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Agents

Robert Gottlieb Responds to Penguin Lawsuit: ‘Authors Beware’

The Smoking Gun broke the news that Penguin has sued a number of authors “who failed to deliver books for which they received hefty contractual advances.”

The list of writers includes Elizabeth WurtzelAna Marie Cox and Herman Rosenblat. Trident Media Group chairman Robert Gottlieb wrote a scathing comment on the story.

Check it out: “Penguin this is wrong headed. Authors beware. Books are rejected for reasons other than editorially and publishers then want their money back. Publishers want to reject manuscripts for any reason after an author has put time and effort into writing them all the while paying their bills. Another reason to have strong representation. If Penguin did this to one of Trident’s authors we could cut them out of all our submissions.”

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Literary Agent Allegedly Attacked by Writer

Literary agent Pam van Hylckama recounted a horrifying story on Twitter last night, telling her readers how a disgruntled writer allegedly attacked her in her car.

We’ve collected the Twitter story below using Storify.

The Bay-area agent is an associate literary agent at Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents. You can read a narrative account at Book Goggles. (Via Sarah Weinman)

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Take Scribe Agency to Undiscovered Places

If there’s one thing that Scribe Agency hates, it’s a typical, unoriginal plotline. Specializing in science fiction and fantasy, this agency is looking for unique stories that will take readers to new places, realms or galaxies.

Founder Kristopher O’Higgins insists that his writers go beyond “the same-as-everything-else pabulum that chokes the shelves of your local bookstore.” Only truly original stories will work, not just a different variation of a NYT bestseller.

If you’re in the market for a literary agent, read Pitching An Agent: Scribe Agency. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Andrea Hackett

Lisa Grubka Jumps to Fletcher & Company

Literary agent Lisa Grubka will move to Fletcher & Company after four years at Foundry Literary + Media.

Grubka works with both fiction and nonfiction authors. She specializes in literary fiction, young adult novels, women’s fiction, pop culture, food, narrative, sports and humor.

Prior to joining Foundry, Grubka worked at William Morris Endeavor talent agency and Macmillan’s Farrar, Straus and Giroux imprint.

Get Individual Attention from a Veteran Agent

After working for both large and small agencies, William Clark started his own one-man shop, Wm. Clark Associates. And it is that unique, one-on-one relationship with clients that sets his agency apart.

“A lot of authors will go to a large agency thinking, ‘Oh, they also do television and stage and public appearances, and I’m just going to get everything under one roof,’” Clark said. “Unfortunately, more often than not, that is representation based more on obligation than enthusiasm. I look to assemble a team of colleagues representing the different aspects of a client’s career, rather than having it all under one roof, where one division of an agency has to represent something even though they may not have a vision for pitching that to buyers.”

If you’re interested in working with Clark, read Pitching an Agent: Wm Clark Associates. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Andrea Hackett

When Is Your Book Ready for an Agent?

When is your book ready to send to an agent? It is a tough question that all writers must answer.

Eddie Schneider, a literary agent at JABberwocky Literary Agency, answered Ask Me Anything questions from readers on Reddit. His enormous digital interview fielded questions about queries, common mistakes and he had some great advice about deciding when your book is ready. Check it out:

If you’ve edited to the point where you feel like you’re just pushing words around and your eyes are going to melt out of your skull and pool between the lines, you’re getting close. I would not do this in isolation, though. Get. Writing. Friends. Believe it or not, I’m a firm believer in the utility of writing groups, and running your book past the eyes of people who also read a lot and are serious about getting into novel writing is a great way to edit for things you’re not going to see yourself. There are also the books Writing to Sell by Scott Meredith and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. They’re helpful and worth tracking down. I wouldn’t fall into the trap of reading too many books about writing and being a writer and so on, but they’re useful.

Would You Buy ’50 Shades of Grey’ Lingerie?

Caroline Mickler Limited has been appointed as the master licensing agent for the erotica novel Fifty Shades of Grey –which means that the book is about to get merchandised.

What kinds of products will come from the bondage novel? Check it out: “Among the diverse categories being discussed by Caroline Mickler Ltd for licensing are lingerie/sleepwear, apparel, fragrances, beauty products, bedding, home furnishings, stationery, jewelry and adult products.”

Caroline Mickler had this comment in the release: “The market’s interest in Fifty Shades of Grey as a brand is enormous. With continuing book sales and a film version keeping awareness high, we expect this property to make a very strong showing in a number of licensed categories over the coming months.”

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How to Pitch Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

With 600 clients and ten agents, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management is a bustling place to look for an agent. Mediabistro’s Pitching an Agent series interviewed founder Jane Dystel for more advice.

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management has represented many authors, including On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves, Murder As a Fine Art by David Morrell, and a new YA series by James Dashner, Lisa McMann and Richelle Mead.

With 10 agents, including Dystel herself, DGLM is a medium-sized operation, which may be appealing to new writers. Dystel says that, while she has a reputation for being very tough with publishers, “I think my clients would say that I’m very nurturing. They all have my home phone number. I take very good care of them.”

Read more in Pitching An Agent: Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

How To Pitch Brown Literacy Agency

To help you put together a winning pitch for an agent, Brown Literacy Agency founder Roberta Brown shared a few tips at mediabistro.com. Brown’s literary agency represents New York Times bestsellers Sarah McCarty and Lorie O’Clare.

First and foremost, make sure that you are pitching the genre that the agency represents. For example, Brown only wants to see pitches for romance (single title and category), women’s fiction, erotica, young adult and mystery cozies. She also says that her agency only works with authors who are already published. Here is more from, Pitching An Agent: Brown Literacy Agency:

“We are only reviewing material by New York published authors seeking new representation,” said Brown. If that’s you, email a synopsis and two chapters of a proposal in an email attachment. The agency no longer accepts printed material by snail mail. Response time can be anywhere from one month to six weeks, all depending on the influx of material.

Literary Agent Offers Advice for YA Authors

In the “Pitching An Agent” feature at mediabistro.com, literary agent Laura Langlie gave aspiring YA writers some hints on how to pitch her agency.

Langlie represents author Meg Cabot, Meg Tilly and others. She founded her own literary agency after years of working in publishing, including six years as an agent at Kidde, Hoyt & Picard. Check it out:

Langlie sees a lot of young adult (YA) and middle-grade fiction writers who talk down to their readers. “People have this misconception that writing for children is easy. A middle-grade or YA novel is simply a novel for that age level. It still has to have great characters and a great story arc. You have to try and remember what you were like when you were that age,” said Langlie, who represents Delia Ray (Here Lies Linc) and others.

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