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Pitching an Agent: Judith Riven Literary Agency

This veteran agent sells cookbooks, parenting books, and is looking for those who can tackle issues with strong narratives

- November 15, 2005

Number of agents: Two
Number of clients: Fewer than 50
Notable clients: Dan Shapiro (Delivering Dr. Amelia), Jerry Traunfeld (The Herbal Kitchen), and Eva Etzioni-Halevy (The Song of Hannah).
Percentage of unsolicited material accepted: Five percent
Fiction vs. nonfiction: 85 to 90 percent nonfiction

Background: Riven worked as an acquiring editor at Avon, Dell, and Hyperion for 14 years before opening her agency in 1993. The independence and variety of being an agent appealed to her, Riven says. "When you work in one publishing house, there's a certain kind of book that each publisher generally does and that fits within that company, that ...

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