genuinely believe (deeply) that a talented writer can make absolutely anything interesting and do it in way that will have broad appeal. In some ways, it’s more about how the material is presented than it is about the material itself. So yes, I believe you can get agents and publishers (and readers) interested. But you’re going to have to finesse it and make sure you have an incredible pitch that makes the work friendly and doesn’t give people the wrong idea or make it seem limited.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. You can also (if you haven’t done so already) get access (no cost) to all the valuable resources in our private, members-only area here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And Happy New Year!!!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  27. Alexis Castelle /

    Hi Mark, I’m really curious why it is so difficult for writers of color to get representation. I know there are guidelines and some have specific criteria for the genres they represent, but why are “Urban” authors hard to represent?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Alexis, sorry I’m slow getting back to you. I took some time away for the holidays and I had two clients get agents in the last couple weeks… so it’s been busy here. Your question is a good one and it makes me want to write an article on the topic. I’ll probably do that at some point. The short answer, for now, is this.

      Most of the time, writers (and people in general) are so focused on their narrow perspective and point of view that they aren’t very inclusive in their writing. Their writing has limited appeal because they present the world they’re exploring in a way that will only be of interest to a limited audience. This is particularly true when it comes to all “special interest” writers. Sometimes it’s color or culture. Other times it’s religion or politics or sexual preference, etc.

      Inclusive writing means making the main focus of a book the theme(s) that any person (or a lot of people) can relate to). In other words, there are some books written by black authors (for example) that are only (or primarily) going to be read by black authors (instead of a mainstream audience) because they dive so deep into the black experience. Same thing goes with Christian authors. Whenever I’m coaching a Christian author, the first question I ask is what’s your goal? Do you want to convert non-believers with your work or preach to the choir?

      I don’t have any agenda with authors except to help them see the range of options and opportunities that come with the full spectrum of different ways to approach their writing. There’s no right or wrong with this, the way I see it. But the more clear someone is on what they’re doing, and how it’s going to come across, the easier it is to get the desired response from literary agents, publishers, and readers. I hope this helps, it’s a difficult topic to handle in this short space.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Happy New Year!!!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  28. Mark Z. Danielewski’s “House of Leaves” meets “The Replacement” by Brenna Yovanoff. A YA high-concept dark fantasy/horror story at 70,679 words. Called “The Head of The Watchmaker” anything wrong with this pitch?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Inez,

      I like that you’re providing “context” so agents can get a better sense of what your book is like. And I’m able to answer questions online here (no cost), but I can’t give feedback on things like pitch materials, samples pages, websites/blogs, etc. unless someone signs up for a introductory coaching call with me (more information about that below). Otherwise I’d have everyone asking for that and no time for my coaching clients.

      If you want help with anything else (questions that don’t require me to review your work or pitch), you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. You can also (if you haven’t done so already) get access (no cost) to all the valuable resources in our private, members-only area here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Have a great weekend… and I hope you’ll join me later this morning for my Internet radio show if you can. My wife and business partner (Ingrid Elfver) will be joining me to answer questions about writing, publishing and/or promoting books. You can ask us pretty much anything. Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And Happy Holidays!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  29. saw-lian cheah /

    In your ‘What is a query letter’ online submission form was the question on sub-genre. If my memoir contains paranormal encounters as well spirituality e.g.some explanations on Buddhist teachings that corroborate my paranormal experiences and meditation experiences etc. then can I say that my sub-genre is paranormal/spirituality or paranormal cum religion? Which is more accurate?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Saw-Lian, in this particular case I would simply just call the book memoir. Then describe the story and introduce those other elements that way. It’s easier and you’ll get more agents interested than way than if you pigeonhole the book or try to define it too much.

      Have a great weekend, and good luck!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  30. Annette /

    I am a self-publisher through Amazon’s Create-space. How do I go about getting a Lit Agent to take a look at my children’s poetry divorce book entitled “Divorce Through the Eyes of a Child; Dear Mama and Dad”

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Annette!

      Welcome, great book idea, and sorry it took me a while to reply…

      The good news is that it’s never too late for a previously published author to get a literary agent, traditional publisher, and book deal… but it can be tricky. Read this article which talks about that, and a few other things you might find interesting and helpful: http://literary-agents.com/its-not-what-you-say/.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. You can also (if you haven’t done so already) get access (no cost) to all the valuable resources in our private, members-only area here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Have a great weekend… and I hope you’ll join me later this morning for my Internet radio show if you can. My wife and business partner (Ingrid Elfver) will be joining me to answer questions about writing, publishing and/or promoting books. You can ask us pretty much anything. Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And Happy Holidays!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  31. Hello Mark,
    Ive written a manuscript about my many sexual relationships over the past 30 plus years. It is a compilation of over 100 encounters. It was written as a catharsis but also to shed light on this prevalent problem. Titled ” Memories of a Womanizer,” it has been accepted to published by a vanity publisher. I need someone professional to read it and give me a true evaluation of its worth. I think it has great potential,not just because I wrote it, but because it has an audience.

  32. John A. MacEachern /

    Every literary agent I’ve written to is either “Not taking on new clients” or “They don’t represent my genre.” So i decided to self publish. My latest novel, “The Blood of Art” just received a 5 star review from http://www.readersfavorite.com as well as a number of good reviews on Amazon and Kobo. My first novel “The Hat Trick Murders” has also done well. so my question is: How do I get an reputable agent interested in representing me?

  33. Evan Bollinger /

    How you doing Mark?

    I know this is a general question, but I often wonder about agent queries… what makes a good hook good? What do agents like to see in that initial summary/description of the novel/manuscript that separates the “meh”‘s from the “ooooh yeah”‘s? Obviously every person has certain genre preferences… but is there a general rule of thumb or format that agents prefer? I wonder about email queries especially.

    Again sorry if this is vague

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Evan, great question… but not sure if you’ve been sending out queries yet or not. If you have, and you’ve been struggling, I’ll preface everything by saying this… the good news is that you can often get a drastically different response by tweaking or changing your pitch.

      My favorite example of this is one of my coaching clients who’d pitched her favorite “dream” agent three times over the course of two years. Rejections every time. After I helped her rewrite her query letter, she approached the same agent a fourth time and he requested the full manuscript. So don’t get too discouraged. You might just be a few changes away from getting what you want. As a next step, check out my query letter site at http://query-letter.com. You should find answers to both questions there pretty quickly.

      If you want help with anything else, you can post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. If you haven’t already done so, you can also get access (no cost) to all the valuable resources in our private, members-only area here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. And you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a great day, and weekend,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  34. Charlie /

    Hi Mark, I had a question: I recently received a request (from an agent in response to my query) for a book proposal for my debut novel. I’ve never written a book proposal before, so I did my homework, but became somewhat stumped over the part of the proposal in which I am required to list off the all marketing tools I have (hitherto) implemented (I was also slightly confused by the question, as I had formerly thought that agents assist with marketing?). Could you offer some helpful suggestions?

  35. I heard new authors have to have their first books at 100,000 words, but what about authors who have been published in magazines? Would that 100,000 word rule apply?

  36. Herb M. /

    I’m working with Book Fuel on editing my book, developing a web site and promotional stuff. How can I use social media like twitter to promote and not turn off interest in my work?

  37. The Pennsylvania Pickle /

    Mark,

    I created a funny superhero cartoon and eBook. I would like to get this show on TV and was told I need a literary agent. I would be ok with getting the book popular first if that is what it takes. Anyway I have e-mailed about 200 agent, some literary and some talent. None of them will even give me a chance. Any advice or other methods? There has to be someone out there who will take a chance on me right? Here is my cartoon.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qlWglLHjFM

    Thanks
    The PA Pickle

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hey Pickle!

      Although what you’re doing is hilarious… and some of the authors I’ve worked with have had their work adapted for TV, stage, and feature film… my main specialty is helping authors get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. That often leads to interest in the other areas, through the author’s agent or publisher. To that end, most top agents who represent fiction help on the TV/film front or they partner up (co-agent) with another successful agency that does it. If this was a children’s picture book, I’d tell you to get an agent… so you could then get a traditional publisher… and TV. I’m not saying you can’t make it, just not sure which direction to point you.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  38. wendy waters /

    Hi Mark, following up our chat on Twitter…my debut novel was published in the UK this year by a small publishing house, who I feel is under-performing in terms of marketing. My book is receiving wonderful reviews on Amazon but the publisher is not capitalizing on them i.e. not seeking foreign rights, adaptations, reviews, interviews etc. I feel a literary agent with more drive and ambition would help my career at this stage but without the bait of a lucrative advance would anyone be interested

  39. Miller Caldwell /

    The press have been hounding me all day as a picture of my great aunt revealed that she was a double spy during the war. I am an author and am writing about her. The Reluctant Spy is with my editor at present. I am the Events Manager for the Society of Authors and my last agent died. I need another. However I am now 65 and feel no longer wanted by an agent but this novel has so much potential, see the press cuttings on my Facebook page. I’m prepared to spend the next 2 years promoting bthis book

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Miller, don’t be discouraged. It’s never too late (I have coaching clients in their 80s) and it sounds like you have a great story. And it’s much easier to get an agent if you’ve had one in the past.

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here for access to the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss my upcoming Internet radio show airing this Saturday, where you can listen to one of my coaching clients, Dave Hamme, share how he got a top literary agent, resulting in offers from 3 well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and Mc-Graw Hill (who recently published Dave’s book in hardcover). See how you can listen here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      I’m happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  40. Thanks for your time.

    I just sent a query to an agent.

    Should I expect a yea or nay response soon, or, if not accepted, at all?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi David!

      Apologies for the delay… I’m slow to respond this month due to the holidays.

      Take a look at this article: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/literary-agent-turnaround-times/.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss my upcoming Internet radio show airing this Saturday, where you can listen to one of my coaching clients, Dave Hamme, share how he got a top literary agent, resulting in offers from 3 well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and Mc-Graw Hill (who recently published Dave’s book in hardcover). See how you can listen here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  41. Jacquie /

    Hello,

    I was curious to know what legal implications might be involved if an author decided to not write the final book in a series. I know that this may be contingent on the actual contract that the author signed. But, I didn’t know if you knew of any instances where the author simply ‘walked away’ from a series. Could they be sued? Could the author be written out of the contract and then a ghost writer finishes the series?

    Thanks!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Jacquie, great question… and my apologies for the delay… I’m slow to respond this month due to the holidays. You’d have to refer, as you suspected, to the contract. But there would definitely be talk about any advance money being returned. Beyond that, it’s hard to say. Every case is unique. If the author is fortunate, the publisher would likely work with you to try and find a replacement writer… similar to what might happen if you were to break a lease.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss my upcoming Internet radio show airing this Saturday, where you can listen to one of my coaching clients, Dave Hamme, share how he got a top literary agent, resulting in offers from 3 well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and Mc-Graw Hill (who recently published Dave’s book in hardcover). See how you can listen here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  42. Dr Hiriyappa /

    I am self published author in createspace, authorhouse, booktango. Book marketing is failure. I want to sell but no idea and no investment. It is link about me and books;http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-B.-Hiriyappa-Ph.-D./e/B002E4CXI2
    I am looking for your advice and how to promote books at international market

  43. Hi Mark,
    I’m writing a novel, and have a legal question that has been bothering me for awhile:
    My novel is 100% fictional, but is set in two real medical facilities in Boston, Ma. I was advised to seek out a literary attorney and find out if I should contact these places for permission to use the names and details of their facilities in my book before publishing. I was told I should hire a lawyer, but I was hoping to avoid that. Can I contact them for permission myself? What should I do?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Reagan!

      Apologies for the delay… I’m slow to respond this month due to the holidays.

      Take a look at this: http://literary-agents.com/you-cant-say-that/.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss my upcoming Internet radio show airing this Saturday, where you can listen to one of my coaching clients, Dave Hamme, share how he got a top literary agent, resulting in offers from 3 well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and Mc-Graw Hill (who recently published Dave’s book in hardcover). See how you can listen here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  44. Thank you for answering our questions. Here’s another one :)

    Is it bad practice to simultaneously submit to more than one agents? Or is it frowned upon to simultaneously submit to agents AND small presses/publishers that allow unsolicited manuscripts?

  45. Dr Hiriyappa /

    I am self published author, but i am not successful. I wrote nonfiction books. I am able to write business, self help, finance , strategy management, organization behavior. I have vast experience in management and commerce. I taught mba and mcom students more than 15 year of experience in Bangalore ( INDIA ). I have ideas but i am unable to invest funds in publish a book. My aim is become the best seller at international market. I choosen you become your resource help me become a best seller author.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hello Dr. Hiriyappa!

      Apologies for the delay… I’m slow to respond this month due to the holidays.

      It’s never too late for a previously published author to get a literary agent, traditional publisher, and book deal… but it can be tricky. Read this article which talks about that, and a few other things you might find interesting and helpful: http://literary-agents.com/its-not-what-you-say/.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss my upcoming Internet radio show airing this Saturday, where you can listen to one of my coaching clients, Dave Hamme, share how he got a top literary agent, resulting in offers from 3 well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and Mc-Graw Hill (who recently published Dave’s book in hardcover). See how you can listen here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  46. Angelica Stuart /

    I’ve developed an oracle system called Chakra Animals that links animal attributes with the 7 main human chakras. All art work and writing is mine. It includes 46 tokens, a chakra reading cloth, and a book of interpretations. You can see more on my Facebook page: Chakra Animals; or on my Etsy site: FunkyCroneCrafts. The system needs to stay whole, not just published as a book. I’m getting more orders for sets than I can manufacture myself! Any suggestions for an agent will be most welcome.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Angelica, apologies for the delay… I’m slow to respond this month due to the holidays!

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here for access to the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss my upcoming Internet radio show airing this Saturday, where you can listen to one of my coaching clients, Dave Hamme, share how he got a top literary agent, resulting in offers from 3 well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and Mc-Graw Hill (who recently published Dave’s book in hardcover). See how you can listen here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      I’m happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  47. Faas Kramer /

    Dear Mark,

    As a writer of English thrillers in Belgium, how can I seek an agent closer to home? The ones that I have approached are focused on representing Dutch writers. I self-published my first thriller last year and my second should be finished end-2016. To avoid conflict with professional life, I write under pseudonym which obviously makes marketing a book much more challenging. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks!

    Faas Kramer (Pseudonym)
    http://www.faaskramer.com

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Faas, are you trying to find an agent in Belgium, the UK, or the US? Sorry, I’m not clear. Most literary agents in the United States will consider any book if it has appeal for the American market. In other words, the primary focus and value of the work needs to include a plot, characters, and themes, that an American reader can relate to. As long as you do that, you can write about anything, anyone, and anyplace.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss out on my upcoming Q&A CALLL that I’ll be doing live with authors on Saturday, Nov. 21st. You can listen online and/or ask questions. See how you can participate here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  48. Would an English-speaking literary agent take on a client who lives in a different country, provided of course the writer writes in English? The reason I’m asking is because some agents consider the difficulties said writer will have to make public appearances in the US or UK and promote his/her book.

    Thanks for your time

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Chris, absolutely… I’ve helped authors get agents in the US from abroad. Lats week one of my clients who lives in Israel got an offer from a top agency in the US. I’ll probably highlight her in my newsletter next week.

      You can live anywhere…

      Most literary agents in the United States will consider any book if it has appeal for the American market. In other words, the primary focus and value of the work needs to include a plot, characters, and themes, that an American reader can relate to. As long as you do that, you can write about anything, anyone, and anyplace.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss out on my upcoming Q&A CALLL that I’ll be doing live with authors on Saturday, Nov. 21st. You can listen online and/or ask questions. See how you can participate here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  49. Penny August /

    Thanks for soliciting questions! I’m compiling a book of interviews, but have only gotten a few so far, none of which have been edited yet. Someone suggested that I attempt to find a publisher now, and possibly get an advance, by sending a sample chapter or two. Does that make sense?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Penny, absolutely… and FYI… I’m posting my response again (what I can remember of it anyway) because your original comment (and my response) were accidentally deleted yesterday from my system. Had a couple computer issues.

      Anyway…

      I have information about writing a book proposal here: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/how-to-write-a-book-proposal/. Also, another tip that I don’t think is in the article… in general, I tell my coaching clients to make their proposals long instead of short. More information is always better (assuming it’s interesting and persuasive, of course). Think of it this way, if you don’t address certain things in your proposal and turn them into something positive, they can be taken as something neutral… or worse… something negative. But you can, and should, try to get an agent and publisher before the book is done (for nonfiction).

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss out on my upcoming Q&A CALLL that I’ll be doing live with authors on Saturday, Nov. 21st. You can listen online and/or ask questions. See how you can participate here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  50. Debra Ross /

    I am writing women’s fiction, however, I had heard in my critique groups that it could be considered upmarket women’s fiction, commercial women’s fiction, smart women’s fiction or adult literary fiction (never heard this one before). I’ve Googled these to find out the true definition and frankly came up empty handed. Can you please detail the various genres. I am getting ready to begin querying agents and I want to make sure I put in the correct genre for their consideration. Thanks Mark!!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Debra,

      When it comes to book genres, I often tell my coaching clients they’ll need to call their book different things… depending on who they’re pitching. Some books could be categorized in more ways than one, and that’s good news since that means more agents to pitch to. Those labels sometimes include the broader genres of commercial fiction, mainstream fiction, and general fiction as well.

      Take a look at the following, they might help: http://book-genres.com (my website devoted to book genre definitions), along with this article about which book genres are “best”: http://literary-agents.com/book-genres/.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss out on my upcoming Q&A CALLL that I’ll be doing live with authors on Saturday, Nov. 21st. You can listen online and/or ask questions. See how you can participate here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  51. Barbara /

    Hi there! I’m an Australian self-published author living in Australia, who has just discovered your great website. Your list of literary agents who represent my genre of Magical Realism are all in the USA. So my question is whether it’s a problem that I’m in Australia, contacting agents in the US. Any suggestions on how I can proceed from “Down Under” finding an agent and hopefully also a traditional publisher in the US (or even elsewhere)?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Barbara!

      I’m posting my response again (what I can remember of it anyway) because your original comment (and my response) were accidentally deleted yesterday… and I want to be sure you got my reply. :)

      Thank you for the kind words, first and foremost.

      Much appreciated!!!

      Second…

      Most literary agents in the United States will consider any book if it has appeal for the American market. In other words, the primary focus and value of the work needs to include a plot, characters, and themes, that an American reader can relate to. As long as you do that, you can write about anything, anyone, and anyplace.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss out on my upcoming Q&A CALLL that I’ll be doing live with authors on Saturday, Nov. 21st. You can listen online and/or ask questions. See how you can participate here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  52. Rob Severson /

    As a no-name author with 2 books how do I decide to hire an agent? I have a publicist and other consultants but don’t know if what I have is worthwhile. You can check my work at http://www.robseverson.com

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Rob,

      I’m posting my response again (what I can remember of it anyway) because your original comment (and my response) were accidentally deleted yesterday… and I want to be sure you got my reply. :)

      If you want to get a major publisher like Random House, you should do what you can to see if you can secure an agent… since you’re writing for a big market.

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here for access to the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Plus…

      Don’t miss out on my upcoming Q&A CALLL that I’ll be doing live with authors on Saturday, Nov. 21st. You can listen online and/or ask questions. See how you can participate here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/. Would love to see you there if you can make it.

      Also…

      I’m happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  53. Michelle Burns /

    I have a book i’m working on and i want to use either the 10th Dr from Dr who or John Constantine from the series not the comics. how do i get the rights to use their likeness without getting sued in the end?Also why is it on social media when i reach out to an agent they just refer me back to their site instead of saying hi and talking to me for a little bit?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Michelle, sorry to say that I have no idea when it comes to the Dr. Who question… but I’m not sure why you’re doing that… unless you have to… as it can create problems you don’t need right now with agent and publishers. What does the Dr. have to do with your book? Now… when it comes to agent, or anyone else who’s extremely busy, interacting on Twitter, it’s mostly going to be a one-way communication stream… them to you… if you’re interested in that. It’s their way of making it easier for you to get to know them, but they don’t have time to engage much. I do the same thing on social media, for the same reason, but also because it’s easier for me to respond to people here… more room. :)

      Now, as a next step…

      If you haven’t already done, so, click here for access to the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my recent case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice. If/when you visit the link above and enter the radio show archive you’ll get instant access.

      And…

      I’m happy to answer any questions that you have online on the page you posted last time, or here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great day,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  54. Hi,
    I’m a first time teen young adult author and my novel has a heavy use of vulgar language (ie cursing). The cursing however, has a overarching literary significance in my novel. Will this hinder me from getting a literary agent? How can I convey the importance of the language in my query?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Keith, check out these two articles: http://literary-agents.com/swearing-in-writing/ and http://literary-agents.com/young-authors/. By the way, you don’t need to mention the swearing in your query.

      After you’ve looked at the above…

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here for access to the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my recent case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice. If/when you visit the link above and enter the radio show archive you’ll get instant access.

      And…

      I’m happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  55. Michelle Areaux /

    Hello,
    I am the author of Wicked Cries, a YA paranormal mystery. I have enjoyed my time with my publisher, but I am looking for a literary agent for my next novel. I am excited to publish and promote novels, and I need a team member who will help me with this journey. Do you think agents prefer undiscovered authors, or do they like authors with publishing history? I would love to find an agent who I can work with every step of the way, what advice can you offer on how to find a literary agent?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Michelle, great title…

      And agents like new and established authors.

      Nothing beats the rush of discovering the next best thing.

      And it’s good to have proven commodities as well, not that authors are commodities (you know what I mean). 😉

      The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is click here for access to the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address there, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my recent case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice. If/when you visit the link above and enter the radio show archive you’ll get instant access.

      And…

      I’m happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  56. Can you recommend an agent to sell the translation rights internationally?

    Can you recommend an agent to sell the movie rights to my books?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Al,

      Although some authors I’ve worked with have had their work adapted for TV, stage, and feature film… my main specialty is helping authors get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. That often leads to interest in the other areas, through the author’s agent or publisher. Same thing goes for translation rights, if you’re talking about a book published in the U.S.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my recent case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice. If/when you visit the link above and enter the radio show archive you’ll get instant access.

      And…

      If you haven’t already done, so click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great week!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  57. Diane Courtney /

    Do literary agents really use Twitter and what do they look at–where?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Diane, nice to see you again. 😉

      And great question…

      In fact, I’m going to post an article about this soon. More literary agents use Twitter than any other social media platform… and a surprising number of agents are on Twitter. Some of them just use it to pump information out to wannabe authors. Others do a lot to engage with their following, including allowing authors to submit short pitches to them through Twitter, etc. But don’t think you can get out of writing a great query letter just because you’re on Twitter. If an agent likes your short pitch posted in a Tweet, he or she will want to see your query letter next! 😉

      Now…

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my upcoming case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice.

      And…

      If you haven’t already done, so click here now for access to all the valuable resources in my private, members-only area (no charge): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Once you’ve entered your name and email address, click on the link that says, “Audio Training Library”. Then you’ll see my main audio training (and text transcript), which reveals the 7 Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.

      I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  58. Christina Mitchell /

    Mr. Malatesta,
    I self-published my book, primarily to learn more about the industry. Does having a self-published book reduce my chances of finding an agent? Will an agent, or publisher, assist me in getting radio interviews, book signings and speaking engagements? These are areas I want to expand, currently I am doing two book signings each month. As an individual, I can only do so much on my own. I really want to learn, grow and develop my skill…can you tell I am eager! :-) (maybe too eager)

  59. Andrea Frith /

    Hi, I have been writing poetry and short stories for over fifteen years. I have several manuscripts ready for publication and I’m looking for the right outlet to get my work published. I would like to know which route to take how do I go about getting an agent to assist me with getting my work out there to publishing houses which doesn’t cost me a lot of money?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Andrea!

      It’s extremely difficult to get an agent or publisher for poetry… unless you’re already a well-published and/or award-winning poet. The good news, however, is that it’s not that hard to start getting your poetry published if you’re simply patient and persistent submitting your work to journals, anthologies, contests, etc. Poets, of course, often make wonderful essayists, short story writers, and novelists as well. That’s another way to get started and build your platform.

      Same thing goes with getting an agent for short stories… unless you’re already a well-published and/or award-winning author. I usually recommend that aspiring authors expand one of their short stories into a novel, while seeking publication and awards for some of their individual stories.

      Before you do anything else, if you want to get an agent, read these 3 multi-part guides about literary agents: http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/, http://literary-agents.com/finding-a-literary-agent/, and http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/getting-a-literary-agent/.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my upcoming case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice.

      And…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  60. Mikey Lee Ray /

    I’m not sure if you can help me with this one but I want to write a Harry Potter parody and I’m curious if you know someone who could help me out with the legal aspects of it. I thought maybe as a literary agent you may have some contacts, it’s a long shot I know but no one has been able to help so far. Any assistance you can provide in this matter would be very much appreciated. – Many thanks, Mikey

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Mikey, just Google “literary attorney” or “literary lawyer” and you’ll find some people who can help with that.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my upcoming case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice.

      And…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  61. Leslie E. Stern /

    HELP! I have been using a small publishing house (NOT self-published) but they don’t really do any marketing. Ironically, my background is 20 years of public relations and marketing but I can’t market my own book. What will I say? “Hi, my name is Leslie Stern and I’ve written a fabulous book and would like to schedule a book signing.” No credibility!

    I have won awards for both fiction and non-fiction books and amazing reviews but need a real publishing house who will promote me.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Leslie,

      Sorry to hear that…

      Good news is that it’s never too late for a previously published author to get a literary agent, traditional publisher, and book deal… but it can be tricky. Read this article which talks about that, and a few other things you might find interesting and helpful: http://literary-agents.com/its-not-what-you-say/.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my upcoming case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice.

      And…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  62. Perri Forrest /

    Hi,

    Thanks for the outlet. I am an AA author who writes IR Fiction. I have found it extremely difficult to find an agent, and in the interim, have decided to self-publish. I would like to know what it is that an agent is looking for in a client. I feel like somewhere I’m missing the mark. I hope this wasn’t too vague. If so, I can attempt more clarity.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    Perri

  63. Stevan Zivkov Andricin /

    Please I need animal rights/animal lover or vegan or green literary agent who work with top US/UK publishers.
    Stevan

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Stevan,

      When you sign up at any one of my sites, you should always end up afterward on a welcome page. That page has a link to the directory, along with other things, all in one place so it’s easy to get to things. Have you ever seen that page?

      Two more things that might help. First, make sure you’re using Directory of Literary Agents that you can access here: http://literary-agents.com/directory-literary-agents/. Second, read my multi-part article about finding the right literary agent for you and your work: http://literary-agents.com/finding-a-literary-agent/.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      Don’t miss my upcoming case study/success story with Amy Jo Goddard at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/radio-show/ …if you aren’t already familiar with her story. I helped her get offers from five top literary agents which led to a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books. She’s an inspiration but she also has good advice.

      And…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work… and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  64. james J. Deeney /

    I have over forty books on Create Space, Kindle and other outlets- Kobo, Oyster etc.
    Would a literary agent rule me out because of this?
    I’ve written a cracking sequel to Peter Pan. It is called, Going back to Neverland.

  65. Aaron Cody masters /

    I am a poet and one day I want to write a book so any and all input would be appreciated

  66. Kevin Coolidge /

    How do I get an agent to actually read my manuscript? I know it’s a solid idea and it’s been professionally edited. I know the market. I’ve worked in a bookstore for over 9 years. I’ve written a book that I could be proud to hand sell. I’ve had the targeted demographic sit down in the bookstore when I handed them the manuscript and read it. I’ve had them ask me for another one. It’s a series, but no agent will take a chance on it.

  67. Arlene Gonzales /

    Hi
    My question is how do I get an agent to represent me? I have had several publishing companies offer me a deal and/or contract but then ask me for money. I don’t think I should have to pay them. So how do I get an agent

  68. thomas /

    Can a literary agent help a screen writer

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Thomas,

      Although some authors I’ve worked with have had their work adapted for TV, stage, and feature film… my main specialty is helping authors get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. That often leads to interest in the other areas, through the author’s agent or publisher. to that end, most top agents who represent fiction help on the TV/film front or they partner up (co-agent) with another successful agency that does it.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. And I’ll do what I can to point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  69. Fernando Benavides /

    Do you have agents for latin american writers?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Fernando,

      Most literary agents in the United States will consider any book if it has appeal for the American market. In other words, the primary focus and value of the work needs to include a plot, characters, and themes, that an American reader can relate to. As long as you do that, you can write about anything, anyone, and anyplace.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  70. Hi Mark!
    My novel involves a woman dealing with the sexual ramifications of clergy sexual abuse in her childhood and a man dealing with a suicidal narcissistic mother. ie, dark things that would probably make most agents pass. But the way I write about them is, I think, nuanced, and necessary. The book is funny and harrowing. Should I just bust out with pedophile priests, the sexual havoc of abuse and the suicide in my query letter or should I just allude to it?
    Thanks,
    Sarah

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sarah, be consistent… so yes. If the book is funny… the query better match. You don’t want to get rejections because your query gives people the wrong idea. You also don’t want to get false positives… people who like the query but then get the mss. and feel it’s a mismatch. 😉

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  71. SARAH ULICNY /

    Hi Mark!
    (c
    I’m wrapping up revisions to what I hope can be marketed as upmarket commercial fiction. I have a querying question:

    In 2009 I acquired an agent and we went on submission with the book. We had some close-calls but ultimately people passed. I have done a major, major edit to the book (cutting 60 pages and changing the plot somewhat) and most of the people we queried are not in publishing any more. Do I need to tell agents it went out on submission six years ago?

    Best,
    Sarah

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sarah, congrats on getting to that point… the short answer is yes, but not until you have an offer for representation. It’s a delicate issue but if you handle it right, especially since you made significant changes since then, it should be fine.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  72. Phylicia /

    Did you know that on the http://literary-agents.com/guide-to-literary-agents/what-does-a-literary-agent-do/ page, you have “book development” twice…same words and everything? Just thought I’d let you know in case you didn’t know

  73. Craig Hastings /

    How long should a book be? My first book is about 350 pages. My second one that I am currently working on looks to be in the 500 page range. Should I lengthen my first one. I don’t want to just add filler but need to know if it would make sense to add something that is viable to make it longer.

    Craig Hastings

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Craig, I know we talked recently but I didn’t want to leave this question unanswered… so I thought I’d say hello… and Happy Halloween! See you again soon. 😉 Mark

  74. Bruce Jones /

    I am nearing completion of my third novel. (not a question) My current publisher is a smaller indie house. (not a question as well) How do I wade through the endless list of people/companies wanting my hard-earned money, while promising to move me to the next level, get movie deals, fame, drug addictions, divorce and early death by viagra overdose?

  75. Vinicio Murillo /

    Hi Mark,

    I am an self-published author hoping to sign up with a traditional publisher. I am in the process of finalizing my query letter, but I have a problem: in your article about writing a query letter, you say that it is important to say that you have been previously published, whereas in your other article about self-publishers trying to get a traditional publisher, you say that you shouldn’t mention that your book was previously published. I am confused. Can you help?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Vinicio,

      Unfortunately… when it comes to that… every person, book, and situation needs to be considered separately. Sometimes it’s better to mention a self-publishing history, and other times it’s better to wait. With scenarios like this I can only give general guidelines online… like those I provide in this article that I think you already saw: http://literary-agents.com/its-not-what-you-say/. But the only way to be sure is to talk with someone about your situation. If I can help you with anything else, let me know.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  76. saw-lian cheah /

    Hi Mark, do agents give you a deadline to accept their offer of author representation? How do you know which agent is the best fit?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Saw-Lian, not exactly a deadline… but I wouldn’t wait longer than a week or two… and if you take that long… you better have a good reason. How do you know who’s the best fit? Track record. But also what they say about your work and what they say about what they’re going to do with it. Most authors only get one agent interested, if that, but it’s good to know what you want. That way, if you get more than one agent offering to rep you, you can decide who you like most. Mark

  77. Phyllis Burton /

    Hi Mark, Thank you for your reply to my earlier message. As I live in the U.K. and there are so many agents in the U.S., it is difficult to discover which agents would be interested in taking on an overseas author. Is there a list of agents interested in overseas authors?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Phyllis, you bet…

      Most literary agents in the United States will consider any book if it has appeal for the American market. In other words, the primary focus and value of the work needs to include a plot, characters, and themes, that an American reader can relate to. As long as you do that, you can write about anything, anyone, and anyplace. So it’s better to submit to a bunch of agents in this case, instead of spending too much time trying to figure out who might be a perfect fit.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know.

      I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  78. Brie Edison /

    Hello and thanks for taking questions. I’ve self-published a book and would like the second one, still in ms form, to be published by a traditional publisher. Does it help you get an agent or publisher if you are self-published or does it turn the agent or publisher off to your submission? Do they look at it as credentials, or do they view it as as an obstacle to get over? Also, do you have to meet them in person (like at a conference) for them to sign you to a contract? Thank you!

  79. Christy /

    How do you decide which manuscripts to publish? What’s the best advice for NEW authors to get discovered?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Christy,

      Most of the authors (as in 90% or more) that I’ve helped get published with major publishers like Random House (as a literary agent and, now, as an author coach/consultant) were previously unpublished. You have to start somewhere as an author, so don’t let your fear of not having a bigger platform or publishing history stop you. Having a great book is what matters most.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great weekend,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  80. Dr. Runako C. R. Aaron NMD /

    Greetings,
    I would like to know how much easier it would be for me to get a freelance writer gig, at any of our National Newspapers and Regional papers.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Runako Aaron NMD

  81. Geiane Alih /

    Hey, do you know any agency who is interested in publishing poetry books? I’ve scoured for data in the internet for a while now, and I don’t think poetry books make a lot of money, thus, discouraging agents from representing them. :(

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Geiane,

      Happy Thursday!

      It’s extremely difficult to get an agent or publisher for a collection of poetry… partly because of the reason you mentioned… unless you’re already a well-published and/or award-winning poet. The good news, however, is that it’s not that hard to start getting your poetry published if you’re simply patient and persistent submitting your work to journals, anthologies, contests, etc. Poets, of course, often make wonderful essayists, short story writers, and novelists as well. That’s another way to get started and build your platform.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. And I’ll keep pointing you in the right direction.

      Have a great day,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  82. Martin Bueno /

    I had an agent (Matthew Stone) for my debut novel ‘the Rainbow Alchemist’ but it didn’t work out with the publisher. Would an agent be interested in my short stories as a self-published author? See: http://www.rainbowalchemist.ca

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Martin, congratulations on getting an agent… but what do you mean by “it didn’t work out with the publisher?” Give me a little more info and I might be able to provide better direction.

      That said…

      It’s extremely difficult to get an agent or publisher for a collection of short stories… unless you’re already a well-published and/or award-winning author. I usually recommend that authors expand one of their short stories into a novel, while seeking publication and awards for some of their individual stories.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. All I’ll keep pointing you in the right direction.

      Have a great day,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  83. James D'Arienzo /

    I am working on a novel (who isn’t) and would like to know what it takes to create a great query letter. Also, I was told by many people that traditional publishing is dead and that the only way to get a book picked up now is to self publish it first (ala The Martian) or tweet and blog to death in order to get thousands of followers. Basically, do all of the work so publishers see you as a guaranteed seller. This was very discouraging to hear. Any advise or insight?

  84. Janellelizabethmeyer /

    Going to a writer’s conference in San Francisco next month. Any tips on presenting/pitching my erotic fiction novel? I pride myself on “ordinary characters having extraordinary sex.”

    I’ve uploaded some of my erotic fiction to short-fiction.co.uk and I have over 135,000 views on my work and lots of nice compliments.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Janell,

      Take a look here at my 2-part guide on how to pitch literary agents at a writers conference, originally published in the Guide to Literary Agents (Writers’ Digest Books): http://literary-agents.com/writers-conference-part-01/. I obviously didn’t know it at the time, but apparently this article was written just for you. You’ll see what I mean when you get there. 😉 Just make sure you click on the link at the end so you don’t miss the second half of the article.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And I’ll keep pointing you in the right direction.

      Have a great day,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  85. Hi. I know there is a lot of bogus people out there acting like literary agents. So I’d like to know, should an author pay money for an agent and if so what’s a reasonable amount?

  86. Hi, thanks for this opportunity. My question is more related to feature screenplays. I hope to get a reply, though.

    What do literary agents in the U.S. look out for in foreign writers? By foreign writers I mean screenwriters from regions like Africa or India?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Chidi, and thank you for your kindness…

      Regarding your questions, most agents in the United States will consider any book if it has appeal for the American market. In other words, the primary focus and value of the work needs to include a plot, characters, and themes, that an American reader can relate to. As long as you do that, you can write about anything, anyone, and anyplace.

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. And I’ll keep pointing you in the right direction.

      All my best and have a good night,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  87. Tammy Thomas /

    How many pages should my memoir book proposal be, or what is considered too long?

  88. Paula Bernard /

    I am very interested in getting information with regards to the criteria necessary to have a synopsis done on a book possibly fiction, self vs traditional publishing and what is a query letter. thanks much

  89. Margaret /

    Is it true that agents and publishers shy away from short story collection, especially from first time writers?

  90. michael coleman /

    I had a publisher interested. Eventually he decided my story did not suit them but he was helpful and one piece of advice he offered was – “Get an agent”.
    So how do I do that?
    Michael

  91. Helene Montalvo /

    I’ve already self-published a book through Amazon Createspace. Is it too late to submit to a literary agent? I’m currently working on book 2.

  92. Jeff Hauswirth /

    I have 2 fitness books out currently, with a 3rd on the way. Is there a standard fee for an agent, or is it based on a percentage? I know that agents in other fields (ie sports, acting) work on a percentage based on the amounts made. I do not ahve a lot to invest, and owuld really liek to get these books out, and feel that if the “right person” sees them, they could be big.

  93. Shirelon Patterson /

    My question is: Since the Literary Agent awaits my full manuscript…should I attach a the painting (with the manuscript) an artist did for a possible cover of the novel?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Shirelon, don’t do it until if/when you’ve already signed with the agent. Art is very subjective and it could have the opposite effect you’re looking for. Mark

  94. Maurice Tyson /

    I’m actually looking for a literary agent that handles scripts. Know of any good ones?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Maurice,

      Although some authors I’ve worked with have had their work adapted for TV, stage, and feature film… my main specialty is helping authors get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. That often leads to interest in the other areas, through the author’s agent or publisher. to that end, most top agents who represent fiction help on the TV/film front or they partner up (co-agent) with another successful agency that does it.

      I hope that helps.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      All my best,

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  95. Marty Safir /

    My wife is an artist/illustrator and together we have published a number of books under our own imprint. She now has TWO adult coloring books that are screaming bestsellers published through a traditional publisher. They’ve been on the Publishers Weekly Trade Paper top 25 since Spring 2015. We think a literary agent can leverage her success on her behalf better than we can ourselves. We have a new titles in the same genre planned or ready to go. Suggestions for approaching a literary agent?

  96. Weronika Janczuk /

    Dear Mark,

    As I am no longer working in publishing, I am trying to sort of “clean up” my online profile as a former literary agent–and I was wondering if you would be willing to remove your profile of me from the site? I would be very grateful.

    Please & thank you. Let me know your thoughts!

    My best,
    Weronika

    http://literary-agents.com/weronika-janczuk-literary-agent/

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Weronika, for some reason your comment/question went to my spam folder and I wasn’t notified about it until now… so my apologies for the delay getting back to you. Of course I will have my team take care of this right away. Thank you for letting me know and have a great night!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Weronika, my team just got back to me this. It seems they had already changed your listing to reflect that you’re no longer in the business. There is a page for you online but if you look closely you’ll see that it says you’re not longer in the business. We do that for agents who’ve retired, changed vocations, or passed away so we don’t get questions about those agents… wondering why they’re not listed. We used to simply delete the listings but then we got lots of questions about those agents from people who didn’t understand the agent was no longer active. Make sense? Mark

  97. I know that Lucan Arts only published commissioned works. Has this changed since Disney bought them? I have a Star Wars story I want to tell and don’t want to waste my time on something I will never get paid for…ie, fan fiction.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi James, although some authors I’ve worked with have had their work adapted for TV, stage, and feature film… my main specialty is helping authors get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. That often leads to interest in the other areas, through the author’s agent or publisher. So I have to admit I’m clueless with it comes to this question.

      By the way, for some reason your comment/question went to my spam folder and I wasn’t notified about it… so my apologies for the delay getting back to you. If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great night!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  98. Sheeraz Khan /

    Hi, I am one of the few sci-fi authors from India. ‘few’ because the genre is underrated here and my book got published last month. Can you please help me with submission guide lines for helping me through one of your agents for film adoption. (Yeah only if you like and get interested with my work) am not envious but I just want my work to get in right hands. The concept of the book is dimensionless as per reviewers here and I hope you guys are friendly and give my work a chance.
    Thank You

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sheeraz, nice to meet you.

      By the way, your comment went to my spam folder and I wasn’t notified about it… so my apologies for the delay getting back to you. If it’s not too late, I’m happy to help if I can.

      Although some authors I’ve worked with have had their work adapted for TV, stage, and feature film… my main specialty is helping authors get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. That often leads to interest in the other areas, through the author’s agent or publisher.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great night!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  99. Yancy Caruthers /

    I spent seven years writing the true story of my deployment to Iraq, but couldn’t get an agent to even look at it. I self-published and have sold hundreds of copies, but I’d really love to sell thousands! It’s well-reviewed and I think it’s pretty solid, but I’m not getting the distribution I need. Is there any chance that a traditional publisher would pick it up and run with it, now that it’s been out in print?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Yancy, for some reason your comment/question went to my spam folder and I wasn’t notified about it… so my apologies for the delay getting back to you. If it’s not too late, I’m happy to help if I can. It’s never too late for a previously published author to get a literary agent, traditional publisher, and book deal… but it can be tricky. Read this article which talks about that, and a few other things you might find interesting and helpful: http://literary-agents.com/its-not-what-you-say/.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      Also…

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      And I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Have a great night!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  100. Shirelon Paterson /

    I am happy to say that my manuscript was just submitted a couple of days ago. My question is…how long should I wait to receive a result?

  101. In 2015 i have released a self published book,(in most outlets) art (in Starbucks) and a documentary that made it to the AFI Theater and put my name up on the marque. My next book is in the works regarding one of Americas most successful and controversial company, who has been in business over 60 years. I have a high profile website but first wish to contact someone about this privately. I need a good agent to move forward. Can you recommend where I can start?

  102. Curious /

    Do you have names…examples…of authors who have used your services and landed agents who got them book deals? Or authors who have actually profited from the investment?

  103. Catherine /

    Yrs ago I completed a historical romance novel under the tutelage of an editor affiliated with the UCLA adjunct program. Final chapter left a Segway for a f/u novel. It was sent to the Wm. Morris agency and I received a contract to sign before they would proceed. I never signed as life got in the way. Child raised, subsequent marriage, dabbling in other areas and now I want to continue. Also have found new arena of thought re prevailing times. What to do? Send out the old and work on the new?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Catherine, welcome back to the wonderful world of writing… and that’s exactly what you should do. By the way, for some reason your comment/question went to my spam folder and I wasn’t notified about it… so my apologies for the delay getting back to you.

      If I can help you with anything else let me know, but I want to make sure you know that I’m a former agent. Today I’m a coach and consultant helping authors get top agents, publishers, and book deals. To that end, I have several websites devoted to helping authors get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. You can see a complete list here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/.

      If you haven’t already done so, make sure you take advantage of all the resources (no cost) on our main website here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. I’m also happy to answer any questions that you have online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/ask/. And, if you’re serious and believe we’re a good fit, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here (there is a fee for that): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/.

      Either way, I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

      Have a good night!

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  104. Josef Bastian /

    This is a big question from a small regional independent publisher:

    Folkteller Publishing (www.folktellerstories.com) is a small imprint out of Detroit, Michigan with proven success in our first book series. Now, we currently have the rights to a powerful YA/Middle Grade fantasy property that establishes a broad content platform for transmedia delivery and expansion (books, graphic novels, digital media, film, gaming, TV, merchandising, etc…).

    So, how do we find a national agent and partner?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Joseph, for some reason your comment/question went to my spam folder and I wasn’t notified about it… so my apologies for the delay getting back to you. If it’s not too late, I’m happy to help if I can. Although I’m not sure what you mean when you say you’re looking for a national agent and partner. Please provide more information and I’ll get right back to you.

      – Mark

      Mark Malatesta
      The Bestselling Author
      http://thebestsellingauthor.com
      Literary Agent Undercover
      http://literary-agents.com

  105. What bugs me the most are two things:

    (1) Don’t Literary Agents realize that without new authors they would cease to have a job. It would seem that way.

    (2) It seems that the standard reply is “NOT WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR NOW.”

    The Literary Agents don’t really know what they are looking for, it would seem.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Mike, it’s simple math and nothing personal. There are simply a lot more authors trying to find agents than there are agents trying to find authors. So it’s extremely competitive and agents don’t have time to respond personally to most submissions. But if your pitch and project are solid, you will eventually get some people reading and get feedback. But you have to stay in the game for that to happen. So keep getting educated and keep going. Mark

  106. crystal white /

    I am very new to this and I have a few questions.
    First of all I am curious about what kind of fees are normal for a first timer? Second I am so confused about how a this all really works. You say send out query’s, and I understand to send out many, but what exactly do they consist of? Do you send copies of your book with it? I would appreciate any help you can offer
    Thank You
    Crystal White

  107. Richard Goodyear /

    I’ve been told by an acquaintance who’s a literary agent that agents don’t represent translations. Is this generally true? Are there any/more than a few exceptions? Any suggestions as to how to find them?

  108. I self published my book; I was a former PR man many years ago and felt I could promote it. Given the computer, everything I knew has changed.
    It is an allegory. Ed Decker, of Saints Alive said it’s like a combination of J.R.R. Tolkein and Frank Perreti.
    I am 78, have some minor disabilities which limit me somewhat. I have been told I should get it to movie makers. I am looking for someone to possibly refine it and reprint it.
    Any suggestions?

  109. Fran Stekoll /

    I’m 80 years young and my daughter is 57. We live
    together. We both have written books and are anxious to share with you.
    I have met with my famous author neighbor Eve Bunting. She has critiqued our books and suggested we contact a literary agent.
    I went on line and was impressed with your site. After listening to what you shared I signed up for a consultation with you.
    Please contact me to complete this process.
    If possible, I would like to share my website before our conversation.
    Thank You

    • Mark Malatesta

      Thank you Fran, and I’m looking forward to our upcoming call. I know you figured it out by now, but the moment someone signs up for an introductory coaching call with me, they get an email with a link that has the information they need. Have a great day and talk soon. Mark

  110. Peter Scatchard /

    Hi there,

    I have read on a few websites that literary agents will not consider work that has already been sent out (and rejected or still to be read) by publishers, and/or it has already been rejected by publishers they might have sent the work to. I was hoping to send my books to publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts, and to agents too – just to increase my chances. Is this a bad idea?

    Thanks,

    Peter

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Peter, every situation is different when it comes to getting literary agents and/or publishers to read something that’s already had some exposure. Sometimes you can get around it, sometimes not. I’d need to talk to you and learn more. Regarding your other question, if possible you’ll be better off submitting to agents unless/until you’ve exhausted all possible options. Then it makes sense to directly approach those publishers that will allow you to do so. By the way, if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you become a member of my online community now here (it’s fr*ee): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Make sure you also listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (once you’re in the members only area, look for the link the says “Audio Training Library”). You can also post more questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, if/when you’re able, you can register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. Have a great day, and if you’re on Twitter, join me here: https://twitter.com/Literary_Agents. I set up an account several years ago but now I’m starting to use it. Mark ????

  111. Kitty /

    I went to this site specifically for listings of agents who work in the mind/body/spirit genre. I’ve now surfed 50+ sites & gave up. Do you list by this category? Thanks.

  112. HOPE MARSTON /

    Will a picture book agent accept an unillustrated manuscript?

  113. Anna B. /

    Mr Malatesta,

    I am a photographer and I wrote a book about depression with corresponding images of the interviewed people. I want to publish my book but everything I find online says that I should send in a few pages of my book to agents to see if anyone is interested in it. The problem that I am running into is that my book does not have the standard literary content of chapters. I have small quotes that go along with the images. I don’t know how to go about showing my work. Please help.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Anna, I’ve been in this situation before with my coaching clients. Best thing might be to only send out a query. Then, if/when someone expresses interest and asks for the book or a partial, you can reply and explain the situation and ask if it’s okay to send a pdf attachment so the formatting doesn’t get lost. Also, if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you become a member of my online community now here (it’s fr*ee): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Then make sure you also listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (once you’re in the members only area, look for the link the says “Audio Training Library”). You can also post more questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, if/when you’re able, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’ll help in any way that I can. Mark

  114. Roxy Orcutt /

    Hi Mark,

    I had my first book published by a small, independent publisher here in MN last fall and had great success accessing Barnes and Nobles along with other bookstores in the area for signings, events and to just generally carry my book. I’ve also had pretty modest sales on Amazon, downloads, etc. My second book is due to come out with the same publisher next year, but I am hoping to reach with an agent soon. Any advise? I’m not sure how to make that transition, from small to agent.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Roxy, congratulations on getting the first book out there… and working it… and now being ready to take the next step. What you should do next will depend on your publisher, the type of arrangement and relationship you have. Some publishers will release you without any strings if you want to move on, while others make it harder. As a next step, if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you become a member of my online community now here (it’s fr*ee): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Then make sure you also listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (once you’re in the members only area, look for the link the says “Audio Training Library”). You can also post more questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, if/when you’re able, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’ll help in any way that I can. Mark

  115. Joe H /

    Hi Mark. My self-published novel has reached over 110,000 Kindle downloads so far this year, so I would like to explore approaching a traditional publisher to achieve broader distribution. How does one find agents who are open to taking on this type of project? Under these circumstances, do you recommend going through the normal query process to get their attention or is there a better way?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Joe, nice. Many/most agents will be open to helping you place a self-published book with a traditional publisher if you handle it right. In your case, because you’ve had great success, you’ll have an easier time. However, some agents will wonder if you’ve already saturated the market with that many downloads (you can’t please everyone). How to you go about it? Pitching agents, same as everyone else. However, before you do that, I highly recommend you do the following if you haven’t done so already. Become a member of my online community now here (it’s fr*ee): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Then make sure you also listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (once you’re in the members only area, look for the link the says “Audio Training Library”). You can also post more questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, if/when you’re able, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. All my best to you and have a wonderful weekend. Mark

  116. Hi, Mark:
    Sharmus here… I apologize for the brief delay in responding back to you. I kind of got lost in my writings while digging in my archives of broken manuscripts that I’ve written while I were incarcerated. However, the answer to your question? Your websites seems to working and doing good on my end. I have no problems visiting your online services or various websites. Thus, your audio recordings have been very helpful! Still! Trust me, I’m all ears… Thanks. Talk with you soon…

    • Mark Malatesta

      Thank you Sharmus, glad to hear it. Based on your response, and everyone else’s, I don’t think there’s a problem… except that many people don’t carefully read instructions when doing things. A sign of the times. 😉 Good hearing from you and have a great weekend. Mark

  117. Mike B /

    I’m trying to format my manuscript for submission, but this is not a typical story with chapters, so I’m encountering problems relating to uncertainty with how to format. My entire story is a series of short email messages. There are emojis and lols throughout. (Sort of like the internet girls book series). How would you recommend formatting this?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Mike, it’s tricky… but not impossible. In fact, I’m working with a young woman now who has something similar in the works. The challenge is, as you know, that your formatting will get messed up when cutting and pasting sample pages into the body of emails for agents that require that. So your best bet might be contacting agents initially with a query only, and explaining at the end that you have sample pages and/or the mss. available for review as a .pdf to maintain the formatting etc. If you want to talk more about it, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. Also, if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you become a member of my online community now here (it’s fr*ee): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Then listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (once you’re in the members only area, look for the link the says “Audio Training Library”). Mark

  118. Joseph /

    I’m seventy years old. Years ago, I had a book published by Dial Press and sold movie rights to Paramount. Should I mention the book in a query letter (it’s publishing date gives away I must be seventy) or say I have no publishing credits so I seem younger?

    • Mark Malatesta

      HI Joseph, congratulations on your success. Yes, you should mention those things because they’ll give you instant credibility. But, it’s critical that you say it in the right way so you don’t give away your age, etc. That’s not something I can help with here though my website though as I’d need to talk to you about it first. if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you become a member of my online community now here (it’s fr*ee): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Then listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (once you’re in the members only area, look for the link the says “Audio Training Library”). And then, if/when you’re able, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. All my best. Mark

  119. Alishia Louis-Potter /

    Hi Mark. In response to your email from July 23rd, yes I am having trouble accessing your list. It keeps telling me to sign up. I have already signed up twice. The list I am referring to is the one with address, picture and preferences of the top agents. Thank you. I enjoyed listening to your recording. I cannot afford your services at this time, but I am benefiting from the information from your recording and using it to prepare my query letter.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Alishia, when you sign up… you should be taken to a different page on my website that has links to all my members-only content, including a link to the agent directory. Take a look and let me know. And thanks for letting me know you found the recording valuable. No worries if you can’t afford coaching with me. Not everyone can, but there’s a lot of information, as you know, on my websites that will give you a big advantage. All my best. Mark

  120. Hollis Pirkey /

    Yes I have had issues with finding the page, but I’ve not tried to search for that page since you submitted a list of 900 agents for me to query.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Hollis, always good hearing from you. Thanks for letting me know, have a great weekend, and, of course, keep letting me know how everything is going. Mark

  121. Sam Nayar /

    Hi Caitlyn,

    I have used four pages of your valuable Agents Directory and plan to go the whole nine yards until I find an agent for my memoir (Mr. Know-It-All is Deported – I had my first manic attack just two months before I emigrated to America and earned two felonies for acts during manic episodes – never harmed or cheated anybody but got it all the same – for which I was deported in 2011 after spending fours years at Chillicothe Corrctional).

    I do not have any problem now as I bookmarked the agents directory but remember that I had to search for it a bit when i initially signed up. There was some confusion at that point but I forget the actual sequence.

    Best Regards
    Sam

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sam, thanks for letting me know. I’m glad you found it eventually. And good luck with your project. Have a great weekend and post a question for me here about anything, if you have one. Mark

  122. C.J. /

    Mark received your message your scroll bar was temporarily stuck. Other wise your system is up and running. I’m glad to voice an opinion anytime. Take care C.J. Maloney

    • Mark Malatesta

      Thank you CJ, glad to hear it’s working for you now. And I appreciate you letting me know. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Mark

  123. Erin /

    In response to your question about accessing the agent directory. I did have a little trouble at first before I bookmarked the actual page that I wanted. Before I did this I had to wade through the fifteen part article just to get to the directory. Now that I have it bookmarked I don’t have to hunt for it and I can access the information I need more quickly and with less hassle.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Thanks Erin, that’s common. I have to keep the page somewhat hidden (private) since it’s for members only. Glad you bookmarked it. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Mark

  124. Colin Guest /

    Hi Mark,

    Re your question about being able to locate the agents directory, I myself have had no problem in accessing it, and will be doing so again shortly. Although I have so far had no success in finding one interested in my memoir, I appreciated all those that replied to me, with my thanking them for there time. All being well I will be successful in the end. Persistence I think is the answer, plus a good query letter.

    Once again many thanks for your valuable advice.

    Colin Guest

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Colin, I’m glad you’re not giving up. Everything worth anything is harder than it seems and most people aren’t willing to do the work. So stick with it, and have a great weekend. Mark

  125. Catherine Forte / C S Caspar /

    Hi Mark,

    I have had no problems with any of your pages.

    Cheers

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Catherine, I appreciate you letting me know. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Mark

  126. Patricia Gitt /

    I am no longer receiving your daily writer’s quotes.
    Can you please correct this…or let me know how I may reregister for this email?
    Thank you,

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Pat, long story short… I’m continuing to post the quotes but discontinuing the emails. Sharing them on social media is much more effective, and preferred. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Mark

  127. Mike Elmer /

    I am able to open your Directory of Literary Agents, no problems.
    Thanks for all the valuable information on your site.

    An aspiring Action Thriller author in Texas
    Mike Elmer – mte1948@yahoo.com

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Mike. Thank you, I appreciate you letting me know… and the you sending the love about what I’m doing. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Mark

  128. Nwanganga /

    Must have missed it. I wanted a one and on one coach for for mgetting a literary agent but did not see where to register and pay.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Nwanganga, no problem… that’s what I’m here for. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. And see you again soon. Mark

  129. Shirelon Whisenant /

    Hi Mark…I received your last email. Hope everything turns out okay.

    Since I have spoken to you, I have a wonderful editor(s) who reviewed and made some suggestions for my query letter and manuscript (partial.I am ready to send in the query once I am satisfied with the work. I have also selected a literary agent to work with from your list.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Shirelon, I love it. And you’re very welcome. I like helping authors who are kind and committed to getting their work out there. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Mark

  130. Rosemary Deluca McDonald /

    Hi Mark! I found your Literary Agent Website with no problem. I will be in touch with you regarding further assistance. You helped me in the past and I will be seeking your advice and coaching soon.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Rosemary, thank you for letting me know… and I’m glad you’re making progress. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Mark

  131. Sandra /

    Hi Mark,
    I’m having no trouble with your website—except that some of the agents listed are not accepting queries or submissions but that isn’t your fault. I still don’t have an agent.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sandra, that’s true… no matter what… you always have to click through to see if an agent is accepting submissions at the moment you’re sending your query… since it changes frequently. Hang in there though with your queries because you know what they say… persistence is half of success… and it’s true. Check out this week’s article, by the way, I just sent it out… reveals the world’s top-earning authors of 2015. Some things there that might surprise you. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Mark

    • Mark Malatesta

      And thank you for letting me know about the website working for you! Mark

  132. Joseph /

    You asked if the agent directory is hard to use. Overall, it’s helpful because of the agent bio and wishlist. I tried it to locate agents who take historical fiction by putting in both those terms but it showed me many agents who take “history” as non-fiction rather than “historical fiction”.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Joseph, always best to use the drop-down menu for best results. If you do, you’ll see that there’s a category there for Historical Fiction. You can just look at those 300+ agents. All my best. Mark

  133. Jemil Metti /

    Is it possible for an author to have an agent for a novel that has already been self-published? It seems like traditional publishers would rather not have anything to do with a self-published author;you know, giving us the plague treatment.

    Thanks Kindly

  134. Maureen Shea /

    Mark, I’m having trouble using the Literary Agent Search. I’ve tried to go into it several times in the past two weeks and I can’t use the search fields.

    Maureen

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Maureen, you’re better off using the drop-down menu and searching by category that way. The search field is mainly just to search for one particular agent by first or last name. 😉 Mark

  135. Kurt M. DiClementi /

    My issue has been finding the link to set an appointment for the coaching session I paid for. I submitted my completed questionnaire a few weeks ago and have been listening to the required audio presentations, but I want to have the call with you now.

    Kind Regards,

    Kurt M. DiClementi

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Kurt, I’m glad you contacted me. I sent you a reply on July 1st with a scheduling link, the same day you sent me the completed questionnaire. I just sent it again. Please let me know here, or via email, if it came through. Mark

  136. Rama Rao /

    Most of the agents” email addresses I have used seem to be non- existent, because my messages are not delivered.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Rama, not sure what you mean. Most agents won’t reply to queries unless they want to see more material. That’s probably what is happening. If you send out 10 queries, you might get a few rejections and hear nothing more from the rest. And you might need to send out as many as 20-200 queries to get your first agent asking to see more material. All depends on your genre, as well as the quality of your query, and, of course, your book. Mark

  137. Everett /

    How many pages would you need to constitute a book, on the average that is.?

  138. Steven Polk /

    I have two books I’m ready to get publish but so far have been unable to find anyone to publish them. If some one would please call me and talk to me about me book. I can tell you what it is about and work with me on it.

  139. Ted Gedebou /

    hello
    i am not a writer but have been doing so for the past 13 years in order to unlearn then relearn all i could regarding what is important in life. i am a surgeon and have cut into the heart of my own humanity, re-writing my manuscript for the 13th time. having finally reached a point where i believe it is ready, feel i am pregnant with a message to deliver. i am post-due but as a first-timer am unfamiliar with the process. i need an agent/publisher for a safe and joyous delivery. advice?

  140. Heather /

    My friend is writing on Wattpad and is concerned this could hurt his chances of becoming published later. Is this true? He says even though his work is posted for free, it’s still technically published. Also he’s making his work available for free.
    At first I thought it was a pipe dream, but after reading his work I’ve become very concerned. He has an incredible talent and I think that he might be a genius. It blew me out of the water and Im concerned he is ruining his chances and be discouraged

  141. Jonathan /

    Sorry to trouble you with one more. I’m just thinking about the fact that many agents and publishers (apparently) are wary of prologues to novels… as these may seem distracting, disconcerting, or just unnecessary.

    So if I have a prologue that (ideally) I would like to include, is it an ethically sound option to omit the prologue in my samples and synoposis when I pitch the novel, and then tactfully raise the point in an appropriate context later on?

    Thanks once more.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Jonathan, on one hand… don’t listen to what agents say about prologues. It’s the story that should dictate whether a prologue is needed. Sometimes it’s essential. On the other hand, you’re right about being wary. In some cases I’ve advised my coaching clients to withhold their prologue when sending out their initial query or sample chapters… and then mention it later. No point in getting rejected because of a prologue because it might give an agent the wrong idea about what the rest of the book is like, for example. Mark

  142. Jonathan /

    1. I know that a novel has to be completely finished and proofread before submitting to a literary agent. But what about when I’m pitching a novel trilogy to an agent? Is it OK if I have proofread volume 1 perfectly, but have left volumes 2/3 (for now) in a complete but non-proofread state?
    2. When the agency asks for chapters and a synopsis, this surely refers to a single novel. So what should I include in terms of synopses and chapters, when it’s actually a novel trilogy, and not a novel?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Jonathan, that’s fine. Just don’t let them read the second or third book until they’re ready. When it comes to the synopsis and chapters question, just submit for the first book… but… prepare a series synopsis as well and let the agent know you have that if when invited to send them additional material after the first contact. Lastly, if you haven’t already done so, become a member of my online community now here (it’s fr*ee): http://thebestsellingauthor.com/membership/. Then listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (once you’re in the members only area, look for the link the says “Audio Training Library”). You can also post more questions for me online, as you know: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, finally, if/when you’re ready, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I enjoy meeting new authors and helping them find ways to get agents’ attention. Mark

  143. K.T. Chambers /

    I’ve written a YA novel and self published it last year, partly because of the unique way I wanted to release it, but also a little because of that pesky crippling fear of rejection. Now I’m looking for an agent, but I’ve been given the impression that being self-published can be a mark against my writing. I’ve been offered a contract from a small publisher, but am hesitant to pursue it since their sales are so small. But would it be better if I did, since I’d then no longer be ‘self-published’?

  144. JONAS S /

    I am considering publishing a memoir under a pseudonym. Would that be considered bad taste? I would just like to see that the book “succeeds” before I attach my name and identity to it for eternity.

    Thanks a bunch,
    Jonas

  145. Everett /

    What is the best way to pitch your manuscript, the old fashion way on paper through the post office or by emailing a file to the publisher?

  146. saw lian cheah /

    Hi Mark, how do I get into your members’ only main audio library to listen to your radio interviews?

  147. Ana /

    Hello,

    A few months ago you kindly answered my question on dialect and setting, which has lead to another question on markets.

    Do agents represent writers from other countries? I’m Australian but have no real interest in writing ‘Australian literature’ or anything at-all country specific, so I wouldn’t mind trying for a publisher based in another country, since so much is done though email and ebooks nowadays? Is this a viable way to go? Or is your best bet still in your home market?

    Thanks!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Ana, I work with a lot of clients in Australia. As long as you have an English version of your book and it has appeal for the American market, that’s all that matters. Publishing in Australia should be your backup plan, or something that happens after you have a publisher here in the US. To that end, if you haven’t already done so, your next step should be to check out or list of websites here… especially the one with the agent directory: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. Then make sure you listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (link should be in the welcome email you got from me if/when you signed up at one of my websites). You can also, as you know, post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, lastly, if/when you’re ready, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’m here to help. All my best to you and yours this weekend! Mark

      • Ana /

        Thank you for the resources! Would publishing out of Australia be limiting for promotion though? I mean best case scenario I suppose it would be great to get a print run where you can see yourself in stores…

        So follow-up question actually, then. When you say ‘appealing to American audiences’, well the project I’m currently working on has British characters set in Europe, should I focus on UK instead of US markets? US would be bigger, but would selling a book set in Europe be harder?

        Thanks.

        • Mark Malatesta

          Hi Ana, think of publishing in the US as a first step. Your agent or publisher would likely, as a next step, get your book published in Australia as well… and perhaps other countries like the UK. Also, your book doesn’t have to have American characters or be set in the US to have American appeal. It simply has to have characters, themes, and a plot that will be of interest to American readers. Make sense? Mark

  148. Iman /

    Hi,
    i really dream of being a writer and have started my journey to becoming one. what is bothering me is that i live in Pakistan and i want my novel to be sold world wide. would getting an american literary agent create problems? should i do it because i dont have much of a choice…my story doesnt have anything to do with Pakistan either.
    Do i have better options? Would i be accepted?

    • Ana /

      Heh oops I commented above and just realised that you pretty much had the same question as me. Seems I’m not the only one with country-based issues or lack-thereof with my writing.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Iman, as long as you have an English version of your book and it has appeal for the American market, that’s all that matters. I’ve helped authors abroad get interest here with US agents many times. To that end, if you haven’t already done so, your next step should be to check out or list of websites here… especially the one with the agent directory: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. Then make sure you listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (link should be in the welcome email you got from me if/when you signed up at one of my websites). You can also, as you know, post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, lastly, if/when you’re ready, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’m here to help. All my best to you and yours this weekend! Mark

  149. Song Ebbesen /

    Hi Mark,
    I’m currently working on a query letter for my first YA novel. I understand how important this is and want to catch the attention of a top-notch agent. I am a college student and just 18 years old, and fear my age or lack of credibility will turn agents away. Is this something that will hurt my chances of landing an agent? What should I or should I not included in my query letter? If the other aspects of my query are excellent, will agents disregard my age?
    Thanks for your help,
    Song

  150. Elizabeth Loraine /

    Hi Mark! I have been writing a while now and have a successful YA series, and I write in so many genres now too. I’d really like an agent who would take me to the next level. I currently have had a script finished of book one of the Horror novel co-written with Tim Frasier and am having a second script written for my thriller Corporate Ties. So foreign rights, TV and movies would be what I need help with. Suggestions? Thanks, Elizabeth

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Elizabeth, wouldn’t you want an agent to get you a deal for print and eBook rights as well with a major publisher? In addition to TV, feature film and/or foreign rights? Either way, most of what I do here is geared toward helping you do that. If you haven’t already done so, your next step should be to check out or list of websites here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. Then make sure you listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (link should be in the welcome email you got from me if/when you signed up at one of my websites). You can also, as you know, post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, lastly, if/when you’re ready, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’m here to help. All my best to you and yours this holiday weekend! Mark

  151. Kathy Mathis /

    Hi Mark, Thank you! I did as you instructed. I did find Literary Agents from your Top 50 list. These agents are asking for a query letter, synopsis and text all sent to them at one time. Your audio states that a writer should send a query letter first asking permission
    to send material. What do I send them?
    P.S. I belong to many writing groups. I forwarded your website to everyone I know. You should get a lot of new customers.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Kathy, thank you for sharing my information. I love what I do, so the more the merrier. Now, don’t put too much weight on that top 50 list because it’s very general and you need the best 50 agents for you and your book. That will vary a LOT. You need to consider the genres they represent, sometimes their gender, age, or location. And other things. When it comes to submitting your work to agents, every agent will require a query letter. However, many agents will ALSO require you to send a synopsis and/or a certain number of sample pages at the same time you send the query. I know, it’s complicated. To that end… if you haven’t already done so… make sure you check out our complete list of websites here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. Then make sure you listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library (link should be in the welcome email you got from me if/when you signed up at one of my websites). You can also, as you know, post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, lastly, if/when you’re ready, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. I’m here to help. All my best to you and yours this holiday weekend! Mark

  152. Kathy Mathis /

    Hello Mark!
    I found your Website today. It is the “Best-ever” site for New and Existing Authors I have ever read. Your Audio is “Over-the-top”!

    I am looking for Literary Agents Specializing in Children’s Beginner Reader Books. Please get back to me on my Email.

    Thank you so much for your time. I wish you the best of luck with your future ventures.

    Sincerely,
    Kathy

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Kathy, you made my day. Thank you. Not sure what you mean by “get back to me on my email” though. Did you send me an email also? Let me know. Also, if you haven’t already done so… take a look at our complete list of websites here including the one about book genres that might help you figure out which agents you should be querying: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. You’ll also see a link to my Directory of Literary Agents there as well. Also, make sure you listen to the FIRST audio training recording in my online audio library if you haven’t done that yet (link should be in the welcome email you got from me if/when you signed up at one of my websites). You can also post questions for me online here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/how-to-be-a-bestselling-author/ask/. And, lastly, if/when you’re interested, register for an introductory coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. One way or another, I’ll get you going in the right direction. Have a good night! Mark

  153. Ken Smith /

    Hello.
    I’ve written a few books and would like to publish them through, Random House Publishing agency, though I am in need of a representative to do so. I need someone honest, who would help me desplay my work to the public, and could inform me of other ways to represent my publations.
    Thank you, Ken Smith

  154. Anne /

    I just started querying, but, I’ve already got at least one high school that wants to require my book as reading for the student body and bc of pull, I know I could get more in district too. What do I do with this info? Do I include it in queries? Do I mention this to the agents that have requested partials? I don’t want to self publish yet. Thank you.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Anne, yes, include it in new queries. Not enough of a big deal to let the agents you already queried know about it… unless they respond to what you sent with interest… then you should let them know. Mark

  155. Hepsibah /

    I’ve written 6 children’s (7-11) nonfiction video game guide books as work for hire via a book packager – they’ve done really well, they are at Walmart/Target, translated into 5+ languages; some are on the NYT bestseller lists for games/activities. The same publisher is taking my fiction graphic novel for kids, using screenshots I’m taking within the game, and may take a series. These are also work for hire. I’m getting 6.5k flat fee per book. I have no idea if this is adequate. Is it? tia.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Tia, I know this is going to sound like a copout but it’s this simple. That’s a great fee unless you can get them to pay more, or get someone else to pay more. Of course it’s always better to get a fee plus a royalty, but some publishers don’t use that structure. Mark

      • Hepsibah /

        Thanks so much – that actually does make sense to me. I’ve been planning on waiting until I have at least one of the graphic novels published to start looking for an agent. With published graphic novel and at least 6 nonfiction books and the ability to say ‘NYT bestselling author’ – should I still have a full ms. in hand, or would a synopsis and sample chapters (fiction, middle grade) be fine? tia.

        • Mark Malatesta

          Hi Tia, that depends… usually a full in the case of fiction. I’m 90% sure that’s the direction I’d send you in if I knew more about you and your situation. But there is a slim chance, based on your track record, that you might be able to make it happen with just a good pitch and a very detailed synopsis with some sample chapters. Mark

  156. LakeKathryn /

    Hi–I finally signed a contract with an agent who has the full manuscript. Problem is, there has been radio silence for the last six weeks. I sent a polite message last week asking if there was work to be done and telling of progress on my next manuscript. No answer. I don’t want to be an annoyance; perhaps you could tell me in general, once a contract is signed, what a writer should expect in terms of communication. Thanks for your response.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Congratulations, although I’m sorry to learn you haven’t heard anything. Unfortunately, it’s often like that. Doesn’t mean your agent isn’t working hard for you, just that they don’t even report anything until there’s something to report. If you were one of my coaching clients I would have coached you up on questions to ask prior to signing with the agent, to prevent things like this from happening. Next chance you get, try to find out how the agent prefers to stay in touch, and how often. As long as you know that, it will be a lot easier. Most agents, however, good ones anyway, send an update every 1-3 months. Hope this helps and I hope your agent hits a homerun for you. Mark

  157. Bakhtygul /

    Hello, Iam Bakhtygul.I have been trying to find the ways to realise my idea about kzliterary agents, as it is still not popular in Kazakhstan. I would like to know if we could become partners in future and how well you could make efforts to let us gain experience under your guidance. I have a group of writers who would not mind being published abroad. My team,3 members,including me,are interested in getting any opportunities to make our dream come true. If you want more information, I write

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hello Bakhtygul, are you saying that you’re planning to start a literary agency there? Mark

      • Bakhtygul /

        Hello Mark, I am sure that it is actual to start a literary agency in Kazakhstan and there are enough writers who need this service. I missed so many opportunities trying to make US top publishers understand me and find any solutions to it. I hope, it is not late to taste it now. My efforts are directed now to find any supports from the local state and private branches to be guided by You, using Longer term Bestselling Author Coaching. I am dreaming to function as a literary agent.

        • Mark Malatesta

          Hi Bakhtygul, okay, now I think I understand. Am I right that you want to start a literary agency there, with the primary focus being finding your authors there publication deals with publishers in the United States? Mark

          • Bakhtygul /

            Hi Mark, Iam pleased to get the news at least you started to understand me. You are absolutely right, I am not a magician, I am going to learn magic strategies of successful literary agency and it is challenging to have a go. I have made some efforts to prepare my first author’s books for publishing. It is only the beginning, and I need a lot of knowledge to function as an agent. Thank you for everything. My next step is to take into consideration all your tips and try to follow them.Am I right?

            • Mark Malatesta

              Hello Bakhtygul, the next step, in my opinion, is to make sure you have a realistic timeline, plan, and financing in place to get your agency established. Successful agents can do well financially, but it often takes quite a while for them to generate steady and substantial income because it takes a while to get books sales initially and then get paid. Then you’ll need to find a mentor to help you get established until you feel comfortable and confident doing it on your own. I might do that with you if I learned more and felt I could help you be successful. Mark

              • Bakhtygul /

                Hi Mark, Iam planning to present my first author in the end of August or the beginning of September. Ihope,by that time I am able to call you and get the right instructions. I will give more information about my plans and Iam really looking forward to getting that chance.

                • Mark Malatesta

                  Hi Bakhtygul, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve done a lot of work with international publishers and it’s something I enjoy. All my best. Mark

  158. Stephen Z Smith /

    I have searched and searched and read through many many websites searching for a Christian Literary agent. All want to know is where is can find a simple basic list of Christian Literary Agents. I have looked at the Writer’s Market book and I was very disappointed that about a 1/3 will not even talk to you unless they have met you at a conference. I just need a list of agents that I can send a e-query too.

    Thank you
    Stephen Z Smith

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Stephen, you can easily find every Christian fiction and/or nonfiction agent in our agent directory online. You can find it here on our complete list of websites here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. And don’t get hung up on those agents not accepting queries from new authors right now. Just pitch the ones that are, and make your pitch as good as it can be. Mark

  159. paula goins /

    I am writing a series of books that are a fictional explanation of all the cryptozoological creatures that people say they see and science can not explain.
    I wish to sell the book rights to a publisher because I can not pay for publishing.
    My books also have great movie potentials.
    Who do I need to speak with in order to pursue this

  160. A Murphy /

    First of all, thank you so much for offering this! I was at my wits end wondering how and where to ask this, and then out of the depths of Google rose your website. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to questions.

    That said, I have an unusual question. I have to be vague because I’m not sure of the law (I have reached out to find an entertainment lawyer who might know more, but in the meantime, I’ve been trying to figure out how to contact an agent.) If you can’t answer this, then I’m sorry for wasting your time. Here is my curiosity:

    I am interested in reaching out to an entertainment company with an inquiry about employment. I want to write a book (or a series of books) based on an idea they presented featuring their artists. Do I require their permission before querying an agent, or would it be okay to seek an agent who could negotiate on stronger terms?
    Thank you again for your time!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi A, and I’m happy to help. Glad you found me. Problem is I can’t tell enough about your situation based on what you said so far. If you can say more I might be able to help. Mark

  161. Mr Donald Lubban /

    Dear Support,

    I am seeking your support in getting my manuscript edited and published.

    Please visit my blog site using the browser bar on: http://silhouettemanuscript.blogspot.co.uk

    Thank you for your time

    Mr Donald Lubban.

  162. E Hudson /

    Is it detrimental for a foreign author writing in English (who is self-publishing her first book) to reveal her foreign location & first language if she wishes to get published in the U.S. sometime in the future? I thought it was mainly translation/language barrier issues that were a problem. I’m helping to market a young foreign author and don’t want to create problems for her later on. Should I conceal this info for now or use it as part of her personal “story” and marketing campaign? Thanks.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi E, it depends. I’d have to speak with you about it. In short, if you self-publish and do very well (numbers vary based on the genre and other factors), it could help. But it can also work against you as I think you already know, so you have to be careful. Sometimes you have to let agents and publishers know about things like that, but how (and when) you let them know can make a big difference. Mark

      • E. Hudson /

        Thank you so much for your time. Yes, I see what you are saying. Well, it’s her call then. It would be worth talking on the phone with you – except I’m doing this for free. If this were a paying client or if it were for a book of my own, I’d be making an appointment. You have a great site and what a great service for authors. Best wishes. -E

        • Mark Malatesta

          Hi E, you’re welcome and of course I understand. She’s just lucky to have you. 😉 Thank you for the kind words about my work and I hope you take advantage of everything else we offer. Warm wishes. Mark

  163. Dave Wickenden /

    Hi Mark,
    forgot to ask one last question. Should an author get his work registered before sending it to an agent? In Canada, this can be done on-line through the government and cost $50. I had done this a while back and it saved a former boss from stealing my ideas for himself.
    Thanks,
    Dave

  164. Dave Wickenden /

    Hi Mark,
    so I am sending out queries and hoping for representation. When that call comes, what questions should I be asking? Should I place a time limit? And finally what is the process form the point the agent and I decide to become a partnership?
    Thanks,
    Dave

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Dave, another article for you: http://literary-agents.com/hiring-a-literary-agent/questions-to-ask-a-literary-agent/. And congratulations on getting your work out. There are other questions you can/should ask agents but it will depend on your situation. Same things goes with time limits. I talk those things through with my coaching clients because it’s different for everyone. The process about what happens after getting an agent is different for everyone too when it comes to timeframes. But the agent will pitch your book after he/she thinks your work and pitch materials are ready. You should get occasional updates after that when there’s news. Mark

  165. Sara /

    Hi Mark, ten years ago I found an agent for a memoir. We received many rejections and eventually parted ways on good terms in 2006. Since then I have gotten several essays from the memoir published, but mostly left it alone as I have gone on to work on other writing projects. Does it make sense to try again, find a new agent and see if I can get the memoir published this time around? And do I put this past information (about my agent and the rejections) in the query? Or just consider it a no-go?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sara, you should definitely give it a second effort… since it’s been so long. Would need to talk to you about your situation to know exactly how you should handle it but the short of it is this. You would definitely want to tell agents about the book’s past, but the big question is when. Probably not in your query but if/when you get serious interest from an agent(s). If you want to talk it through and get help with your pitch materials, you can sign up for a call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. Either way, get it out there and see what happens. You came very close the first time, no reason you can’t make it happen now. Mark

  166. Julie G /

    When it comes to building a literary platform, people say blog about what matters to you. I’d love to blog about my faith, but I’m worried agents/publishers will judge me for beliefs they see as controversial, rather than for my novels, or will fear bad publicity if I spoke about my faith publicly etc. Will agents represent authors with strong, “counter-cultural” views, as long as they can show that they speak and write charitably? (I live in the UK, where the culture is often anti-religious).

  167. Jackson Smith /

    I sent a query letter to an agent, and he requested a full manuscript, saying he’d contact me in 4-8 weeks. After ten weeks, I sent a follow-up letter inquiring about the status. I’ve still not heard back. It’s been two weeks since sending the follow-up letter. Any advice on what the next step should be?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Jackson, read this article to get a better sense of response times for all phases of the agenting process: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/literary-agent-turnaround-times/. The lack of response you’re getting could be based on lack of interest, or the fact that the agent is simply behind. As long as you haven’t heard back, it could go either way. You can follow up again, or wait and see what happens. During my coaching calls with authors, 1-on-1, I can often share ways to speed up the process without upsetting the agent, but I’d need to learn more about your situation and the agent first. If you’re interested in that, here’s a link to the page that has more info: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. Either way, good luck and let me know if you make it happen. There aren’t enough author success stories to go around! Mark

  168. josephwade /

    Well the first Question is, is this real. It seems so hard if not impossible to get an agent in the first place. I have written a childrens book and am beging to get representation. maybe I cant because im extreamly poor, im extreamly poor but i have one hell of a talent for stories

  169. Edwards Son /

    Can you give me an example of a follow-up letter to send to a literary agent discussing re-writing schedual as well as financial considerations…

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Edwards Son, what do you mean by re-writing schedule and financial considerations? Give me more info and I might be able to help. Mark

  170. Laci Farrell Stapp /

    Hi Mr. Mark, I was just released from the hospital today after being in there for 11 days. It was my 11th time. I have a question about my children’s book I’ve written. It’s an early reader, 3-8 age range-Preschool-kindergarten. It’s called Benson’s Pals ‘Take a Bite Out of Bullying’ All the proceeds will help benefit animals in need. This is the first in a series I’ve written. I was wondering if you thought if this is a book that will make it on the market?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Laci, it’s impossible to say without seeing a sample… and seeing your pitch (equally important). But I can say that it sounds like you’re dealing with a timely theme, which is a good thing. Hope you’re feeling better, by the way. Mark

      • Laci Farrell Stapp /

        Thank you,I am back and forth to oncology treatments, trying to get better.
        Would I be able to send you a sample?
        I do have it available on Amazon for kindle or paperback under Benson’s Pals ‘Take a Bite Out of Bullying’.
        I really value your opinion and feedback.
        I do believe my book series can be a success and help kids and animals.

  171. Annie Steele /

    need help with nonfiction materials for third grade students.
    as part of my class made a practice book.
    Now I need to know would this be of help when communication with an age for the next chapter in this series.
    Have done research on topic. No materials current in local library,University, junior college, ebaay, Barnes and Noble on my topic. Sole person to my knowledge doing my topic.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Annie, I’m happy to help… but I don’t understand your question. Please rephrase it so it’s clearer and/or provide more info. Mark

    • Annie Steele /

      A professor in my college was kind enough to go over my first attempt.
      It was a class project. They was fierce. All of the suggestions were
      doable. I can see how they would upgrade the publication.
      Goal is for the 3 grad ( 7 yr.) up nonfiction
      series.
      question A. submission to whom
      B. Format word, Inesign etc

      • Mark Malatesta

        I’m sorry Annie, I still don’t understand what you’re asking. Are you hoping to get a literary agent and a traditional publisher for a book written for third grade students? Mark

  172. Hey Mark,
    I’ve written four novels in French (I’m from Quebec, a small market) and they’ve all been picked up by publishers. For all four I’ve received praise from critics, authors and readers.
    Since my first publisher has closed, I’ve translated my first book in English and would like to try and have it published.
    About the query letter for agents: do they value the fact that novels have been published before in French and such a small market? How much emphasis do I put on that?
    Thanks!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Eric, congratulations. It might be a smaller market but it sounds like they’re legitimate publishers… so good job. Now, to your question. It depends. There are a lot of variables such as the quality of the publisher, number of copies sold, hardcover vs. paperback, and other factors. Sometimes I advice my coaching clients to lead with that type of information if it’s strong enough, for credibility as a hook. Other times it’s best to downplay things like this or not mention them at all (at least not up front). If you want more help to figure out exactly what to say, and how to say, based on your unique situation, sign up for a coaching call with me here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. Make sure you also listen to the first audio training, that you can learn more about here, in our audio library: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/. Whether you do more with me or not 1-on-1, this audio will help you a great deal. Any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Some are easier to answer than others in this format. Mark

      • Eric /

        Thanks so much, I’ll be sure to check the links you gave me!
        About the publishers, yes they are legitimate, they have been around for many years and have good reputations in Quebec and France. Unfortunately, this is a hard market with a lot of competition and I’ve sold about 600 copies of each book (which is better than some, worse than others, so I’d say about average sales). All boooks have been printed in paperback.
        If any of this helps you give me more tips, please do so! Thanks again!

        • Mark Malatesta

          Hi Eric, that’s not enough sales to help your cause so I can’t give you a simple answer. If you had big numbers and/or the book was published in hc also I would just tell you to mention it early as an asset. Based on your situation, though, it might be better to mention it later in the query and not give a lot of detail. I’d have to have a phone call with you to be sure. But at least this will help you some. Mark

  173. Laura /

    Hi Mark,
    I’m not sure which genre to label YA novel in query letters. I believe it’s fantasy because it takes place in a made-up world that blends various historical times. However, there’s no magic or made-up creatures. I know similar no-magic books are categorized as fantasy (the Winner’s Curse, Fly By Night), but I’m worried that calling it fantasy at the start of a query will be misleading and cause disappointment and/or frustration for agents. What do you recommend?
    Thanks!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Laura, if you were one of my coaching clients I’d tell you to simply call it YA… and then describe the story (mini-synopsis). That way you don’t pigeonhole the book or give agents the wrong idea. As they read your story description, they’ll come up with their own interpretation of the sub-genre… and it’s more likely to be what they want it to be. Mark

  174. Bonita Buie /

    Hey Mark,
    I am a Christian writer and the author of three books/Through My Sisters’ Eyes/Unsolicited Encounters: The Guardian Angel/How I Got Over. The three books are all self published. I am also the writer of a manuscript entitled, Unsolicited Encounters: Good Triumphs over Evil and a devotional entitled, Bonita’s Dreams and Visions. I am in need of a literary agent. I am broke, busted and disgusted. Will you help me?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Bonita, congratulations on getting three books written… a great accomplishment. If you haven’t already done so… as a next step start by looking at our list of websites here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. You’ll find a lot of valuable information there that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Read some articles on the Literary Agent Undercover website and listen to the recordings in the audio library. After that you should post another question for me here online. I’ll help as much as I can and point you in the right direction. Mark

  175. laci farrell stapp /

    Thank you for responding.
    I’m back in the hospital due to my auto immune disease.
    It’s my 11th time.
    I was wondering if you donate or discount your services to 501(c)(3) non profits?
    All of our the money goes to our animal rescue.
    I am trying to get my children’s book series published to help support our animal rescue and help children with everyday issues.
    Thank you

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Laci, sorry to hear about your ongoing health issues. I don’t donate anything in that way but I do answer questions here, no charge. And there’s a tremendous amount of fr*ee information on our websites listed here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. Be well and don’t hesitate to ask another question here about your book series after going through the information we have online. Mark

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Laci, unfortunately I only review query letters for authors if/when they register for a coaching call. Otherwise I’d be inundated with requests. There are approximately 9,000 people who are part of my online community right now. Mark

  176. Philip /

    Who are the top literary agents seeking and representing African authors?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Philip, I don’t have a list compiled for that… yet. But, if you haven’t already done so, click here to check out our list of websites and take advantage of our literary agent directory: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. It has photos of every agent so you can, at least, see which agents are African. Hope that helps. Mark

  177. Dan London /

    I have 4 chapters done in rough draft and an outline done. I find that some people are great with that and other that want me to finish writing before they will look at it. I need direction….what I need is a good literary agent that will take what I have and sell it. How do I find that agent?

    Thanks,

    Dan London

  178. Casey /

    I wanted to talk to an agent about screenplay writing. Whom may I contact from this website or do you just represent novel writers?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Casey, we’re not a literary agency but a coaching/consulting company and… unfortunately… our focus is primarily books. Mark

  179. I have an agent who has offered to represent me and who has sent me a contract. However I also have another book that is being published under a contract with a small press (out in the fall). I also write for some magazines and online journals and get small checks for these. Under the terms of the contract it states that all works by the author would fall under the agency contract. Does this mean my previous book sales, or any essays etc I would write and obtain on my own without the agent?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Mary, I don’t give contract advice here… especially not having seen your contract… but it would be highly unlikely. Best thing to do would be ask questions and ask them to make the language more clear. They should have a problem with that. Mark

  180. sabrena /

    Hi Mark,

    I have been testing the water somewhat with submissions. When an agent replies with “this doesn’t fit my list,” what are they really saying? I sent to those of my genre, so it’s not that. It’s not discouraging to me because it’s only been a few out of how many agents in the world :). Readers who have read my synopsis on my website are looking for the book, so that alone is encouraging and more important to me. So, just curious…if you can give me some insight.

    Thanks
    Sabrena

      • Sabrena /

        Thank you Mark. :) I read the link. The replies that I received were pretty formed and not specific to me or my book, which is why I didn’t know what they meant. I didn’t realize they did that. As I said before, I’m not discouraged. Domestic Violence is very real in our society. IDK why agents don’t want to consider it thus far. But I’m confident someone will. So, I’m “rejecting those rejection letters” and moving forward. Thanks again.

        • Mark Malatesta

          Hi Sabrena. That’s what I figured, form letters. So don’t let them get to you, and keep going. Agents and publishers aren’t quick to fall in love with those types of themes, but it only takes one. The right one. Mark

  181. I read on a website that although some publishers agree to read submissions that are sent direct (i.e. not via agents), this can raise difficulties.

    I.e. if one does this unsuccessfully, and then approaches an agent instead, an agent will be often unwilling to handle manuscripts that are (as the website said) “shopped around.”

    So, is it more prudent to try with agents in the first instance (even if it takes months or years), & thus avoid direct submission; unless direct sub is a last resort?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Jon, that’s true. Most publishers won’t accept direct submissions though, so that’s not really a big issue for agents if they find out you sent it to one or two houses. But, if you’ve had an agent for the book in the past, it’s impossible to get another one for the same book… unless the agent never got around to shopping it. It’s always best to only focus your efforts on getting an agent. You simply need to be more aggressive in your efforts and submit to more agents in a shorter period of time. You can really get it done in 30-60 days if you want to. Read this: http://literary-agents.com/finding-a-literary-agent/stop-looking-for-a-literary-agent/. And sign up for a coaching call with me here if you want 1-on-1 support to make it happen: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. You can also, of course, ask me another question here. Either way, I’m happy to help. Have a great weekend. Mark

  182. Hi Mark, before submitting, I revised my novel based on editing by a published, midlist, literary author. None of the agents that I queried requested more pages. Then I learned the opening confused some people,so I revised for the next round then quit. Is it harder to get an agent for a literary novel and what is different about the approach to take? Are the agents that rejected it earlier off the table? Am I being ignored because I don’t have an MFA? Or stories published in literary journals?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Rae, sorry to hear you haven’t reach your goals yet but keep going. Literary fiction isn’t harder, except that there aren’t as many agents and publishers interested in it. There are many, but not as many as those interested in commercial fiction. But the best will always get published, so keep at it. The good news is that you can resubmit to the same agents. But, of course, to get a different result you’ll have to figure out what it is about your query and/or sample pages that isn’t keeping their interest. The MFA and lack of platform isn’t the problem. It’s fiction, so the writing and the story are the most important things. If you want me to take a look and help you figure it out, schedule an introductory coaching call. You can learn more about it here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Of course you can ask me another question here as well. Have a great weekend and stay positive. You’ll get there. Mark

  183. Laci Farrell Stapp /

    Hi Mr. Mark,I have left questions about my query letter at the end of last year. I have read your blogs and have finished my first query letter.I have written a children’s book series called Benson’s Pals when I’m in the hospital and my oncology treatments due to my auto immune disease.My first book is Benson’s Pals Take a Bite Out of Bullying.My family and I have a 501c3 non profit animal rescue called Benson’s Pals.
    My book series is intended to help animals and children.Can you read my query?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Laci, welcome back. I answer questions here on my website but the I only way I can review material and give feedback (because it takes more time) is if someone signs up her for a coaching call: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Take a look and, if it feels like a good fit, I’m happy to help. Your project sounds fun, and it’s for a good cause. Mark

      • Laci Farrell Stapp /

        Thank you for responding.
        I’m back in the hospital due to my auto immune disease.
        It’s my 11th time.
        I was wondering if you donate or discount your services to 501(c)(3) non profits?
        All of our the money goes to our animal rescue.
        I am trying to get my children’s book series published to help support our animal rescue and help children with everyday issues.

        Thank you

        Thank you,

  184. Dan Van /

    I wrote a humorous parody book from the perspective of a dog. I imagine it as a coffee table book in my head because it is not a full length novel. It is more a set of 20 short pieces that would each fit on two pages.

    How do I find literary agents for this kind of book? I feel like everywhere I go, I only see agents that are looking for novels.

  185. Beth /

    If an agent will accept either an email or snail mail submission, is one a better idea than the other?

    What are the writers’ conferences that the most and best agents attend?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Beth, no difference. But make sure you submit to agents that only accept postal mail queries. Lots of authors are too lazy to do that so you can have a slight edge with those agents. Regarding conferences, I don’t have a list put together yet for what you’re asking. But the real question is which ones are the best for you genre? That’s what you need to look for. A little Googling and you’ll find what you need on that front. And see you Friday. I got the email you sent me, by the way, with the other info. 😉 Mark

  186. ivory wilson /

    i have 4 books on amazon.with another release soon . book titles a players world manual. big mack the sequel . the magical writtings of ivorywilson a childern book,dreames wornder and travles this book mail a copy to the white house 5 months ago. just recive a letter of endorsementfrom the white house . also have written a screenplay nina the lady detective. co written another . next book weekend cowboys. need a agent to look at my work.thank you .

  187. Ivory wilson /

    I’m a author with 4 books on Createspace Amazon with another soon to be released .also have two magificent screenplays ! Books two fiction. And three nonfiction.

  188. Lauren /

    I am currently querying agents to represent my first novel. At one agency, there are two agents who appear to be a good fit for my project–the senior agent, whose areas of interest perfectly sync with my project, and another agent whose interests also fit (though not as perfectly) and who expresses an interest in new authors. Which would recommend querying? Or, if one agent rejects my project, is it appropriate to query the second?
    Thanks!
    Lauren

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Lauren, both options have pros and cons. And it’s a subjective, personal choice in the end. Just pick the one that seems best to you and then query the other one if you strike out with the first one. Good luck! Mark

  189. Hunter reynolds /

    I just got done writing a book about animal abuse is there anyway that I can find a publisher that’ll help me?

  190. Erica Fox /

    I am trying to find out whether anyone took over the John A. Ware Literacy Agency after he passed away in 2013. My mother (and her book) used to be represented by him, and I found an old check from him that she never cashed. I realize there is likely nothing we can do, but in case other inquiries come in about the book, I would like to find out. Thank you.

  191. Melina Martin /

    Is there a time when u can ask an agent to represent u without a book proposal being finished. I am working on a nonfiction book in a popular subject area and my slant on it has not been published by anyone. Wanted to get the ball rolling before someone else beats me to the punch. Ty.

  192. Hi Mark,
    Just another question on top of my previous post. I was wondering about the significance of logistics between an author & an agent.

    An opportunity to move abroad is a possibility but I’ve held off on making such a decision until I’ve reached a conclusion with the agent as I don’t want to jeopardize my chances of being represented by moving to the other side of the world to the agent.

    But does it matter at any stage of the relationship where I reside in this modern age of technology?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi J, you’re right… it could matter. But maybe not, and to what degree I can’t tell you without having the opportunity to ask you a lot of questions. It will depend in part on the type of book, but several other things as well. A lot of issues like these don’t have a black/white answer, unfortunately. But it’s good you haven’t moved yet. That’s the safe play. Mark

  193. Hi Mark,
    An interested agent asked for a substantial rewrite about 6 months ago which I agreed to and did. The agent contacted me recently to apologise for the lengthy delay but offered no confirmed representation & asked for my patience & could I submit samples of my other books. I’ve given this agent unofficial exclusivity & spurned some other agent/publishing opportunities related to the original version. Do you think I could believe that an eventual ‘Yes’ will be forthcoming?
    Thanks.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi J, good news bad news. The bad news is that this could easily go the other direction. After asking for a full, agents are more likely to pass on it than offer to represent it. Good news is that it could still happen. But the time delays aren’t a good sign. If you set up an introductory coaching call with me (http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/), I can tell you how to handle this so you can get other agents reading the manuscript as well and get the current agent responding better. And yes, I know you have exclusivity. But we can fix that. Either way, I hope it works out. Sounds like you’re close. Mark

  194. Cheri Vause /

    I’m already published with a small press in the UK. I have three books under contract with them, but I’m interested in writing a screenplay for one or two of my mystery novels. One is under consideration for NovelUnity as a pick to read, and I was an Indie Book Featured Author. Which agency or agent would be interested in me as a client?

    Sincerely,
    Cheri Vause
    Author of The Night Shadow

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Cheri, it’s usually your literary agent and/or publisher that will get your novels in front of people in the movie business. You should ask them if/what they’ve done along those lines and/or what they’re planning to do. Congrats on your success and I wish you much more. Mark

    • JAMES PRATT /

      i have published a book w TATE called HOW TO MAKE YPUR CHILD FEEL LOVED. i wantto publish it w HARPER COLLINS or HARPER & ROW.

      I’M WORKING ON A NEW BOOK CALLED HOW I WANT YOU TO LISTEN; A BRIEF LESSON ON EMPATHY

      I NEED A REP

      JAMES PRATT. EDE 9PSYCHOLOGIST)

      • Mark Malatesta

        Hi James, I’m happy to help. Start by looking at our list of websites here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. You’ll find a lot of valuable information there that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Read some articles on the Literary Agent Undercover website and listen to the first recording in the audio library. If you want to go faster and get 1-on-1 support, you can sign up for an introductory coaching call here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. And I answer questions here online. Either way I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Mark

  195. sabrena /

    Hi Mark,
    I was hoping you would help me understand the difference between certain genres. As I look at literary agents wants, some want upmarket, literary or commercial fiction. What’s the difference? Does women’s fiction fit either?

  196. Sallie Kirchhoff /

    Hi Mark, When dealing with an agent who says they’re not interested in working with authors who publish in more than one genre – would it help if I offer to use a different pen name for each of the two genre I have written books for? Since I understand an author name is their “brand,” then there would be no confusion for readers among the two brands. Thank you for your sage advice. It is SO helpful!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sallie, that could work unless platform is important for one of the books. Without revealing your identity, you can’t do much to promote, send them to a website, etc. Mark

  197. Sallie Kirchhoff /

    I attended a writers conference & hoped to market my middle grade fiction book to a middle-grade agent who was a speaker. To my dismay, she said she doesn’t like to work with authors who have books in multiple genre. I have a traditional-published, non-fiction book for adults that I thought would be a plus for me – not a disadvantage. Could you explain why an agent might feel that way & what I could reply that might change their mind? Thank you! You’ve been so helpful with my questions!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sallie, it depends. Some agents don’t want authors writing in more than one genre because it seems like they’re not great at any one of them. Other agents simply might not represent one or more the author’s other genres. But most of the time this shouldn’t be an issue, unless you’re trying to get an agent representing a book they’re not interested in. Hope this helps. Mark

  198. Sallie Kirchhoff /

    Hi Mark! My book is middle grade contemporary fiction. Is there any preference among agents for naming fiction book characters in a modern day setting? In other words, do they like unusual names (like Katniss – so everybody instantly recognizes “Hunger Games”) or do they like common current-day names like Marshall, Austin, Jennifer etc? Thanks much!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sallie, interesting question. I think it’s more about each name reflecting the personality of the character. Probably more important to make sure a name doesn’t do damage or call too much attention to itself, rather than having a name that’s too clever. Mark

  199. Noel Jones /

    I am unable to find the list of Catholic agents that I joined your group to find. Help, please!

    Thank you!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Noel, I’m assuming you Googled the term and found this webpage: http://literary-agents.com/list-of-literary-agents/catholic-literary-agents/. This page, I believe, lists SOME agents that are interested in religious and/or spiritual books. And you can find information about all agents like that if you follow the directions on the page and enter our Directory of Literary Agents. However, agents don’t provide enough information for us to make it possible for you to do a detailed search in the directory using this single criterion. You’ll have to read the agents bios to try and figure it out and, even then, it will be difficult. Mark

  200. Are epistolary novels dead, or are they worth trying to publish? Thank you in advance for answering.

  201. Anona Miss /

    Hello, Mark~
    I’m thinking about writing a collection of letters from a fictional teenaged girl. These letters could be to her friends, to her romantic interests… Would this be a novel? A short story collection? Do you think it has marketability?

    Thank you~

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Anona, pretty much every idea (really) can be done well, in a way that’s marketable with commercial appeal. It’s all in the development of the idea. And your idea would work as a novel or collection of letters or short stories. So follow your instincts and use all of the resources available at our different websites (listed here at http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/) to help you make it happen. Mark

  202. Eric Leftwich /

    Hello Mark – My name is Eric.
    I am an aspiring fantasy/science fiction author with visions of grandeur before me. I am currently working on a compilation book of my own fantasy and science fiction short stories. I was wondering…when I do finally finish my book, how would I go about obtaining a literary agent to begin pitching my manuscript to publishers?

    Thank you for your time! -Eric

  203. Higinio J. Vazquez /

    Dear Mr. Malatesta:
    Happy Valentine’s Day. I would like to know if you know a Literary Agent that is honest and is willing to represent me.
    Thank you.
    Higinio J. Vazquez

  204. Sebastian Gomez /

    Hi I am an illustrator graduating from Montclair University next May and i wanted to know if in this website i could find agents or agencies that help Illustrators find jobs. I work mainly in the fantasy/Sci-fi genre and would like to do Book jackets or children’s books.

  205. Sallie Kirchhoff /

    I read a book that said not to tell an agent in a query letter that you’re writing a series. It’ll turn them off because they’d want to see how the 1st book sells before even thinking about a series – and don’t want an author stuck & inflexible about the topic of their 2nd book. Also, the book said not to tell if your book is based on real people like your Dad/sister because the agent will fear you’re too attached to your characters to be flexible with their suggestions. Your thoughts? Thanx!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sallie, every agent is different but this can be an issue… so I always advise my coaching clients to position their book (as much as possible) as a standalone title that will hopefully become part of a successful series, etc. That way you don’t sound too attached for an agent that doesn’t like that. In the end, however, if your book sells and sells well, and the publisher wants more, of course your agent isn’t going to get in the way. Your second question is true as well, but I give people more room on that. It’s all in the telling, how you say it. But you’re right that it can go horribly wrong if not handled well. Too hard to explain here but maybe something I’ll address on one of my upcoming radio shows. Mark

  206. Richard /

    Hi my name is Richard Clark I am from saffron Walden and I have written a book called Louie Gambit it is a spin off from harry potter and the book is finished and I have done the font cover and the back cover can you tell me where yo0u are based

  207. Hi Mark, glad I found your site and appreciate it. I’m probably going to print some of the info so I can study it, if that’s OK. I have been working on a non-fiction book for about a year. It’s a book that will have some level of personal safety concerns. Is there a way to privately speak to you before I start spending money with you? Don’t mean to sound like a cheap skate, but I’ve got tomake every dollar count! Thanks!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Bill, glad to hear it. Make the most of it. And make sure you’re utilizing all or websites, listed here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. I’m not sure what you mean about personal safety concerns but I’m guessing that means you have some content in your book that might get you in some type of trouble. If so, you’re right to be careful and get advice from a trusted source about how to move forward. Unfortunately (I don’t mean to sound like a businessman), you’ll most likely have to invest something to get worthwhile advice. I answer some questions here online, but obviously that’s limited and it sounds like your issues need to kept confidential. If/when you want to talk more with me about it, your next step would be an introductory coaching call that you find out more about here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. You also might want to consider calling in to my radio show. Mark

  208. cathy Krentz /

    how does a new author persuade a literary agent to take a chance on them? One reads so much about how to do it. Is any of it true? And how do you find the agents?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Cathy, very simple… find a source for this information that you can trust. To that end, take a look at our websites listed here: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/websites/. One of them will tell you everything you want/need to know about agents. Another one will help you write a great query letter. And yet another one will help you find the best agents for you and your book. Then, if you want 1-on-1 support to help you implement everything and make it happen, click here to see how you can do that: http://thebestsellingauthor.com/coaching/intro-call/. Any more questions about anything, don’t hesitate to ask. And have a great weekend! Mark

  209. Laci Farrell Stapp /

    Hi,
    I want to thank you for getting back to me. I just got out of the hospital after being in there for 27 days. I was in there for my 21st birthday, Christmas and New Years.
    I have found literary companies that are taking my genre. The trouble I am having now is writing a query letter. I have written one but I don’t know how it is. If I posted it, would you tell me if correct to send to an agent?

    Thank you,
    Laci Farrell Stapp

  210. Ogden Nash: One of the most successful American writers of the 20th century. He specialized in humorous, light verse with clever rhymes.
    Is there any place in today’s marketplace for someone to carry on with his flair for writing similar comic verses (not regular poetry) on today’s contemporary society?

  211. Eleanor /

    Do you write query letters for first-time writers?

  212. goodness nwokolo /

    Hello Sir/Ma,
    I have an African literature play which focus on West Africa. It is titled ‘Happy Grey Hair’ It is also on the Amazon kindle store. I will like to sell this eBook on your website. How do I go about that? Do you feature newly published eBooks on the front page of your website? Thanks and hope to work with you. If I may ask also, do you also have a very large traffic on your website? Please note, I also have paperbacks of this book I am talking about. Can I also sell it on your website? I am also interested in seeing my book printed offline in form of printed copies, plus marketed and distributed nationwide if possible worldwide. If I may ask, do you do that? If I may also ask, do you buy copy rights of books like mine if so, what are the processes you undertake with authors like me to actualize it if not, do you know any agent or publisher that you can recommend to me who buys copy rights of books or ebooks if not both but especially those who can purchase copy rights of African plays but especially West African plays? Your favorable response is highly appreciated.
    Regards,
    Goodness Nwokolo

  213. Jason Hall /

    Hello, i was wondering what is the process on an author requesting/getting illustrations for they novel? (I don’t plan on illustrating my own novel)
    Like do the author inform they agents on them wanting to include illustrations in they novel before-hand so they can let the publishers know that this author wants illustrations or illustrations are only included if the publishers feel the story needs it?
    Like how does an author go about wanting to include illustrations into they novel?
    Thanks

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Jason, most novels aren’t illustrated so… are you talking about the cover? Either way, this isn’t something you have to worry about. Your publisher will help you with that. They take care of things like that. Mark

  214. Kelly Berry /

    My question is….before I submit anything to a literary agent, should it be perfect? Or does a literary agent help to perfect the piece? Does an editor get assigned to the piece to work with the author to perfect the piece?
    Thank you!!!!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Kelly, as perfect as it can be. But, within reason. It’s all relative though so I have no way of knowing, yet, how close you are. Some agents get heavily involved, helping their clients take their work to the next level. Others do very little. Same things goes once you get a book deal and a publishers. Some editors do more than others. Mark

  215. Kyle Lawrence /

    Hi Mark,

    Being an unpublished writer is it smarter to hold off sending my query letter until the manuscript is complete, or is it okay to send a query letter for a novel at any stage of completion as long as you have the logline and plot summary down?

    Thank you!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Kyle, since you said novel… it has to be finished. Nonfiction books can be sold on the basis of a query letter, book proposal, and three sample chapters. Mark

  216. Hello, not really about agents but I have something which has bothered me for a while.

    I am Australian, but I generally don’t like Australia as a setting. For a story in the US, what dialect should I use? Do I have to use American spellings (color, realize, etc.)? What if I’m targeting an Australian publisher, do I write the dialect of my characters or my audience?

    Setting is a constant struggle for me due to language, any professional info on what’s expected would be really great. Thank you!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Ana, it depends. It’s usually helpful, when you’re trying to get a publisher in the United States, for a book that’s not yet published, to use American English. Same things goes for other countries, make your book friendly to that country. Dialect should be true to the background of the character though. I see this as a different issue. At the end of the day, however, your story is what matters most. Not sure what you’re asking me about setting. If you clarify that or give me more information, I’m happy to help. Mark

  217. saw lian cheah /

    Do I need to italicize foreign words in my memoir each time I use it?

  218. Lee Field /

    Do any of your agents represent screenwriters. Thanks Lee

  219. Hi,

    I’ve written and traditionally published 6 books in the paranormal/non-fiction genre. I want to get an agent, but not even sure how to approach one with a proposal who handles what I write? Do I send them a query letter and/or proposal with my idea, or do I send an introductory email?

    Thanks,

    Debi

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Debi, first… congratulations on getting six books written, and published traditionally. Although you’re already established, I want to encourage you to go slow with agent search and do it right. Not all agents are created equal, the same way that all publishers aren’t created equal. The best place to start if you’re new to my website is listen to the complimentary audio training that you can access here: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/. Then spend some time looking around our various websites listed here: http://literary-agents.com/websites/. After that you can post a follow-up question for me here on this web page. Or you can sign up for a coaching call with me here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Either way, I’m happy to help and I look forward to learning more about you and your books. You should have a fairly easy time finding a decent agent, but I want to make sure you get a GREAT agent. You’ve paid your dues, you deserve it. Mark

  220. I have written a draft of my Dystopian novel and it is around 130 000 words. I am worried that might be too long for a first time writer (I have not published fiction before).

    So I am considering splitting the novel into two or three volumes.

    Firstly, is such a strategy ever advisable for a first time writer, in terms of making a future manuscript submission for my first piece of fiction?

    Secondly, what advice would you offer for intelligently splitting a novel into more than one volume?

    • Ok. I’m really sorry to bother you, but I feel like I could use some advice. I’m not a published author yet, but I’m trying to go down that route. I’ve recently started a book on wattpad, and seven chapters in, it’s done far better than I ever dreamed for something so new and recent. But my question is that it’s the first in a series and published on wattpad. If completed on the site and it becomes a hit (wishful thinking!) ️how hard will it still be possible for me to get an agent?

      • Mark Malatesta

        Hi Anna, good question. And not a bother. That’s why I’m here. Now, is everything published on WattPad fr*ee? If so, not a good idea to publish the whole thing there. Less than 20% or so, probably not a problem. But once the story is out in the public domain online where people can get it, why would they but the book? That’s what agents and publishers will ask you. Mark

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Jon, it’s good you’re thinking about this. That is on the heavy side. If you split it up, you’ll have to do it in a way that’s logical and, if possible, makes each book feel somewhat like a standalone. You’ll also want to get the word count for each volume up to 70,000. If you leave it as one book, you should get it under 120,000… even less if possible… and depending on the final count… it might be best not to tell agents the word count up front. Mark

  221. Fred Roe /

    I loathe the whole thought of promoting my book or going through hoops to find an agent. I write. I wrote a column for over 40 years and want to write books. I never had a problem getting my articles into print. I wrote — the newspaper printed it. No messes, no promotions, no blogs, no forums other than replying to people who differed in their ideas relating to an article.
    Is there any way to just sell the manuscript? Like, I write a book, post it online and sell it to an interested party?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Fred, I don’t know of any author (in their right mind) that likes the idea. But successful authors train themselves to enjoy learning this part of the business, after realizing it’s necessary. The only way to make the process easier/faster is to invest in someone like me to help with the process, but even then it’s not a done-for-you type of thing. You still have to be involved in the process. But again, if you can embrace that (or at least be okay with it), it can be (dare I say) fun, and you’re much more likely to get what you want. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but I hate to see good writers go unpublished or have a small audience when they have more potential. And based on your track record, you have the ability to reach a big audience. Warm wishes to you and yours this holiday season. And here’s to more success for you in the new year. Mark

  222. Meghan Thompson /

    Hi Mark – Happy New Year!
    I thought my book was completely done, then after an online workshop in Nov, I rewrote my first chapter. Feeling a little too excited before the holidays, I queried an agent. She requested the first 50 pages. I haven’t heard anything (and didn’t expect to during Xmas), but since I sent her pages, I have found ways to improve that first chapter. Am I better off leaving her with what I sent or should I send her the updated version with an honest explanation? Thank you!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Meghan, it really depends. You can go either way with this. It will depend on the agent. Some agents won’t think it’s a big deal. Others will think it’s flaky and you should have figured that out before you started querying. The good news is that, if you’re a good writer, there’s probably not THAT much of a difference between the two versions, or at least not enough to matter. If you feel it’s major, then maybe you should follow up with the agent now. Hope this helps. Mark

      • Meghan Thomspon /

        Thank you so much! And thank you for providing this service; it’s an amazing resource and you are incredibly kind for doing it!

  223. Lynn Orloff /

    Thank you for your rapid and thorough response. The 2nd and 3rd books are not a continuation of the first and not a series, but I can see how you might have interpreted that given what I wrote. They are totally stand alone books. I do honestly think the illustrators are quite gifted though new to the scene. I thought if you present the whole book (pics and text) the literary agent doesn’t have the extra work to pair you with an illustrator which saves much time and money. Thanks Mark!!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Lynn, you’re welcome. Including illustrator info is risky because many agents and publishers will want to use a different illustrator, so it’s best to cross the bridge later… not seem attached to the one you have. Again, that is if the illustrator isn’t already well-known or incredibly gifted, as you say. Also, the publisher might have a somewhat different vision for how the books get illustrated. Mark

  224. Lynn Orloff /

    Mark, I have a children’s ebook up on Amazon and have a 2nd and 3rd shortly to follow, and was blessed to find 2 wonderful illustrators to collaborate with. Is it better to send a proposed manuscript with full illustrations to a literary agent as a query before epublishing the next two books or can it be done simultaneously. Would they prefer not having it ebook published prior to their possible consideration?? Thank you for your anticipated response.

    Best,
    Lynn :)

    • Mark Malatesta

      Unless the illustrators are spectacular and/or already have significant credits, don’t include the images when querying agents. Should you pitch book 1 or 2 or 3 or the series as a whole. It depends. That’s something I need to talk through with someone after looking at what they have and learning more about the history of the series. Lastly, it’s always better to not have self-published unless you’ve sold 5, 10, or 20,000 copies. If you haven’t it looks like you can’t sell books. Regarding how much exposure you already have for the book(s) should determine what you should say to agents about the self-publishing history. Again, a case-specific question. Sorry to throw these generalities at you, but hopefully it helps some. Mark

  225. Lynn Orloff /

    ~Sorry there Mark, I’ve been out of touch
    I have a pinched nerve and it hurts quite a bunch
    A late Merry Christmas to you and your wife
    And may the New Year be especially nice!!~ :)

    I’ll leave a question if you don’t mind…

  226. Elizabeth Welles /

    After you have sent your manuscript to an agent who requested it, how long will it be before you receive a reply from them? Or how long do you wait before you can email them to see if they have read it? Do you wait a month or two or three? And how would you inquire, just a polite inquiry that they got it and are enjoying it and you’re checking in? Or if they’re not interested, do you never hear from them again? Just wondering how to take the guessing game out of it. Thanks Mark!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Elizabeth, great question… check this out but add a little time for the holidays: http://literary-agents.com/get-a-literary-agent/literary-agent-turnaround-times/. That will help you with the response times. When it comes to what to say and how to say it, that depends… something I only talk about with my 1-on-1 coaching clients based on their unique situation. But, in general, just be polite. It’s more complex when you have a little leverage, you can “push” a little harder, and differently, but I’ll explain what that means and how to do that if we end up working more together. Good luck and do let me know if you get some good news. Mark

  227. Sabrena /

    So, after a brief talk with Mark, I sat stiff for 3 hours working on my query as I was determined to get it down to one solid page. Finally, mission accomplished. Thanks Mark for the inspiration. :)

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Sabrena, just saw this in my comments after I emailed you a private message. Too funny. If people knew everything you’d done to get to this point, they’d say that YOU are the inspiration. But I do appreciate the love. Mark 😉

  228. Dear Mark,

    I am looking for an agent-editor for the US and Canadian markets.
    I am doing books for kids based on wild animals pictures.
    Can you please assist me ?
    Thanks
    Julien

  229. I want to use the story from someones song (I know this sounds crazy to use a song) as a movie idea to send forth to produces. How do I go about getting permission to use there work and not get caught in a legal battle.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Adam, it doesn’t sound crazy. You’re not going to like my answer though… which is… it depends. There are a lot of variables. It would be wise to try and get permission and/or talk to a lawyer. I might be able to help you if you schedule an introductory coaching call with me, but don’t make that the primary reason you sign up. Here’s a link with more info: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Just make sure you figure something out before you do too much. I have a client who wrote a whole novel based on something else in the market that’s already successful. She had to trash it in the end. Mark

  230. kristen Brakeman /

    I am peddling a NF manuscript. In the meantime I remembered that I have this picture book I gave up on 8 years ago. If I Self-Pub the pic book, does that qualify as my “debut” – I’ve heard agents like the debut author tag and don’t want to jeopardize losing that.

    Am I over analyzing?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Not over analyzing. Good thought. Depends on how much exposure you got for the first book. And it’s a different genre so it’s less important. But it probably isn’t going to be a big deal. Mark

  231. Dr Karen Kellock /

    i have a literary discovery that has taken me forty years. it is called MANUAL FOR THE SUPERIOR MAN. it is 300 pages–it is for the general public. do you want to see it? i have it as ebook going up—-would like to send you the ebook so you can see—-it is fully illustrated and that is PART of the artistic discovery. Dr. Karen Kellock

    SEE DAILY SAMPLE ON TWITTER OR FACEBOOK, KAREN KELLOCK

  232. Hello~
    Before all, let me say doing this is really nice of you c:
    My question is about promotion – more specifically, promotion before finding an agent. Would you advise for or against, for example, a writer setting up a website for their novel before it’s even finished and submitted to an agent? If it didn’t include any actual text from it (but rather, i.e., art, behind the scenes info and such), and was meant to build a fanbase and interest, would agents see it as a bad thing?

    Thanks a lot :)

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Aria, thank you for that and today is your lucky day. I have a popular 3-part article sharing everything you need to think about when it comes to author websites. Click here to check it out: http://literary-agents.com/author-website/. Take a look and then let me know what you think. And let me know if you have a follow up question. Happy to help. Mark

      • Thanks, it was a very helpful read!
        I’m still a little bit unsure, though, not to say paranoid. I’m a young author, without a published novel behind me and not yet in any stage of a deal with an agent – I’m just working on the thing, and dreaming big. I want to create a website for myself and the novel, but I’m worried that a future agent I’d contact might dislike me sharing any info about the book publicly before it’s finished and represented by someone, for any reason.
        Should I stop worrying?

  233. Ellie Mitchell /

    I need to know how to get my non-fiction legal denial by a state in America published. I name names, 99 pages of proof, I think it could do justice to the American people to see first hand the price being paid by patriots who stand up to corruption.

    Can someone please let me know how I go about doing this.

  234. Hallo,
    first I want to say thank you for sharing this helpful informations!

    1.) What if I have published a book in Germany and and send a raw english script to a US agency.
    What are the chances, that they find a big publisher?
    Its`s a teen SciFi/Fantays genre (Panem, Slated…).

    2.) Or are my chances much higher, if I send it to the US agency before publishing in germany?
    But then the US agency has all foreign rights, right? And I can`t publish it that easy in germany any more, or?

    Thank you!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Frank, you can do it either way. And you can divide up the rights. You might want to work at it from both ends and then you can make decisions as you go. You never know who’s going to be interested first. Mark

  235. Happy Thanksgiving! I got a lot of positive feedback for my book, but especially my query letter, but so far, no takers, because of workload, and in one case, they just sold a book like mine. Once the holidays are over, I’ll be scheduling a call with you!

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Manny, thank you for the holiday wishes. Much appreciated. And I’m glad you’re getting positive feedback on the book and not the query letter. The pitch is much easier to fix than the book itself, in every case. 😉 Looking forward to speaking with you and have a great weekend. Mark

  236. Allison Hodgdon /

    Hi Mark. I sent my query and a sample to the address for newsletters. Oops. I’m heading to the airport and wanted to get that over. I’ll be signing up for the intro call next week. Please advise if you are or aren’t able to get that info that I sent. Thanks in advance. :)

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Allison, well… you are on top of it. I hope you had a good trip and I look forward to speaking with you. Once you sign up for the call at http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/ you’ll get an email from me with my author questionnaire. That’s where I’ll ask you to insert all your material, along with your questions of course. And we’ll set up a time to speak. Safe travels and talk soon. Mark

      • Allison Hodgdon /

        The trip was amazing! Thank you. Maid of Honor and I in Manhattan for 6 nights? Can it be any better? Oh wait… I’ve got a story to tell and “things to do.” Better is ALWAYS allowed.

        Thank you for the information, and I too look forward to speaking with you.

  237. Hi, I wrote my first book for children. I am author an illustraor of it. Please, dear M. Malatesta, email me. Thank You.

    Ina

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Ina, how can I help? Mark

      • Well, I was talking with publishing agencies from Croatia where I live, so they told me how my work is something between Marilyn Manson, Tim Burton and Harry Potter and if I want to publish it in Croatia I need to change some things which I really dont want to, so they suggest me to try find connection with somebody from America. Searching through internet I found your adress. So, as a very, lets say “just do it” person I decide to write to You as an agent for my book if that is possible.

        • Mark Malatesta

          Hi Ina, I’m delighted to know you’re getting interest from publishers. And seeking a literary agent and publisher in the US is a great idea if your book has American or international appeal. I’m no longer an agent as my main focus now is helping author secure agents. Here is a list of all our websites: http://literary-agents.com/websites/. And here is a link to our page where you can see the three different ways that you can get 1-on-1 support from me to get a literary agent: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/. Mark

  238. I’m writing a short autobiography about how my life has been being a visually impaired person. Being only 24, It’s not that long, and will most likely max out at 20k, I read most agents won’t take short books, but I don’t want to self-publish. What should I do when I’m done? Thank you so much for any help! PS, I love interesting titles. Mine is: Visually Impaired, but Not Blind: my life with a disability and Why it Has Been a Blessing.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Manny, congratulations on getting to this point. Believe it or not I helped another author with a similar title get published with Random House. Learn more here: http://literary-agents.com/literary-agents-lakshmi-subramani-lights-out/. My advice? Definitely try to get a top agent and publisher. Take advantage of all the fr*ee resources on my websites listed here: http://literary-agents.com/websites/. And then follow up with me for additional 1-on-1 support. There are three different ways you can do that. Learn more here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/. I’d love to help you get your story out there. Mark

      • Thank you so much! Is there an email I can reach you at? I’m a member of bookshare.org, and used the 2013 guide to agents. I’m not good at formatting things, so I wrote a short letter, along with my short book, and sent it to a good number of agents via email. I was worried that my story is short, but my old english teacher says length isn’t important if its good.

        • Mark Malatesta

          Hi Manny, you can ask me questions here. I’m happy to help. If you want more personal support, including the ability to send me material for review, I have an introductory coaching call that you can learn more about here: http://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Either way, I wish you all the best and want to encourage you to keep writing. You are right that the quality of the story is more important than the length. But length is important as well. Mark

  239. Gerd S Cherney /

    My manuscript “The Prophecy of Rebirth” finished second in selection at a movie company in Florida several years back. Another agent said it was very good, but the timing wasn’t right. Over the years I edited it and worked on a sequel “The Power Brings All Things To Right.” It tells of a young woman’s fate to kill the Son of The Beast. But why her, an ordinary being? Who told her this? It is RELIGIOUS FICTION. I sent it out to 27 such agents, with 2 not interested. Any suggestions?

  240. Mark, there is so much info on formatting “out there”, but it all deals with paper submissions. However, when an agency says to stick a chapter or two, or x pages into the query-email itself, are there guidelines for “standard” formatting. In particular, does it make sense to double-space email? Of course, the best thing email does it get rid of the “font nerves” since readers can [re]format it as they please. The biggest concern seems to be labelling of chapters and divisions within them.

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Ed, I advise my clients to double-space sample chapters in emails but omit page numbering and page headers since it doesn’t really make sense. And I don’t have big gaps between chapters for the same reason. But everything else stays the same. Mark

      • Ed Qualls /

        Thanks. The problem I’ve run up against is that gmail’s editor has no mechanism for double-spacing text, and double-spaced text cut-and-pasted into the message loses that setting. Oddly, text set at 1.5 lines retains that, unless you do something that smacks of editing it within gmail. (Some lit-ag’s have switched to online form-submission that permits attachment of real dox, so that avoids the problem.)

  241. Martina /

    Hello Mark. Im author of book “I will die from happeniess”. Im not from America or any english speaking country and some of agents have a problem with it. I think, that Im not wrong and that my book can bring to people possitive feedback. Your audio is really amazing but It cant help me. Could you hepl me? Our team know, that book can be bestseller everywhere :)

  242. Sallie Kirchhoff /

    Hi Mark,
    Your EXTREMELY helpful website says that agents are so inundated with query letters from authors that they often toss a query letter at the 1st red flag. The example you gave of a red flag was, “there are no other books out there like my book.” Could you give several more examples of red flags so I don’t do any of them? Sounds like if agents can make it to the end of my letter without hitting a red flag, they might be interested in my book. Thank you! Sallie

  243. After almost 3+ months of editing (what took a month and a half to write), I got the word count on my historical novel down from 184k to 163k. But I simply can’t reduce it more without destroying the cohesion and details of the main character’s life. It won’t split in two.
    Any advice about how to handle this in presenting it to a lit ag?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Ed, the only thing you can do then is not mention the word count when you send the query. Then they’ll hopefully get hooked by your story and writing and perhaps be willing to shop a very long book. Or help you figure out how to divide it into two. Mark

  244. ssteven genack /

    In the query how do you get a automatic hook

  245. steven genack /

    Are there any agents or publishing houses I can query for a book of axioms and quotes

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Steven, I don’t recommend specific agents or publishers but I recommend you use my Literary Agents Directory at http://literaryagencies.com and look at AAR agents listed as being interested in General Nonfiction, Gift, Novelty, Reference, etc. There are quite a few genres that apply. Just not, unfortunately, a clear category for axioms and quotes. Mark

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Steven, ask me something specific about pitching your book and I might be able to point you in the right direction. Happy to help if I can. Mark

  246. Maureen Shea /

    Mark, I would like to know how to copyright a book, and can you make changes to the book after the copyright is issued?

    Thanks, Maureen

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Maureen, strange… you’re the second person to ask me almost the same question in just a few days. Here’s what I told her… I avoid all questions that even come close to sounding like me giving legal advice. But here’s what I can say. I believe that you can update your copyright for any work as often as you like. And the best source of information for copyright info is http://www.copyright.gov. Hope this helps or at least gets you going in the right direction. Mark

  247. Patricia Harlow /

    Hello, Mark.
    I’ve been watching you, and you seem like a straight-shooter, so yes, I’d like to tie you up for a bit. My work has been copyrighted, but never published. Now that I can wipe the sweat from my brow and sew up the open veins, I would like to go back and embellish a little, here and there. Just how much of that can I do without jeopardizing copyright security?

    • Mark Malatesta

      Hi Patricia, I avoid all questions that even come close to sounding like me giving legal advice. But here’s what I can say. I believe that you can update your copyright for any work as often as you like. And the best source of information for copyright info is http://www.copyright.gov. Sorry to be so vague but this isn’t my strength. Ask me about the best way to pitch your book and you’ll find me more useful. 😉 Mark

  248. Sallie Kirchhoff /

    Hi Mark,
    Could you please give a brief overview of what the climate is like in middle grade fiction? Pouring over the internet did not help me find a general description of the market, what’s hot and what’s not. Is every-day-life fiction selling? Also what – in general – are the rules for middle grade? Like no head popping … or protagonist must be 12 years old … or parents in story have to be watching their kids all the time … or ?? Thank you! Sallie