firstwriter.com's database of literary agents includes details of 2,415 English language literary agents and agencies that don't charge reading fees. The database is continually updated: there have been 60 listings added or updated in the last month. With over a dozen different ways to narrow your search you can find the right literary agent for your book, fast.
When UTA announced its surprise acquisition of London-based Curtis Brown Group last month, it was heralded as an aggressive and strategic move into the UK talent space, causing the industry on both sides of the pond to sit up and take notice. U.S. agencies have been canvassing UK companies for a number of years, but this deal marks the splashiest effort yet and potentially draws UTA closer to major talent on Curtis Brown’s books such as Robert Pattinson, Margaret Atwood and John le Carré.
There are now question marks surrounding the sharing of talent, potential structural changes and what this might mean for UK agenting at large.
Top Paradigm literary agent David Boxerbaum is leaving the company for a position at Verve Talent and Literary Agency, Verve announced Thursday.
Boxerbaum joined Paradigm in January 2012 following a stint at APA Agency. He also previously worked at William Morris, Metropolitan and Endeavor after he started his career working for producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Boxerbaum is known for his expertise in the spec script market. He brings with him a notable roster of directors, writers and producers.
Arabella Stein is heading a new literary division at The Bright Agency representing fiction, children’s books, YA, general non-fiction and graphic novels.
Bright has represented authors and author-illustrators for many years in children’s fiction and is now expanding to be a full-service creative agency, representing talent across writers, illustrators and animators.
The new arm, Bright Literary, is being led by m.d. Stein, whose list has included award-winning and bestselling picture book creators such as Benji Davies, Chris Chatterton, Yasmeen Ismail and Carys Bexington. She also represents Hannah Peck, who’s 2021 debut author-illustrated chapter book Kate on the Case (Piccadilly Press) was shortlisted for the V&A Illustration awards and the Alligator’s Mouth Award.
The agency, which has a tradition of surprising staffers with promotions, last week tasked Liebmiller and Zou with putting together a video as part of a signing exercise. I understand they were told that the video was not only important but needed to convey the theatrical gravitas of the signing pursuit. During a recent all-company staff meeting, the video was played to great reception and the promotions were announced by the co-heads of the Motion Picture Lit Team who reflected on how deserving both Liebmiller and Zou were of their new titles.
One area of business where women dominate the statistics is a sector of the publishing industry. As a result, the number of female literary agents has steadily increased over time. According to Zippia, 58.5% of agents are women. The publishing landscape has changed with the advancement of technology, making self-publishing more accessible and streamlined. These changes impact the desire, the need and the chances of signing with a literary agent. Even though more authors are turning to print-on-demand options to publish their books, traditional publishing still has prestige. It’s been reported that the odds of working with a literary agent are 1 in 6,000, based on the number of inquiries one receives and the number of new authors the agent is looking to sign for the year.
For over two decades, Jennifer Unter, founder of the Unter Agency, has helped new authors land deals with publishing houses. As a respected agent within the industry, she speaks at conferences around the country. Most recently, she’s been asked to participate in The Atlanta Writers Conference in November. Her clients have won many awards, including Indie Next, Reading the West Award, Bank Street Best Book of the Year Award and Green Earth Book Award. Although she expands her roster of authors annually, she’s strategic in her selection.
“A lot of authors look at what’s happening with the biggest players, the best sellers or even the very popular series,” Unter shares. “They say, ‘Oh, well, Penguin Random House is doing this for that person. Why wouldn’t they do that for me?’ They don’t realize how many books are published, how many authors really get little to no publicity, and how much they have to do themselves. So the really successful authors are the ones who come in knowing that and have a platform and know-how to be on social media and play that game in a good way. The ones who think things are being handed to them are the ones who are going to not have a realistic expectation of what publishing is like.”
In last month's article, Avoiding literary agency scams (fwn 44), we identified the warning signs to watch out for in order to avoid bad agents. In this article I'll be reversing the question and providing tips on how to find good agents.
Rae Phillips recently acquired an agent using firstwriter.com's database of literary agencies. We asked her about her writing, and how she found success.
James R. Larson recently acquired an agent using firstwriter.com's database of literary agencies. We asked him about his writing, and how he found success.
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