This Site is Secure

Mark Malatesta Reviews – The Bestselling Author

Mark Malatesta reviews by authors who’ve worked with the former literary agent to get book agents and book deals are posted here. This review of Mark Malatesta was provided by the author of The Wrong Hand, published by Penguin Books’ prestigious Michael Joseph imprint, which is “principally interested in publishing Top Ten Bestsellers.”

Jane worked with Mark as her author coach to help revise her novel, synopsis, and query letter. The Mark Malatesta review below is accompanied by an audio interview (text available also) with Jane. The interview includes information and inspiration for authors of all book genres, as well as insight into what author coaching entails.

Jane Jago Review of Mark Malatesta | The Bestselling Author

Mark helped me to get a top literary agent a while back, and now my novel, “The Wrong Hand” (a psychological thriller) is published with an imprint/division of Penguin Books called Michael Joseph that is “principally interested in publishing Top Ten Bestsellers.” It’s hard not to be excited.

Smiling female author in red blouse with long black hair leaning her head to the sideIt has been an awfully long bloody road towards publication but we are finally on our way. I have learned that hard work, struggle, disappointments and perseverance are all important, as is following the advice of industry experts like Mark.

My agent is fantastic, well respected in the industry and has proved to be very hands on with every stage of the project. From the moment I listened to the long exuberant message he left on my phone, expressing his excitement about the book, I knew that he was a perfect fit; that he understood the novel, believed in it and would be a champion for it. He also worked with me to improve the MS for submission to publishers.

I was then assigned a wonderful editor at Penguin who raised the bar even higher and helped me to dig deeper and deliver an even a better book. Through the process I have come to like the quote, “Writing is easy, all you have to do is look at a blank page until your forehead bleeds.”

JJ – Pt 2 – Mark Malatesta Reviews

After Mark helped me revise my query letter I got five requests to read my full manuscript. Several agents asked for it within the hour.

When I received my first offer for representation, Mark encouraged me to go slow and make sure I considered all my options. He told me exactly which questions to ask the agent. Then he advised me what to say to the other agents who were still considering my work, as leverage, so they would read my book over the weekend. That way I was able to get more than one offer and choose the right agent for me.

White picket fence with ominous sky background for book cover designI originally stumbled on Mark’s website whilst compiling a list of agents to target with my book submission. The site itself is full of REAL information and resources – not the usual hollow bait for an underlying sales pitch. With the Internet inundated with spruikers touting for business and offering all manner of promises – his authentic content immediately stands out.

It was clear to me, when I heard Mark talking on his free mp3 that he was someone I could work with. His honesty, integrity and intelligence came through loud and clear. I have to admit though, when I got to the visualization on the mp3 about sitting down with my dream agent to celebrate a lucrative publishing deal, I thought – here we go, he’s building this picture and then he’s going to burst the bubble and say “wake up and smell the roses.”

I was waiting for the punch line. Instead, Mark affirmed that what I am driven to do is possible. He made me more determined not to give up. I then shared some of Mark’s tips with my son (also a writer) and he booked an introductory coaching call with Mark for me as a gift.

JJ – Pt 3 – Mark Malatesta Reviews

Filling out the questionnaire that Mark provides before the consult, in order to fully understand your writing project and your goals, is an invaluable process in itself. It allows Mark to know a great deal about you and your work before you speak with him. It also pulls out lots of things you’ll be able to use in your query letter. That’s a huge thing since, let’s face it, most people are writing under a rock. Obviously if you’ve already written a query letter, you’ve thought long and hard about it, but Mark’s questionnaire helps you realize things you left out.

After the cramped discipline of the minimal word count required for submission materials to literary agents –how wonderful it is to expand upon and fully express that which propels and excites you as a writer and what drives your book. Just considering each question on the form is an exercise in clarity.

When I spoke with Mark, he had digested all the information I provided about my books and had read my submission materials. He was not only extremely positive about the work but immediately gave me suggestions for a couple of simple changes that I instantly recognized as being spot on, and in tune with the tone of the work. There was so much concrete stuff during that initial 1-hour consult it was fantastic.

Mark was easy to talk to, totally on point and – this is rare – completely psychologically present throughout the call. He actually listens. That’s a very rare quality, especially when there’s marketing involved. And he’s an expert in his field. Mark clearly understood exactly where I was coming from. He identified descriptors and information I had provided in the questionnaire that best represented the real power of the book so that I could use them in my query. He suggested things that needed omitting from my current query letter. And he advised me on how to restructure it. We discussed genre as well, and criteria for targeting the right agents who would resonate with my work and therefore be fired up with excitement to sell it to publishers.

JJ – Pt 4 – Mark Malatesta Reviews

Before my first phone call with Mark I didn’t know if there would be anything there… or if it would just be a sales pitch. There’s a lot of that out there. ‘Listen to my two hour talk about buying my 4-hour program.’ I didn’t approach it that cynically, but I’m not naïve either. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who have trashed the territory and left people skeptical and wary.

After my call with Mark, I signed off energized and ready to embark on the next steps toward getting the best agent I could. The discussion left me vindicated in my belief in myself as a writer and also encouraged me that I was well on the way to obtaining the representation I deserve. A little while later I decided to work more closely with Mark in one of his longer-term coaching programs where he leads you, hands-on, through the steps to securing an agent.

During our time together Mark helped me figure out the best way to position my book. At first I didn’t know how to position it, but Mark helped me figure out the most important parts to emphasize. My book is highly commercial but it’s also meaningful with powerful themes and that wasn’t being communicated before.

Mark gave me feedback on my first 50 pages as well, and actually made some editorial suggestions on the first pages. Those comments were critical because I had something in the first few pages that described a delicate subject. It would have been confronting to many readers…and given them the wrong first impression about the book. The changes Mark recommended also added more mystery and suspense. When he did that, it created immediate trust for me. People can give you advice and that can be quite intrusive if it’s not right, but Mark’s suggestions made it clear that he’d read my material and understood it.

JJ – Pt 5- Mark Malatesta Reviews

I found coaching with Mark very validating. The whole process was based on the fact that my book really was a credible piece of work with the merit to get a literary agent. Mark doesn’t take people on that he doesn’t believe in, or blow smoke… Perhaps I already knew that my work was worthy of publication, but it’s normal as a writer to always have some nagging doubts and insecurities – so much of the process is about rejection no matter who you are or what you have written.

If I hadn’t found Mark, I don’t think I would have given up…ever… but I was wondering what to do next to get the work “out there;” so I might have dropped the ball for a long while. When you’re alone as a writer it’s easy to lapse into a bit of disbelief about your ability and lose momentum. I’ve shouted Mark’s praises to people and continue to recommend him.

In short, if you want a book deal with the top five in traditional publishing – and why wouldn’t you – you need a top agent and Mark is all about equipping you to get one. If your writing is important to you, consider working with him to help you market yourself to the people at the top who can best represent you.

The Wrong Hand
(Penguin Books/Michael Joseph)

Jane Jago Interview with Mark Malatesta, Founder of The Bestselling Author

During this 55-minute interview with Mark Malatesta, novelist Jane Jago talks about how she got her book, The Wrong Hand, published by Penguin Books’ prestigious Michael Joseph imprint. Michael Joseph is “principally interested in publishing Top Ten Bestsellers.” In this interview (available as audio and text), Jane also explains how authors can improve their chances of getting a literary agent–or take their writing careers to the next level.

Mark Malatesta: Jane Jago is the author of the crime novel The Wrong Hand, recently published by Michael Joseph, a prestigious imprint of Penguin Books that is “principally interested in publishing Top Ten Bestsellers”. And, of course, you can a copy of Jane’s book [everywhere books are sold].

Jane was born in Sydney, Australia. Originally trained as a printmaker, she began writing while raising a family. She has a long-standing interest in exploring the shadow aspect of human nature and in developmental psychology. Passionate about the protection of children and their right to a childhood, The Wrong Hand is her first novel.

The Wrong Hand is about the loss of three childhoods after the murder of a three-year-old boy, by two 11-year-olds, in a crime that impacts society’s beliefs regarding the innocence of children. The book examines the ongoing aftermath of the murder and the background that gave rise to it. It also focuses on the dilemmas of redemption and rehabilitation for the offenders versus the permanent and painful price paid by their victims.

Again, you can get a copy of Jane’s book, The Wrong Hand, [everywhere books are sold].

So welcome, Jane!

J.J.: Hi Mark, thanks, that was wonderful.

Mark Malatesta: Well, you make it easy. You’ve got a great book, and I do have to ask you before I forget, for everyone listening, what exactly is a print maker?

J.J.: A print maker…print making is to do with lines or cuts, etching, and basically an artist, but a 2D artist.

Mark Malatesta: Okay, how did you get into that?

J.J.: Well, I went to art school and majored in print making. I had etching press and I was actually a person who could say, “Come up and see my etchings.”

Mark Malatesta: Very nice. Is there anything else about you, and I’m going to get into the book in a minute and get you talking about that a little more…

J.J.: Sure.

Mark Malatesta: But is there anything else about you and your background you want people to know?

J.J.: No, just as you covered in the intro I’m really interested in childhood development and why people end up doing the things they do.

Mark Malatesta: Right. Are we able to talk about the inspiration of the book in any way or not?

J.J.: Yes! Yes!

Mark Malatesta: Okay, because I wasn’t sure how to word that or talk about that, so I’ll let you do it.

J.J.: Yes, well it’s not based on any specific crime, but there have been a lot of instances around the world of children doing the unthinkable.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: Harming other children, and so it sort of draws on those experiences, and I’ve immersed myself in that and explored the ramifications of that.

Mark Malatesta: I’d ask you why kids do things like that, but that’s why everyone needs to go read the book and form their own conclusions right?

J.J.: Yes, well, nothing happens in a vacuum, and that’s what I wanted to explore and where the responsibility actually lies.

Pt 2 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Right. Well, what more can you say about the book, or do you want to share about the book to get people excited about that? I mean this call, this interview is two things. One is to show authors tips for how they can be more successful. You’re going to do most of the heavy lifting on that from your perspective. But at the same time, there are a whole lot of people listening who read crime fiction, or once in a while might read crime fiction that might go get a copy of the book. So, what more do you want to share about it?

J.J.: From the reader’s perspective, I suppose what I’d say is it’s a “whydunit. ” It is crime fiction, but it’s also deeper than that. It’s an exploration of the psychology behind both the victims and the perpetrators. And it’s a look into what happens after a crime, after the press stops reporting on a crime. What happens to those people, you know, the aftermath.

Mark Malatesta: I love the whydunit piece. I mean, is that something you were super conscious of before you even started the book, or did that evolve as it went? Or is it something you see people explore very much in fiction, or do they usually just stop at the shallow end of the pool with the whodunit?

J.J.: Yes, well the type of book I like to read is where I’m dropped in the middle, and I have to put the pieces together and work out how can this happen, you know.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: So, it’s just the way my mind works. When I sit with a subject matter, that’s where my mind is going. What happened before this moment that brought all these elements together into this terrible event?

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: Now I know I am…sometimes I talk to different people, and a lot of times it’s my coaching clients, but the journey to get a literary agent and to get a publisher can really be a long and rocky one.

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: I want to encourage everyone, because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter as long as you get to your goal, but for some people it can almost feel anti-climactic, but no matter what…

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: But when it happened and you finally got the news, and I mean you can divide it up, but there is phase one when you get the good literary agent, and where were you, and how did you react when you got that news? And with the publishing house news, because you got a great publisher. So, walk everybody through that because that’s really their goal, that’s why they’re here, that’s what they want.

J.J.: Well, the big moment for me was getting a call, actually getting a call, the fancy call from a literary agent, a London literary agent. Am I allowed to say his name?

Mark Malatesta: Oh sure, yes.

J.J.: Yes, Piers Blofeld from Sheil Land Associates in London. And so I get this call in the middle of the night, and I think he had a full manuscript, so I knew there was something afoot. He left a very excitable message about how compelling the book was, how terrific it was, and he has a voice just like Hugh Grant, the actor.

Pt 3 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: So, it was just this amazing message which blew my mind. And I was actually, even though it was in the middle of the night I was with some people, and I couldn’t really react but inside I was just jumping off the table and screaming, “Yes, here it is, finally!” So that was the exciting moment, and I must have played that message 20 times. I couldn’t work out how to record it on another device, so I don’t have it anymore. But that was fun, and that was pretty amazing.

He called back the next day after finishing the entire manuscript, and wanted to take me on, and so that was fantastic. That was the high point thus far, and the deal came subsequent to that, after we decided to work with Penguin UK on developing the manuscript.

Mark Malatesta: Right, and you did. It’s been a while, and it always takes a while from that initial interest from literary agents to book deal, and now your book is coming out this month…but you did have multiple literary agents interested right initially?

J.J.: Yes, after that call, it’s strange how these things happen, but that night I had two other people write to me, two other literary agents, and one quickly wanted to take on, you know, represent me and take on the book. So, then I had a dilemma, and that’s where I did a lot of talking to you…

Mark Malatesta: Right. Yes, I don’t remember what you were like at that time. Because some people I work with, they freak out, and just want to go with the first person that’s offering because they don’t have the stones, or the stomach, the patience, to wait and play the game and talk to multiple literary agents, which I try to get them to do, because the first one isn’t always the right one. Did you have a hard time with that, or did you kind of enjoy like playing the game a little bit?

J.J.: No, I think you’re right, I didn’t have the stones for it. It’s surprisingly disconcerting…

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: The enthusiasm of that first phone call it was all about the book and the characters. Piers got the book, and that was so important to me. But, as you say, what do you do with the other interest? You have to let it pan out, and so you helped me through that. But yes, I found that quite disconcerting, yes.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, and it’s funny, usually the first one is the right one more times than not.

J.J.: Is that right?

Mark Malatesta: Yes, it’s really how it goes though certainly not always. I’ve had some where…and again, I always get my clients to follow their instincts, because you’re the one that has to live with the results, right? But I’ve had other clients where the first literary agent was not the right one, and then we wait, we wait, we’re stalling and then the second one is not the right one, and we wait and we wait and then the third one is the right one. And so, then it’s like, “Oh, we’re really glad we waited,” because sometimes it’s a big difference.

J.J.: Yes, and it’s really important, because you’re so used to rejection, and you’re so used to climbing that mountain that your psychology isn’t primed for people pursuing you. So yes, you really need some outside help, I think, at that moment.

Mark Malatesta: And you know, your situation is really unique. You brought it up. So, you’re still in Australia right?

J.J.: I am, yes!

Mark Malatesta: Okay. I know a lot of people listening before, when you referred to pursuing literary agents in London, people were probably wondering why? Are there no literary agents in Australia? Why London? And if you’re going to go international, why not go to the US? So, what are your thoughts on that, because it’s interesting? This isn’t a conversation I usually have with people.

J.J.: No, and there are a lot of places you can go with that conversation. Some of it’s political, but sometimes you have to get out of your own backyard, I think.

Pt 4 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Right. Right.

J.J.: I always knew it was a universal subject matter that the book was about, and it did get a lot of interest here, but I could never seem to seal the deal.

Mark Malatesta: Okay, so you did start there?

J.J.: Yes, you know…

Mark Malatesta: It’s a much smaller pool that’s for sure.

J.J.: It’s a much smaller pool, and there are a lot of gatekeepers, let’s put it that way.

Mark Malatesta: Right. Right.

J.J.: As there often are in smaller hierarchies, but that’s another topic. But I did get a lot of support and interest from writer centers, and won mentorships with that novel, but could never quite seal the deal in terms of a contract for publishing.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: I suppose that’s because the size of the ambition I had for the project wasn’t a fit for here, but now it’s coming out in Australia as well and so that’s…

Mark Malatesta: Right and that’s, yes, it’s so good, and I always try to get a client…if somebody has already published abroad outside the US, and then they’re going to come to the US, and that’s fine, you kind of use the success elsewhere to kind of help you get things going here. But if someone hasn’t published yet and they’re in another country, I always try to get them to start in the US or in the UK because either one of those hubs, you’re more likely if you get a good literary agent there to get published in that country and internationally.

J.J.: Well, that’s right, and otherwise you’re still having to break through one gate and then the next gate…

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: Of course, I would have been happy to do that many times over, but it didn’t happen.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, and if you have a good literary agent in the US or the UK, it might be the only literary agent you really need, and they’re kind of making everything happen elsewhere, so…

J.J.: Yes and I did, of course, try the US, but I think just my sensibility was more of a match for the UK.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: But we’ll see what happens there.

Mark Malatesta: Right. Let’s see, let’s go back to the very beginning. I mean, I know on paper this is your first novel, but let’s go way back to the beginning, before you ever met me. When did you first get the idea that you might write a novel?

J.J.: I’ve been writing all sorts of things for a very long time, and I’ve probably written parts there of three novels before that one. And that particular novel has a long history, and I think when you’re unpublished you do go from project to project, sort of targeting opportunities that are available for unpublished writers. Yes, so that’s, yes it’s my first novel, but there have been other novels, yes.

Pt 5 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Yes, it’s unusual. I mean this is the first one that you actually finished it sounds like, and then to get a major publisher for that is, it’s a wonderful story because you hear so many stories out there, and bestselling authors kind of, you know, they love to tell you that, “Oh, you’re not going to be any good until you write the fourth or fifth novel,” and that’s not always true, you know.

J.J.: Yes, well I took a different approach, I just kept rewriting the same novel for about eight years, so…

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: I’m not sure I’d pass that advice on, but yes, that’s the story of this novel.

Mark Malatesta: Right, well, whatever works…

J.J.: It never got a bad report, really, it just is quite challenging and controversial, so it just never could find a home you know.

Mark Malatesta: Right. But often those things that are the quirkiest or most controversial are most challenging. If and when you get it out there it has the most upside potential, so…

J.J.: Yes, well hopefully it will create conversation, which is the thing isn’t it?

Mark Malatesta: Right. And you can share as much as you want about this or not, but I know you’ve done quite a bit of other types of writing and things that kind of probably prepared you, and helped you develop the skills and experience you need to do such a good job with the novel. Do you want to talk about any of that?

J.J.: Yes, definitely. I’ve written everything from freelance magazine articles, comedy for standup, lots of short stories which, I think, hone your craft. Short stories are really incredible for tightening up your writing skills, writing to specific word counts. Yes, I’ve written essays, articles, I’ve written screenplays, and I’ve had some success with screenplays, nothing up on the big screen, but I’ve won awards and mentorships for that as well.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: And I really enjoy that. So yes, just about everything you can think about, I’ve written.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, so you’re more in the middle of the road author. You’ve paid your dues more than it kind of seemed a moment ago, but I have worked with people too who have basically never written a thing in their life, and then they sit down and crank out a book and end up with a great literary agent. So, it can happen that way, too.

J.J.: That’s a great story too.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, but obviously, the more you put into it, the better your chances.

J.J.: Yes, well it’s all about writing a compelling book isn’t it?

Mark Malatesta: Right. So, what about your author education? And I mean, I know that’s kind of, we just talked about some of the things you’ve done. But what about more formal stuff, like reading books on craft, and classes and workshops and courses, things like that. What did you do leading up to this point, along those lines?

J.J.: A lot of my studies are self-directed, I’m a fairly rebellious student, and so I don’t really do well with formal courses.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: I devour books on writing craft, and I keep devouring books on writing craft. I read a lot, I read a lot of non-fiction, and a lot of fiction. Yes, a lot of it’s been self-directed, and I learn by doing. I’m reading a book at the moment by Elizabeth Lyon called, Manuscript Makeover.

Mark Malatesta: That’s funny, I know Elizabeth.

J.J.: Oh, do you?

Mark Malatesta: Yes.

J.J.: She’s awesome!

Pt 6 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Yes.

J.J.: And that book…obviously I’ve done a lot of the things that are in that book, and a lot of it is about revision and taking your manuscript apart.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: But it’s incredible to read about, “Oh, that’s the same, this thing you’ve been struggling with,” and unpacking it all. I just love doing that, yes.

Mark Malatesta: How much feedback did you get from your literary agent on the manuscript and from the editors at Penguin? I know this varies greatly for different authors…

J.J.: Lots.

Mark Malatesta: Oh, you got a lot?

J.J.: Oh yes.

Mark Malatesta: What were the two or three most valuable things you got out of that?

J.J.: Well, I got a lot of notes from my literary agent and some revisions before he submitted to publishers. And in my case, the whole deal with the publisher was to do a lot of work with them on the book to expand it really, and I had a wonderful editor there, Claire Fuller, and yes we did a lot of work to sort of really get into the sensibility of the book, so yes, it was really hands on.

Mark Malatesta: That’s good. When you say the sensibility, what do you mean, because I’m curious about that?

J.J.: Like I keep saying, and controversial isn’t the right word, but it’s a sensitive topic and…

Mark Malatesta: Right. Right.

J.J.: And it could be seen as an ugly topic or even exploitive…

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: So, we were at pains to make sure all people represented in the book–the victims’ families, the perpetrators’ families–that it was done empathetically.

Mark Malatesta: I like that, and it’s funny, I was talking to another author on a call like this recently, and it’s like you never fully arrive as an author, really, with anything. Like you need to keep learning and have people…

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: Team…because it’s like every book is a new baby. It’s like a parent, and you have multiple kids and you don’t have everything figured out after the first one, or the second one. Like you’re going to learn new things along the way, and new challenges, and…

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, there are so many subtleties to it that it could and would be really challenging to get a literary agent or a publisher if it’s not just right. It could go wrong easily, and a lot of projects are like that.

J.J.: Yes, and I think the further along we got in the process the more I realized that…yes, accept all this input, and make it the best book it can be.

Mark Malatesta: Right. How did you get the idea for the book, and when was that? How long ago? It sounded like, I think you said eight years, right?

J.J.: Yes, the initial idea for the book was probably around 2001. I don’t know how many years ago that is, you do the math.

Pt 7 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Yes, and that’s like seeing a news story, and then you’ve got that “why” in your head, right?

J.J.: Yes! And when big events, especially in terms of prominent crimes happen, I tend to obsessively absorb myself in all the, anything I can get information wise about that, and cook it in my head. Yes, there are a couple of crimes that were very stimulating, in terms of the theme of this novel. So yes, that was probably about 2001, and it was just a project I was slowly working on, yes.

Mark Malatesta: So that’s a good tip to prevent writer’s block. It’s not just asking yourself ‘what if’ to come up with the book idea. You can ask yourself why, right?

J.J.: Oh yes, definitely.

Mark Malatesta: Why would somebody do that?

J.J.: I really do think it’s all about asking a set of questions that other people besides you might want to hear the answers to, that is what I think it’s about.

Mark Malatesta: Right. What is your best advice, like a couple of tips for authors on how to write a book? You can kind of speak to writing in general, and if you have also something specific to the fiction genre, even the crime genre, like go for it.

J.J.: Yes, well I think it’s important to have something to say, which sounds like a throwaway line, but it is, and to stand for something, have a strong point of view. And yes, research your obsessions until you are stimulated to the point of writing something powerful. And in terms of…you mean the practical applications of writing?

Mark Malatesta: Absolutely anything.

J.J.: Yes, just make sure you’re constantly writing, and remember all the things that you’re saying are problems with writing are part and parcel of writing, because I don’t really think there’s such a thing, for instance, as writer’s block. There’s just, you can get exhausted with writing and you can be unpacking something in revision and think, “Gee, I can’t write this, it is just too hard.” But it’s a very hard…I think writing seriously is quite a hard discipline.

Mark Malatesta: Right, and you’re unusual in the sense that you’re like a stronger person, a bit of a renegade, where you kind of write from a deeper core place than maybe some people who approach it from the outside in, looking to figure out what are the trends, what’s popular, let me write that. Can you talk about that for a second?

J.J.: I can’t really relate to that.

Mark Malatesta: I can’t either.

J.J.: But I know that, yes, I’m not being judgmental, and I know it’s just like film isn’t it? Some films are there to entertain and thrill you, and other films are looking at deeper aspects.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: I love the trends, I love all of that, and you have to be smart, but I think you have to start from the inside out, and then you kind of have to find those things like you said that you’re obsessed with.

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: And once you find that, then you look to the market, and you figure out how to finesse it, and how to do it in a way that hopefully works. But that’s a better way to approach it.

J.J.: Well, yes, and there are some people who are hell-bent on being published, and they might look at it from the other side of the fence. So, I can’t really speak about that, because I don’t know how that works. But yes, I suppose I’m a fairly serious person.

Pt 8 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: I think the people who approach it from the other end, there’s nothing wrong with that, but those people inevitably get to the point where if they are successful, they find themselves breaking away from what they got famous for to do something…the other pet projects that they were really…

J.J.: Yes, something more.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, right.

J.J.: And everything you read, and everybody you talk to about the process, they all come back to, “It’s all about the book. You show me a compelling book, and I’ll be interested.”

Mark Malatesta: Right. Now what about publishing? You made a conscious choice at some point to go after traditional publishers and literary agents and do that, opposed to self-publishing. Talk about your process with that, and why you did what you did in the end to go traditional.

J.J.: Yes, well once again that probably comes down to personality as well. I’ve been writing long enough that I’ve seen that whole wave come in of self-publishing, and the different aspects of self-publishing, and I’ve certainly paid attention and investigated it, but I don’t think I ever once…that just was not part of my vision. I never wanted to self-publish. I wanted to write a book that was good enough to make an impact and be accepted by traditional publishing, because I think it’s a good filter for a book that might reach an audience.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: So, self-publishing, I think it can be great, especially for non-fiction and children’s books, and obviously there’s been some fiction success stories, but it just was never something I was going to do, because I think you have to be a particular type of person to not only write a book, but then take on all the aspects of paying to get it published…

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: Getting it distributed, that’s just not me. That would be my idea of hell.

Mark Malatesta: Yes.

J.J.: And at the end of the day, how many books could I actually sell that way? I don’t know.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: It was just never for me.

Mark Malatesta: That’s most people’s approach. It makes so many people mad when I say this. but 99% of the time, if someone self-publishes, it’s because they’re afraid they can’t do it the other way. There are certainly some people that are, you know they’re natural born marketers and…

J.J.: Yes!

Mark Malatesta: And they could arguably do just as well as a Random House doing it on their own, but I can tell you, 99% of the time that’s not going to be the case. But even if it is, and you’re a good marketer that way, you have to ask yourself, do you want to spend most of your time writing, or trying to sell books to survive?

J.J.: Yes, and there are all those processes you have to go through in traditional publishing. You need to make sure you’re creating a quality product at the end of the day that is fit for the marketplace. Some self-published books perhaps shouldn’t have been published.

Mark Malatesta: And some will say that a lot of traditionally published books shouldn’t have been published, but that’s another story.

J.J.: True.

Mark Malatesta: But more self-published books, right?

J.J.: Yes, and then the other problem is, and I’ve seen this on Amazon, you can actually have a great book that’s selling for $1 self-published, and it’s like, “Well, that’s a shame, that’s a good book that might have had a wider marketplace,” you know.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: And I suppose I always felt that this was a good book, so that’s why I wanted a proper deal.

Pt 9 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Now what about marketing? So, you’re someone who clearly wants to spend more time writing versus marketing, and so I’ll ask this in an open-ended way. When it comes to any advice you have for authors on how to make themselves, or their writing, more marketable whether they’re just getting started with their writing or, like you, the book is coming out right now, or maybe their book’s been out for a while…what things have you learned through this journey so far, advice that you would share maybe about marketing?

J.J.: Well, first of all, I wouldn’t be a great person to ask, because of all the above. But what I’ve learned has been through the process of gearing up for this book to come out, and so I’m getting an inside view of how they market. And they’ve already done awesome things in terms of positioning the book, and being aware with the cover and the title of how to create the right atmosphere around the book for the marketplace.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: But you’re talking about marketing me, aren’t you?

Mark Malatesta: It’s okay. It’s powerful just for people listening to go, “Wow, here’s a woman who doesn’t necessarily like marketing, but she was able to get a major publisher anyway.” And that sometimes is good enough, because we all hear the stories about the people who are marketing wizards, and love marketing, and they’re successful. Then it’s easy for the authors listening to go, “Oh, well, that’s why they’re successful.”

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: But maybe it’s more empowering to hear someone like you say, “Well, you know, I don’t really know that much about that, and I really don’t like it. But guess what? It really doesn’t matter, you can still be successful.”

J.J.: It could be why it took me a while, but no, I’m not…if I could hide behind the book, I would.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: For certain books you need a platform and…

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: I know all that, but yes, I’m just relying on the experts to do all that.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, alright.

J.J.: And, of course, I do what they tell me, so whatever I need to do, I do it.

Mark Malatesta: Right. And what are they asking of you, probably not that much, right?

J.J.: Well, they’ve given me a publicist in Australia, and it’s coming out simultaneously in Australia, and so there’s a few things they’re doing with the press here…

Mark Malatesta: Oh good, so you’ll be doing some interviews there and…

J.J.: Yes!

Mark Malatesta: Okay, that’s good, great.

J.J.: Yes, just anything to start a conversation about the book.

Mark Malatesta: Right, and that will probably make it easier for you, too, is that you have, your type of project is one I really like, when we’re in the fiction space, is that you have a story, but then you also have these other social/cultural issues, and there are things that will happen in the news that will make it easier for you, actually. There will be more opportunities for you to promote because of that, and it should also be easier for you from a confidence standpoint, because it’s not all about you, it’s…

J.J.: Yes.

Pt 10 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: It’s about the issues, and as long as you look at it that way, it’s easier.

J.J.: That’s how I like it, yes.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, so…

J.J.: And it’s, for instance, I’m sure this is a common thing now, but they put book club questions at the back of the book. So, it’s really about starting a conversation with this book.

Mark Malatesta: Right. Yes, I like that. So, let’s talk a little bit about the things we did together, you and I, and the…

J.J.: Sure!

Mark Malatesta: I don’t want to spend too much time on it, but I want people to understand it, because one, I’m obviously an advocate for people getting outside of their bubbles and their writing caves and getting feedback and getting help.

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: Whether it’s with me, or someone else, because there’s only so much we can see on our own, and then there’s only so much, that even the things we can see we can’t necessarily overcome those things on our own. And writing is so time intensive, and marketing your work, and trying to get literary agents and publishers is so time intensive, that man, if you can find somebody to give you some shortcuts for that, and increase your odds, when we all know it’s kind of like winning the lottery, then why not?

J.J.: Definitely.

Mark Malatesta: Talk a little bit about, how would you kind of describe some of the things we did, as far as it goes with, let’s say, your query letter, working things through with literary agents, choosing the right literary agent, and things like that. Just talk about that for a bit from your point of view.

J.J.: Okay. I think I’ve said this to you before, but the most amazing thing about that process and working with you…is the questionnaire that you send out.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, it gets longer every day, I’ll tell you. I think it’s about 59 questions now, but some of them are easy, like, “What’s your name?”

J.J.: Yes, but that was fantastic! Writing is quite isolating, and you do lose perspective, and then you’re trying to get the book out there, and you know, what else do I have to do? So that questionnaire, for me, was like the first time I ever had an in-depth conversation with somebody about every aspect of the book, and my ambition for the book.

Mark Malatesta: When you say every aspect of the book, what do you mean by that?

J.J.: The questionnaire pulled out everything that I knew about the book, but may not have previously communicated.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: The purpose of which I understood to be, “Here’s all the stuff you can unpack and use to write great pitch materials,” right?

Mark Malatesta: That’s exactly it, and that’s why I do that prior to someone getting on the phone with me for that one-hour paid introductory coaching call, is that even if somebody only does that one call with me, they get a lot of value. And then I’ve extracted that stuff, and then they can use that to improve their pitches. Sometimes the stuff that comes out of there ends up as the flap copy of the book, or this, that, and the other thing.

J.J.: Yes.

Pt 11 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: But yes, I lost my train of thought there, so.

J.J.: Well, in this particular case, what that ended up achieving was, well, lots of things, but it validated those deeper aspects of the book, that the book could be pitched that way. I didn’t have to turn it into a more commercial pitch, which would probably be more the case with most books. So, that was great, it got to the authority of the book, and what I was writing about. And it made me feel quite validated just as a writer to answer those questions, and to know when we had the call, you already knew all that about the book, and I think you read some of the manuscript at that point too, so yes, it was great.

Mark Malatesta: Right, and I’m guessing, though I don’t have your old query letter in front of me, based on what I know about you and your personality, that you were not saying nearly as much about yourself as you should have been in your original query to kind of sell yourself. Is that true?

J.J.: Yes, that was probably the hardest part, was the query letter. I think I had some good pitch materials, but yes, selling yourself, and I think that’s a common thing…

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: Where is your track record? Well, it’s not out there yet, so it’s a hard thing isn’t it?

Mark Malatesta: Well, if you’re outside the US it is. Here in the US people just say, they have no problem saying, “I’ve got the best, the next best great bestselling book, and look at me.” But people outside the US are a little more humble about it.

J.J.: Yes, I don’t even know if we’re humble, I think we’re more inhibited, but yes, we don’t do that.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, either way.

J.J.: We probably think that.

Mark Malatesta: Right. And then do you remember how long it took, after you got the first offer from the first literary agent before you finally went ahead and said yes to him and moved forward?

J.J.: I think a direct result after the consultation, like the task you set me was to send out more queries in batches so that I’d always have something out there, which I had been doing, but in smaller, slower batches.

Mark Malatesta: Right, but no, I meant the time that it took. Once you got the first offer from Piers, how long after that was it that you actually signed with him? I don’t remember. I work with a lot of people, and they get multiple literary agents interested, and sometimes like a couple of days after the first offer they’re signing, and other times it’s like a week or two.

J.J.: I elected to have him as my literary agent within a couple of days, yes.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, it was within a couple of days, right.

J.J.: And then I signed with him a few weeks later, yes.

Mark Malatesta: Okay, good. Let’s see here, what did you…I’m trying to remember, had you sent out queries before we talked the first time?

J.J.: Yes, when I stumbled upon your site, I was in the process of sending out queries, and I was getting my usual pattern which was interest, request for manuscripts but then, “No, we don’t think so.” Yes, so you got me to increase that frequency, and have something out there all the time, so those rejections, or soft rejections, didn’t matter.

Mark Malatesta: Right, as long as you’re always consistently getting more requests, the rejections don’t seem so bad.

J.J.: Yes, and just sending out more at once was definitely a factor.

Pt 12 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Right. And remind me, what we did with the beginning of the book and the prologue, because I know we did something there, but don’t remember exactly what we did.

J.J.: Yes, okay. When I went into the phone call with you, I think I had three things I wanted to get out of it, and one of them was…should I ditch the prologue, or something about the prologue, because the prologue hinted at some of the more sensitive material in the book. I won’t go into details but…and you had a great insight, that it could just be left short of the information, so it was hinting to that, but not actually…

Mark Malatesta: Oh, was it kind of overly graphic in a sense that we might have lost people from that, was that it?

J.J.: Yes, it wasn’t, but it sort of. It definitely would have created something in the reader’s mind that was fairly disturbing. So yes, we left it shy of that, which was just a really important thing actually, yes. Because anyone who reads the materials is going to be reading the first 50 pages and the prologue, you don’t want your prologue sounding an off note, do you?

Mark Malatesta: Well no, because then, that’s it. It’s like the first few lines of that query letter, if they’re not right, you’re done.

J.J.: Yes, even if they think you’re a great writer, and they think, “Oh, this is disturbing, we’re not going to go with that.” That’s a reason to say no.

Mark Malatesta: Right. and again, that’s the whole nature of your project, like there are so many places you could have taken a wrong turn. Even now after working with me, and having a great literary agent, you’ve still been fine tuning that with the publisher.

J.J.: Yes!

Mark Malatesta: You know, everything down to the title and the cover art, so the cover art doesn’t creep people out, or be, you know…

J.J.: Yes, like it’s got a great cover which makes you want to know what’s happening, but yes, it doesn’t take you there.

Mark Malatesta: So now everyone has to go to Amazon and look at it. Type in Jane Jago The Wrong Hand and you’ll see the cover and what they did. We won’t tell them, they have to go look. How long a period was it, do you remember that you were sending things out to literary agents for this manuscript? Was that just a few weeks, or months, or years, like prior to us talking?

J.J.: In its various incarnations, I had bouts of sending it out over a period of probably three years.

Mark Malatesta: Okay. And how fast did you hear back from Piers? Roughly how long was that, after our call that that happened?

J.J.: Oh, that was within a couple of weeks of working with you.

Mark Malatesta: Oh, I like that. Okay. I’m glad you didn’t say a few years, that would have sounded bad.

J.J.: No, no.

Mark Malatesta: But a few weeks, that’s good.

J.J.: Yes, he did the usual, and asked for four, but then it went on from there. But it wasn’t just him, for some reason, and due to the strategy we were using, it all happened at the same time.

Mark Malatesta: Right. Let’s see here, what haven’t I asked you yet? What’s the thing you’re most proud of as an author, at this point?

J.J.: That I have persevered, and finally have achieved the objective. And I would have liked, everybody wants things to happen overnight, but I’m probably most proud of the fact that because it hasn’t happened overnight, that I’ve become a much better writer.

Pt 13 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: And I got my first copy of the book last week, and just looking at it as a book with a cover…

Mark Malatesta: It’s real now.

J.J.: Yes, and just flipping through and reading some of it it’s the first time, I’ve never been able to sort of acknowledge, “Wow, you write well.” Yes, so that was a big moment.

Mark Malatesta: Right. So, family and friends, what are their responses?

J.J.: Well, yes, that’s probably another thing I’m most proud of is I have two adult sons, and they’re both creative, one is actually a writer and just to be able to live this, play this out in front of them, and give them a template that it can be done.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, because you can say “Live the dream, follow your dreams, all you want as a parent, but it’s another thing to be able to show them you’re doing it.

J.J.: And we’re a fairly unorthodox family, so it’s been a big gamble, and yes, so that’s pretty exciting, that’s very exciting.

Mark Malatesta: I love that. So, a lot of people are going to go this road alone, and they’re going to try and get a literary agent, publisher, on their own, and actually you did that for a while.

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: What was it that kind of, for you…working with me isn’t inexpensive, what kind of made you decide to make that investment? And anything else that you’ve invested in along the way as an author, and not just with me, but some people have in their mind that that’s a normal part of doing business as a creative artist, and they factor that in, and others don’t. But why do you think it’s a good idea for authors to invest in themselves, whether it’s me, or someone else, why is that important or even a necessity?

J.J.: Well, I think at various stages, various stages of that process of writing some stages, you need to be in isolation, you need to be not interfered with, but at other points it’s really crucial to have people around you. Like, creatively, it’s important to have one person who you can actually share your work with, and in terms of reaching the outside world you need, you need, you really need support.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: You need expertise. You need people who do that, you know. And like, when I first found your site, you offered a lot of free material that was speaking to that, you know.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: And I was at the point where I needed someone who could punch through the atmosphere.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: So yes, sorry, I sort of lost the question there.

Mark Malatesta: You did great, and yes, it’s funny, I’m just so glad you’re such a shining light for people, because there’s so many authors out there that they’ll write a book, and half the time they won’t even try to get the literary agent or publisher, they just put it aside and start working on the next one. Or maybe they tried to shop it a little bit to literary agents, or maybe they do it a lot, but they don’t get help. Then years go by, and more books get written and before you know it you’ve got four or six. I worked with one guy who had 19 books he’d written over his…

J.J.: Wow!

Mark Malatesta: His lifetime, and he never got one of them published. It’s like, that’s just sad. Write one or two, or a few maybe, but then…

J.J.: Yes.

Pt 14 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Put most of your “writing energy” into marketing your writing, and figure that out. Because just writing in a bubble, unless you want to read your own work, only what’s the point?

J.J.: Ultimately you want to start a conversation and have readers, don’t you?

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: But I think the other reason why it’s important is just listening to you. There’s so much discouragement in the process, or there can be once you start trying to get it out there, that you need somebody who is going to reinforce that it’s possible, like your famous catchphrase…what is it?

Mark Malatesta: It’s not luck, it’s a decision, and getting published…

J.J.: Yes, it really is a decision, and it’s a decision you have to make over and over again. And so, everybody needs someone in their corner that’s what I’d say.

Mark Malatesta: Even then, it’s hard. Like I had one of my clients, believe it or not, she’s not my oldest client who’s got a book deal, but she’s 81…

J.J.: Wow!

Mark Malatesta: And she just got a book deal for her children’s picture book. She’s been an artist her whole life, and finally at the point where she’s like, “I’ve got to get this thing done.” Who knows what could happen with it, right? And that’s like legacy, and stuff for her kids and all of that.

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: But she had to send out, she was in the 200 something queries sent before it finally happened, and she got the literary agent. But anyway, the whole reason I’m bringing up her story is she was one that I just believed in so much, and was like, “Please keep going, please keep going.” And even with me in her ear, she almost quit. Thank goodness she didn’t.

J.J.: Yes, and just listening to those numbers, that’s something we have to remember. It can get rejected 200 times, but it only takes that one person who is going to take it on and then…

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: They’re the numbers.

Mark Malatesta: Right. So okay, so you’re like kind of the direct, no-nonsense type of person, and so when you were thinking about signing up for that very first call with me, was there any skepticism there? What’s this Internet marketing guy, because a lot of people don’t do what they say they’re going to do, and there’s all kinds of stuff on the Internet…

J.J.: Yes.

Mark Malatesta: Like, what was going through your mind? And be brutally honest. I don’t care, because somebody listening might be thinking…

J.J.: Have the same thoughts, yes.

Mark Malatesta: Exactly. Then what made you decide to go forward anyway?

J.J.: Well, I would have gone through that process just looking at the website. I’m allergic to someone trying to lead me up the garden path with hinting at information they’ve got, but never quite giving it to me.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: Which seems to be rife on the Internet, doesn’t it?

Mark Malatesta: Yes.

J.J.: So, I would have been shifting all through that on the website, and what I found was lots of honest resources, lots of good content, and you had a podcast there. I’m not sure what it’s called, seven something or others.

Mark Malatesta: Yes, “The Seven Secrets Every Author Needs To Know To Get a Top Literary Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal.”

J.J.: I listened to that, and that was just awesome really. And even then, I think I was waiting during that podcast for you to sort of smash my, smash my dreams somewhere along the line. But no, it was a really powerful podcast, and I sort of knew then that I wanted to work with you somehow.

Mark Malatesta: Good, yes.

J.J.: So, by the time I made the call and done the 50 questions, I had pretty positive expectations and the call itself…as soon as I heard your voice, I knew it was a real conversation.

Pt 15 – Mark Malatesta Review and Interview with J. Jago

Mark Malatesta: Right. Thank you for that, and that’s all by design. I won’t get on the phone with somebody for an intro call like that unless they have listened to that full hour audio, and they have filled out that long questionnaire. It’s so critical. I don’t know, I’ve done too many things in my life, and I’m too successful to get on the phone with somebody that doesn’t understand the value that I’m going to bring and that I really want to help them. I’m not going to get on the phone and have to defend myself for selling myself.

J.J.: No.

Mark Malatesta: So, I want someone to really get it, and I want them to be vested in their process, and that’s what the questionnaire is all about also. Because if I get somebody to answer all those questions, and now they’re more committed, and they’re a little more likely to be coachable. But it’s a disaster, you know, if you’re trying to coach someone the other way. They get on the phone and they’re like, “Who are you and what do you do?” That’s not a good starting point.

J.J.: That’s a waste of a consultation.

Mark Malatesta: Yes.

J.J.: The other aspect that we haven’t really talked about for your services, is just that validation, and that speaking to the belief of what you’re aiming to do is possible, you can achieve it.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: As I say, because the whole process can wear you down.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: So, that was really important, and that was probably one of the biggest take aways I got from the phone call, and the podcast, you know.

Mark Malatesta: Right, and it’s a long journey, and yes, it can take months and more than a year sometimes for people, and so having someone in your corner makes a difference.

J.J.: Yes, and that was one of my questions at the time…am I wasting my time?

Mark Malatesta: Right. So, thank you so much. Do you have any final thought, or thoughts, for anybody who is in your shoes…a couple of steps behind you trying to walk the same path?

J.J.: Just don’t give up. Don’t give up, and in the early stages, be careful who you expose your work to, and choose the right people. Don’t let anyone who isn’t doing what you’re doing which is quite an extraordinary thing to strive to do, don’t let anyone who is ordinary discourage you from the process, because they’re not doing what you do, and so they don’t know. Talk to people who are ahead of the path.

Mark Malatesta: Right.

J.J.: I think that’s a big thing, because it’s very easy to step aside from big dreams.

Mark Malatesta: Yes. Well, thank you so much for doing this.

J.J.: Thank you.

Mark Malatesta: Oh, you’re absolutely welcome, and thank you for saying everything you said about what we’ve done together, but also for kind of thinking and preparing so much to give everybody helpful advice so they can hopefully do what you’ve done too. I really appreciate it.

J.J.: Thanks, Mark.

This interview and review of Mark Malatesta were provided by Jane Jago, author of the novel, The Wrong Hand, published by Penguin Books’ prestigious Michael Joseph imprint, which is “principally interested in publishing Top Ten Bestsellers.”

Mark Malatesta is the creator of the well-known Directory of Literary Agents and this guide on How to Get a Literary Agent. His articles have appeared in the Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents and the Publishers Weekly Book Publishing Almanac. He has spoken at 100+ writers conferences and events. And he answers author questions (no cost) at Ask a Literary Agent.

As founder of The Bestselling Author and Literary Agent Undercover, Mark has helped hundreds of authors get literary agents. His writers have gotten book deals with traditional publishers such as Random House, Harper Collins, and Thomas Nelson. They’ve been on the New York Times bestseller list; had their books optioned for TV, stage, and feature film; won countless awards; and had their work licensed in more than 40 countries.

Writers of all Book Genres (fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books) have used Mark’s Literary Agent Advice coaching/consulting to get the Best Literary Agents at the Top Literary Agencies on his List of Literary Agents.

Click here to learn more about Mark Malatesta.

More Mark Malatesta Reviews – The Bestselling Author

Here you can see Mark Malatesta reviews from more authors he has worked with. You can also see reviews of Mark Malatesta from publishing industry professionals he’s met and worked with over the years. These reviews of former literary Mark Malatesta include his time as an author coach and consultant, literary agent, and Marketing & Licensing Manager for the well-known book/gift publisher Blue Mountain Arts.


See more results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Join Us

Get free access to the Directory of Literary Agents with detailed agent profiles. You’ll also get access to our article and audio library with information to help you get a top agent, publisher, and book deal. You can unsubscribe easily at any time – we don’t spam.

Directory Features

* 1,000+ literary agent profiles and bios
* Searchable by book genre/category
* Preferred query method(s)
* AAR membership status
* Personal email addresses
* Mailing addresses
* Agent photos
* Links to agency websites
* Maps to agency offices
Author Success Story: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller  
Author Picture

"Ballantine Books published my first two novels in hardcover and paperback after Mark Malatesta helped create an auction and bidding war for my books, resulting in a six-figure offer. Mark is one of the rare and genuine good guys, but he also has incredible information (even his ideas have ideas). One of the most important keys to success as an author is good information and support." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

About Mark Malatesta

Photo of Mark Malatesta - Former Literary Agent MARK MALATESTA is a former literary agent turned author coach. Mark now helps authors of all genres (fiction, nonfiction, and children's books) get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals through his company Literary Agent Undercover and The Bestselling Author. Mark's authors have gotten six-figure book deals, been on the NYT bestseller list, and published with houses such as Random House, Scholastic, and Thomas Nelson. Click here to learn more about Mark Malatesta and click here for Reviews of Mark Malatesta.
Literary Agents - Literary Agencies - List
Get free access to the Directory of Literary Agents with detailed agent listings to get a traditional publisher
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

News and updates to get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Question or Comment?