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Thread: Maria Carvainis Agency

  1. #1
    Theophania
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    Newbie here...the Maria Carvainis Agency is interested in me

    After reading an article of mine, they contacted me & requested I send them a synopsis of my memoirs...for an opportunity to possibly write a book for them about my life.

    I don't have an agent, and have only been a magazine freelance writer previously.

    Help! I have no idea if I need an agent or how to write a proper book synopsis for them.

    I'm very nervous...I really want this to happen!

  2. #2
    KundaliniGirl
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    Hey, that's great news, since the Maria Carvainis Agency is a very well-respected one!

    However, your post is a bit confusing to me. Are they suggesting that you write your memoirs based on that one article they saw, or was the article an excerpt from your memoirs? Did you have any interest in writing your memoir before this agency got in touch with you?

  3. #3
    Theophania
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    it was based on a lengthy article i wrote.

    and yes, ive always considered writing my memoirs. i have a disability from a teenage accident and have always wanted to write my memoirs, but in a non-cliche way. the MA agency likes how im very open and blunt about my experiences.

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin KikiRue's Avatar
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    Maria Carvainis Agency

    I met Donna Bagdasarian at a conference a few weeks ago and, after a lengthy conversation, was invited to send in my full manuscript. Yay!

    However, because I met her in passing, I knew absolutely nothing about her track record. Since returning home, I've done a bit of research and found only ONE romance sale from back in November 2005. Granted, Publisher's Marketplace isn't the end-all, be-all. But still.

    The Maria Carvainis Agency is highly respected and has some major clients who write romance, but they're primarily rep'd by Maria Carvainis.

    Donna has a listing at Publisher's Marketplace here. Note the Recent Sales are primarily non-fiction and Leading Clients are agency clients--not necessarily hers. Also, I've heard she has more unpublished than published authors in her stable. Not necessarily a bad thing but not a good thing, either, IMO.

    I enjoyed speaking with her and she seemed very personable. Business-wise, I think I could work well with her. But that doesn't mean she'll be an effective agent for my romance ms.

    So, anyone have any info on her or know of other sales in the romance market? I'd like to know if it's worth the time & $$ to send off the ms.

    Thanks!

    KikiRue
    "If you were waiting for the opportune moment...that was it." ~Captain Jack Sparrow

  5. #5
    I don't know anything about her personally, but I know that new agents at established agencies can be good agents because of shared connections. I would assume this to be true in this case as well. If her agency is known to romance publishers her phone calls will be returned.

  6. #6
    What? I have a title? Julie Worth's Avatar
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    Her bio from SleuthFest:

    Donna Bagdasarian
    Maria Carvainis Agency

    Native New Englander Donna Bagdasarian grew up in the suburbs of Boston and graduated cum laude from Boston University. While editing the prestigious philological journal, Arion, she pursued her master's degree in Literature and Phiosophy, then joined Addison Wesley Longman as a mathematics textbook acquisitions editor.

    Donna moved to New York City, eventually working as assistant to notable William Morris literary agent Mel Berger before she herself was promoted. Donna joined Vigliano Associates in 2002 before forming her own agency in 2003, DMB Literary, where she represented well-known published authors in genres ranging from literary fiction to political nonfiction. In the fall of 2004 Donna joined the Maria Carvainis Agency, bringing her experience managing a boutique agency and adding her own client list to the agency’s already notable stable of best-selling authors.


    Which is pretty much taken from Publishers Marketplace, but it does have her picture.
    Last edited by Julie Worth; 08-05-2007 at 01:37 AM.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin KikiRue's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Havlen & Julie.


    Quote Originally Posted by Havlen View Post
    I don't know anything about her personally, but I know that new agents at established agencies can be good agents because of shared connections. I would assume this to be true in this case as well. If her agency is known to romance publishers her phone calls will be returned.
    I would assume this, as well. However, I'm unaware of any clients she has that write romance. And, other than one sale in 2005, I can't find any romance deals for Donna B.

    She's been with the Maria Carvainis Agency for almost 3 years. Surely that's enough time to build up her own sales record rather than relying on the prestige of the agency's name alone.

    Not to be harsh, but that's my opinion. Am I wrong?
    "If you were waiting for the opportune moment...that was it." ~Captain Jack Sparrow

  8. #8
    How did it turn out?


  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theophania View Post
    After reading an article of mine, they contacted me & requested I send them a synopsis of my memoirs...for an opportunity to possibly write a book for them about my life. Help! I have no idea if I need an agent or how to write a proper book synopsis for them.

    I'm very nervous...I really want this to happen!
    Theophania - you want an agent. A good one. It sounds like you've already got one hooked, so now you need to start some researching on writing a synopsis for this type of work. There are tons of resources out there, on these boards and in countless books. Play hooky from work and put your best effort into it. You can do this. Oh, and breathe.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on what happens!

  10. #10
    Historicals and Horror rule donroc's Avatar
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    Congratulations and welcome.





    "Chronology is not destiny"
    Donald Michael Platt

    "If, as Napoleon said, History is a myth agreed upon, let mine be the definitive myth."
    Donald Michael Platt

    www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6OtI&feature=channel_page

  11. #11
    This MediaBistro post has some info on the agency as a whole, however it is from 2005 so not sure how current it is.

  12. #12
    lisapreston.com
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    When I was shopping for an agent a couple of years ago, she asked for an exclusive which I was not in a position to grant, but I still sent her the material. A couple of months on, I asked for an update and an asistant wrote back, saying I'd get an answer the next week. I didn't an my next email went unanswered. I've another friend who was repped by her for about two year and was unsold...just got the phase out thing that so many agents seem to do instead of having a quick, direct conversation. Ah, well.

  13. #13
    Li'l Rug Bug clara bow's Avatar
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    send the manuscript and keep querying other agents. if donna offers representation, you can ask about her sales then, as well as ask to speak with some of her published and unpublished clients.

    you can always decline her offer..

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Crinklish's Avatar
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    Donna does a lot of deals in concert with Maria, so it's not as though she's done nothing at all since 2005. They work very closely together, more so than just having a senior and junior agent, so Donna's contribution is somewhat underreported. I think I've seen some more recent Pub Lunch postings describing sales by "Maria Carvainis and Donna Bagdasarian." The agency is active and reps some big authors.

  15. #15
    I spoiled Who??? 1BadApple's Avatar
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    I sent her a query along with a sample. I followed the guidelines and she sent it back unopen within a week... Needless to say I am not sending anything back

  16. #16
    summertime... Madison's Avatar
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    i just queried her... I'll post the results after. but just realized i forgot to add in my query that i'm subbing to other agents - she asked that that notice be included. crappo!
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  17. #17
    figuring it all out Viking's Avatar
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    Question Switching agents

    Quote Originally Posted by Horseshoes View Post
    When I was shopping for an agent a couple of years ago, she asked for an exclusive which I was not in a position to grant, but I still sent her the material. A couple of months on, I asked for an update and an asistant wrote back, saying I'd get an answer the next week. I didn't an my next email went unanswered. I've another friend who was repped by her for about two year and was unsold...just got the phase out thing that so many agents seem to do instead of having a quick, direct conversation. Ah, well.
    So what happened to your friend and does anyone out there have the experience of having one agent unable to sell a book, then it gets sold when you switch? Did you have trouble switching?

    I wanted to start a thread on this but couldn't figure out how to do that.

  18. #18
    Different from the rest Beware_of_Italics's Avatar
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    Anyone know what their current address is? There is no official website and I've receiving two different addresses. Query Tracker, as well as another site (Updated Aug. 25, but... they could have easily missed any address change) lists:

    Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.
    1270 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2320
    New York, NY 10020

    However, a poster listed on QT, on 4/28/08, a different address from Writer's Market.
    Wouldn't Query Tracker be the most up to date? I really don't want to waste money on postage. Better safe than sorry, so I ask here. Thanks in advance.

  19. #19
    C'est la vie! vixey's Avatar
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    I snail queried her on 6/23/08 and received snail rejection on 6/30/08. So the address was working two months ago. I used the same address you have here. Got it from AgentQuery.com.
    Last edited by vixey; 08-29-2008 at 02:44 AM. Reason: more info
    Vixey

    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.-Dr. Seuss

    "Thank God for fingers and muses. Writing is like singing the blues on a laptop."-cwj

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW JennyCP's Avatar
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    Maria Cavinas?

    Okay, so does anyone know where to find what she reps? She somehow made it onto my "tier 2" query list after a long night of list making and now I can't seem to remember why. Does she rep YA?

  21. #21
    C'est la vie! vixey's Avatar
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    AgentQuery.com has her repping:

    Literary Fiction | Mystery | Commercial Fiction | Women's Fiction | Romance | Historical Fiction | Young Adult | Thrillers/Suspense
    Check it here: http://agentquery.com/agent.aspx?agentid=149
    Vixey

    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.-Dr. Seuss

    "Thank God for fingers and muses. Writing is like singing the blues on a laptop."-cwj

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW JennyCP's Avatar
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    Thanks!

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Exclamation Maria Carvainis Agency

    How many agents, and who all, are there at Maria Carvainis Agency?
    AR&E lists two: Maria Carvainis as a major player & Donna Bagdasarian as a relatively newer agent.
    Everyone Who... lists these two & a third: Moira Sullivan
    Query Tracker lists these three & two more: Anna Del Veccio & David Harvey
    Agent Query lists these five & a sixth: Frances Kuffel - with the note that she is no longer active.
    LitMatch lists these six & two more: Elise Shin & Jacqueline Lester
    The AAR website shows five agents at this agency as AAR members; these include Maria Carvainis, Donna Bagdasarian, Moira Sullivan & Jacqueline Lester from amongst above named eight and a ninth: Jerome Murphy.
    This appears to be a big agency, perhaps averting such mention in directories!

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Beware

    Beware of Maria Carvainis Agency. My friend, J Lester, worked there in 2005. They are crazy and do not sell half the projects they submit to editors.

    For romance, you're much better off with Deidre Knight Agency.

    A Penguin Editor.

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you BNLAngel18, for suggesting
    Quote Originally Posted by BNLAngel18 View Post
    For romance, you're much better off with Deidre Knight Agency.
    .

    But I want an agent for historical fiction; can you recommend someone?
    Last edited by Rameish; 09-20-2008 at 10:05 AM.

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