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Pitching An Agent: RLR Associates, Ltd.

Present commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction to this agency

By Jeff Rivera - June 21, 2011

Number of agents: One
Number of clients: 30
Notable clients: Tom Clavin, Danny Peary, Dr. Georgia Witkin, Dan Dunn and Jason Lethcoe
Amount of unsolicited material selected: 10 percent
Fiction vs. Nonfiction: 20 percent fiction; 80 percent nonfiction

Background: As a literary agent for RLR Associates, Scott Gould represents both commercial and literary fiction, as well as general audience nonfiction. "I like to say I run a boutique literary agency within the framework of a larger entertainment firm," explains Gould, who began his career in the editorial department at Playboy before moving into publicity and, later, book publishing.

That independent agency-within-an-agency structure allows RLR to deftly adapt to changing markets and to provide support in other forms of media, which Gould says is "all the more important in publishing these days." RLR also prides itself on offering the personal attention often needed to build an author's career. "Since we remain selectively small, you will always get calls and emails returned. It really is a business of relationships, and I pride myself on trust and transparency," Gould says.

RLR wants to work with authors who are eager to build their careers, and thankfully for new writers, the agency also doesn't mind working with material that may be in a less than perfect state. If a story has a sound, engaging idea but lacks execution, RLR will work with the author to polish the manuscript; that means finalizing the submission list, revising the pitch, and keeping a client informed throughout the process. And, for Gould, no question is too silly or concern too small to address. "We exist because of and for our authors," he says.

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