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Thread: Literary Agent Undercover (Mark Malatesta)

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Bukarella's Avatar
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    Literary Agent Undercover (Mark Malatesta)

    Is this a trustworthy list?
    http://literary-agents.com/best-lite...ary-agent-2012

    I have three fulls out, at the moment, and I'm trying to research everything I can about all three agents.

    Two of the agents have great reputation here, but they are not on the top 50 list.

    One of the agents is quite high up on the list, but her agency is mentioned in a rather lengthy thread here with some drama surrounding the agency itself, not the agent.
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  2. #2
    It's a dog-eat-waffle world. RedRam's Avatar
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    Don't know about the site myself, but it looks like this isn't a list of who's good, just who's busy. The ranking is by number of deals closed in the second half of 2012.

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  3. #3
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    The entire site feels like an ad for somebody's "insider information".
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  4. #4
    Opinionated suki's Avatar
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    There are certainly reputable agents on the list, but there are also many desirable agents not on the list. If I was currently querying, I would take it as another person's opinion of the "best" agents, and do my own research.

    I think it's especially relevant to note RedRam's point that it appears they compiled the list of off sales posted at PM - well, not all sales are listed there, some sales listed there are for less than desirable publishers by less than desirable agents, and the info posted is not vetted. So...if that is the source (as it appears to say), it means the list should be called agents with the most deals posted at PM, not "best."

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  5. #5
    The colors! THE COLORS! leahzero's Avatar
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    Quantity doesn't mean much. For example, some of the agents on that list make lots of sales to small e-publishers that don't pay advances, which inflates their stats.

    It's pretty useless, TBH.
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  6. #6
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suki View Post
    There are certainly reputable agents on the list, but there are also many desirable agents not on the list. If I was currently querying, I would take it as another person's opinion of the "best" agents, and do my own research.
    Exactly. Plus, "Top" for one writer might be "Bottom" for another, based on track record and areas of specialization.

    I agree that the site has a sleazy advertorial feel to it. Supposedly, Mark Malatesta is a "NY Bestselling Literary Agent." What the heck is that when it's at home? I assume he's talking about his clients, but still...kinda weird.

    I also think may be a teeny exaggeration. Back in the day, Mark Malatesta was known as Mark Ryan (which he doesn't mention), and was part of an agency called New Brand Agency Group (which he does). In the late 1990's, New Brand was one of the agencies that regularly made referrals to scam editing service Edit Ink (Edit Ink paid kickbacks to agents who sent clients its way)--Writer Beware got a number of reports of this. Mark Whatever-His-Real-Name-Is seems to have taken over sole running of the agency from the other guy involved, Eric Alterman, sometime around 2000 or 2001. New Brand built a smallish track record of sales to reputable publishers, but it was by no means qualified to be on Mark's "top 50" list.

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  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Boy, this is tough. I was hoping this guy might be of help but probably not worth it. My issue is that I have some legit agents looking at manuscripts and proposals. I also got strong interest from an agency that does get deals but relatively small places: Fairchild, New Page Books, Rowman & Littlefield, or Potomac Books, and AMACO. Hard to tell what is too mall, what is glorified vanity press, or what my options are. Anyone familiar with these publishers?
    Last edited by timtimmerson; 02-01-2013 at 05:58 PM.

  8. #8
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timtimmerson View Post
    Boy, this is tough. I was hoping this guy might be of help but probably not worth it. My issue is that I have some legit agents looking at manuscripts and proposals. I also got strong interest from the Rudy Agency, and they do indeed get deals but relatively small places: Fairchild, New Page Books, Rowman & Littlefield, or Potomac Books, and AMACO. Hard to tell what is too mall, what is glorified vanity press, or what my options are. Anyone familiar with Rudy or these publishers?
    Best to search the forum for threads on these guys ('search' option in top menu or Google box the very bottom left of every page), and start a new thread for them if you don't find anything.

    I'd say don't bother with this guy's site, especially after what Victoria Strauss posted. If you want to know detailed deal info you're better off buying a membership to Publisher's Marketplace.
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  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    ...I am also curious about university presses? My book is pretty scholarly. Obviously I want a best seller, but as first time author without a major platform, where can I still get published with some credibility? the above presses may well be but am just a little unsure.

  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Rowman & Littlefield = entirely legitimate scholarly/textbook press.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Rowman & Littlefield = entirely legitimate scholarly/textbook press.
    Thanks.

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