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Pitching An Agent: Publication Riot Group

At this book-loving agency, a platform is important, but 'strong writing can conquer any obstacle'

By Jeff Rivera - June 7, 2010
Number of agents: One
Number of clients: 25

Notable clients: Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas, Maureen Child, Rhonda Pollero, Adam Schuitema, Neil Boulton and Debra Webb

Amount of unsolicited material selected: About three percent
Fiction vs. nonfiction: 60 percent fiction, 40 percent nonfiction

Background: "I couldn't get people to return my calls," says former textbook editor Donna Bagdasarian of her early efforts to become a literary agent. "They weren't letting me into the club." After seeking advice from publisher and now literary manager Robert Weisbach, she finally landed at the William Morris Agency. Bagadasarin rose up the ranks from the dungeon of the mail room to the fast-paced life of an assistant, and eventually became a prominent literary agent. After a stint at the Maria Carvainis Agency, Bagdasarian decided to open her own firm, Publication Riot Group, in 2009. The vision? To create an agency that would groom mid-list authors into front-list authors and front-list authors into mega-sellers....

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