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Agents

Andrew Wylie Speaks Out Against Amazon

amazon304Amazon and Hachette have been locked in a feud over eBook pricing since May 2014. Many members of the publishing community have spoken out about this situation and some have even mobilized to form the Authors United group.

Earlier this year, several high profile authors including Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, and Ursula Le Guin agreed to join in Authors United’s fight against Amazon. Who convinced this illustrious group to take part? None other than Andrew Wylie.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the veteran literary agent shared his opinion on this dispute. For Wylie, “the issues at the heart of the conflict are both margin and price…Losing the fight over margins would be an immediate blow to the publishers’ profits, but losing control over pricing could be fatal.” Do you agree with Wylie?

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Heather Alexander Joins Pippin Properties

Heather AlexanderHeather Alexander has been hired as a literary agent at Pippin Properties, Inc.

For six years, Alexander served as an editor at Dial Books for Young Readers. Some of the authors and illustrators she has worked with include Anne C. Voorhoeve, Jeanne Ryan, and Sophie Blackall.

According to the agency’s email announcement, Alexander “is looking for new talent from a broad range of children’s book authors and illustrators, from picture books through young adult, including graphic novels. She’s most interested in unique characters, strong voices, and quirky humor.”

Sharlene Martin Signs David Schmitz and Jayne Abraham

schmitzOver the holidays, a feel good story made headlines. It went something like this. Brenda Schmitz, who died of terminal cancer in 2011, left a surprise gift for her husband David Schmitz.

Brenda gave two letters to a friend and asked her to mail them to a local radio station in Iowa and in the event that David would remarry. When David got engaged to Jayne Abraham, the friend followed the instructions and mailed her letter to the station. In the letter, Brenda gave her blessing to the marriage. The story went viral, garnering almost 2 million hits on YouTube.

Literary agent Sharlene Martin has signed David Schmitz and Jayne Abraham and will represent the book and film rights to their story.

Agent Brian DeFiore & Editor Yaniv Soha Featured on Humans of New York

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Humans of New York blogger Brandon Stanton has photographed Yaniv Soha, an editor at St. Martin’s Press, and Brian DeFiore, founder of the DeFiore & Company literary agency.

Stanton shot the picture at Madison Square Park (embedded to the side). The two publishing executives posed with funny hats (provided by Stanton) and copies of the New York Times bestselling Humans of New York book.

In a Facebook comment, Stanton complimented the two men calling them both “great guys and good sports.” He also appreciated that they were “two of the earliest believers in HONY.” We’ve embedded a photo below featuring Stanton with Soha and DeFiore.

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Jack Andraka Has Signed With Martin Literary Agency

jackJack Andraka, a Maryland high school sophomore that invented a low-cost sensor that can detect pancreatic cancer early, has signed with Martin Literary & Media Management.

Andraka invented the technology after a close family friend died of pancreatic cancer. In his research, he discovered that a lack of low-cost early detection led to a low survival rate among people with pancreatic cancer. Andraka’s work won the 2012 grand prize at the Intel International Space and Engineering Fair, which included a $75,000 purse.

Andraka’s work has been widely documented in the media including Morgan Spurlock’s short documentary You Don’t Know Jack, as well as interviews on The Colbert Report and 60 Minutes, and stories in Forbes, Smithsonian Magazine and Popular Science.  Andraka has even given his own Ted Talk.

The sixteen year-old will be represented by Sharlene Martin and Clelia Gore. “We are both thrilled and honored to represent Jack Andraka,” stated Martin in a press release. “He is an inspiration to our youth as well as adults worldwide with his remarkable accomplishments.”

How To Land A Literary Agent: Don’t Bury Your Sales Hook

LiteraryAgentSo the hardest part’s over. You’ve written a book. Congrats! Now, on to a new challenge — selling it. You’ve heard all the self-published success stories, but eBooks and print-on-demand tomes aren’t your thing. You want your writing to be traditionally published. If that’s the case, the first thing you’ll need is a literary agent.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, literary agents give tips for aspiring authors who want to go the traditional publishing route. One thing to remember? Agents and publishers are in the book-selling business, so don’t bury your sales hook:

“As I’m reading [a submission], I’m paying attention to my gut response: Are readers going to enjoy this and want to keep turning the page?” says Rachelle Gardner, an agent with Books & Such Literary Agency. “Then the other side of it is, regardless of my gut response, can I sell this? And could a publisher sell this to readers? And if so, how?” Gardner recommends writers clearly communicate the sales hook in their initial submission. As in, don’t expect the agent to automatically assume that your cozy mystery featuring a stay-at-home mom turned amateur sleuth will be targeted to unfulfilled women in middle America.

To hear more tips on how to get yourself an agent (and a book deal), read: 6 Tips To Land A Literary Agent.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Martin Literary & Media Management Launches Children’s Division

clelia-bio-picMartin Literary & Media Management has opened a new children’s division, helmed by Clelia Gore.

Before working in publishing, Gore practiced law as a corporate litigator in New York City. Since then, she interned at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Oxford University Press. She also writes a blog about the books she loved as a kid during the 1990s, Tween at 28. Here’s more about the kind of books she seeks:

Clelia is very interested in the emerging New Adult genre. Having faced an early life career crisis, she really relates to characters who are confronted with the challenges of entering adulthood. She is also interested in young adult and middle grade books. She is seeking to represent writers whose protagonists have strong voices and whose plots are original. Clelia never wants to let go of her favorite characters, so she particularly loves trilogies and series that can be adapted to the screen. Clelia has a special spot in her heart for picture books. She especially loves ones that are funny or quirky, ones that feature minority and multi-cultural characters, and ones parents won’t mind reading over and over again to their children.

(Via Aubrey Joy Photography)

Nonfiction Query That Survived 75 Submissions

How many times has your query letter been rejected? Authors Pamela Jane and Deborah Guyol submitted Pride and Prejudice and Kitties 75 times before literary agent James McGinniss decided to represent the book.

We’ve embedded their simple query letter below. Once you find an agent you would like to represent your book, the pitch letter is the next step in the traditional publishing process.

You should also check out our collection of 12 Agent Query Letters That Actually Worked for Nonfiction. If you write fiction, check out our collection of 23 fiction query letter that actually worked.

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Explore the Manuscript Wish Lists of Countless Literary Agents

Hundreds of agents, editors and publishers have shared their manuscript wish lists on Twitter this summer, using the popular MSWL hashtag.

Below, we’ve created a Storify post linking to many of the posts from the hashtag–they are arranged in a massive list, in no particular order. The list is perfect if you are looking for a literary agent or some literary inspiration.

Welcome to our Top Stories of Summer 2013 series. For all our readers returning from trips and vacation reading, we’ve created a short list of the stories you may have missed during this long, strange summer for the publishing industry.

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23 Literary Agent Query Letters That Worked

Once you find an agent you would like to represent your book, the pitch letter is the next step in the traditional publishing process.

Below, we’ve collected 23 different agent pitch letters that actually worked in a variety of genres. We’ve gathered these samples from agency websites, agent blogs and the AgentQuery forums. No matter what kind of novel you have written, they can help you craft a better query letter.

Welcome to our Top Stories of Summer 2013 series. For all our readers returning from trips and vacation reading, we’ve created a short list of the stories you may have missed during this long, strange summer for the publishing industry.

Read more

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