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Pitching An Agent: Epstein Literary Agency

Enticing memoirs and nonfiction for adults are wanted by this expanding lit agency

- May 3, 2011

Number of agents: One
Number of clients: 30
Notable clients: Peter Allison, Jeff Guidry, Kathryn Lynard Soper, Rita Weiss and Jean Leinhauser
Amount of unsolicited material selected: Less than 1 percent
Fiction vs. Nonfiction: 10 percent fiction; 90 percent nonfiction

Background: Kate Epstein was an editor at Adams Media for four years before founding The Epstein Literary Agency in October 2005. She decided to strike out on her own after taking the agents she knew well out to lunch and picking their brains about the business. However, she says, "My introduction to book publishing was actually on one snowy night in April 1974 when my mother was copyediting a manuscript while counting contractions."

Epstein initially launched her company with the same types of titles she once represented at Adams. "At Adams Media, I acquired strictly nonfiction for adults and it was fairly downmarket. I was surprised to find how much I loved working in the downmarket, books I wouldn't necessarily read for myself but enjoyed being a part of," she says.

Since then, Epstein Literary has expanded to four-color how-to craft books and is now seeking memoirs and young adult novels. "I'm excited to be working in this area, and to be getting to know the editors that acquire these projects," Epstein shares, "I haven't taken on many novels yet, but I've been meeting with editors in advance of submitting to them."

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