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Pitching An Agent: Talbot Fortune Agency

'Every day I hope to find great new voices, writing that jumps off the page, and stories that linger'

By Jeff Rivera - November 8, 2010

Number of agents: Three
Number of clients: 60
Notable clients: Jessica Beck, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Peter Telep, John Baldwin, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Cleo Coyle
Amount of unsolicited material selected: Five percent
Fiction vs. nonfiction: 60 percent fiction, 40 percent nonfiction.

Background: Together, John Talbot and Gail Fortune have nearly 40 years of experience in the book publishing industry. Talbot worked with such authors as Tom Clancy, W.E.B. Griffin, Tom Perrotta, and Jack Higgins at Pocket Books and Putnam Berkley, while Fortune rose from assistant to executive editor at Putnam Berkley.

This three-person company represents numerous bestselling authors and award-winners, and its agents are not afraid to spend "long hours" doing whatever it takes to keep their clients happy. These "advocates for authors" suggest that there are definite advantages to signing with an agent with a background at a major publishing house. Talbot says, "I think having been on the other side and seen some of the factors that the editors are looking at, can help."


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