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Thread: [Agency] Mary Evans, Inc.

  1. #1

    [Agency] Mary Evans, Inc.

    I haven't found much on them, but they seem to be good?

    I've found:

    A testimonial by client Martha O'Connor

    Mary Evans, Inc. gets a "Recommended" rating at P&E

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Website, such as it is: http://maryevansinc.com/

    Agent bios from assorted conference listings:

    Mary Evans
    ...has worked in publishing since the 1970's, first at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and then at The Viking Press. She decided she needed more involvement with authors and became a literary agent, a profession she has practiced for over twenty years. She is known for her upmarket fiction and non-fiction. Her literary agency, Mary Evans, Inc., is located in the East Village in New York City. Along with Tanya McKinnon, the other full agent at Mary Evans, Inc., she tries to have the art her clients produce satisfy publishers' needs of commerce. Mary Evans' clients include Michelle Chalfoun, Kristin Duisberg, Christopher Castellani, Nicholas von Hoffman and Michael Chabon.
    Tanya McKinnon
    ...has been a literary agent at Mary Evans Inc. for 7 years and has over 50 clients. Before becoming an agent, she was a foreign scout in New York and the youngest senior editor at South End Press in Boston. She holds an M.A. in cultural anthropology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School, a B.A. in English from Tufts University and has been profiled in The New York Times, The New York Observer, and Savoy Magazine. A lifelong fan of children's literature, Ms. McKinnon's list includes authors of picture books, middle-grade readers and young adult books.
    No bio for associate agent Devin McIntyre, but he has several sales to his credit.
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  3. #3
    Philly Phanatic K-Mark's Avatar
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    Here are some of the latest deals on PM.

    December 21, 2007
    Fiction:
    Debut AP editor Tim Molloy's HOW TO BREAK BAD NEWS, a humorous debut pitched as in the vein of Nick Hornby and Christopher Buckley, about an undercover reporter who goes to work in a fast food restaurant only to find that he prefers it to his job in TV news, to Ken Siman at Virgin, by Devin McIntyre at Mary Evans (world English).
    [IMG]http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/s.gif

    [/IMG]November 6, 2007
    Foreign rights:
    Fiction Simplified Chinese rights to Ayelet Waldman's LOVE AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE PURSUITS, previously sold in 12 territories, to Horizon Media in China, in a nice deal, at auction, by Gray Tan at Jia-Xi Books, on behalf of Devin McIntyre at Mary Evans.
    [IMG]http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/s.gif

    [/IMG]August 10, 2007
    Foreign rights:
    Non-fiction Japanese rights to Doug Stumpf's THE CONFESSIONS OF A WALL STREET SHOESHINE BOY, to Random House Kodansha, by Mario Tauchi at Owl's Agency on behalf of Mary Evans.
    [IMG]http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/s.gif

    [/IMG]August 10, 2007
    Foreign rights:
    Non-fiction Italian rights to Gwyneth Cravens's POWER TO SAVE THE WORLD: The Truth About Nuclear Energy, to Francesco Anzelmo at Mondadori, in a pre-empt, by Chandler Crawford at the Chandler Crawford Agency, on behalf of Mary Evans.
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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
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    Any idea about response times. I am waiting on Tanya.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
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    Just a quick question for anyone who has queried Tanya. Did you send to her yahoo email that is listed on Agent Query? Thanks.

  6. #6
    figuring it all out
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    I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Evans at a conference last weekend. Very impressive lady. She was quite up front about the quality she looks for, but extremely helpful to authors who had questions about the business and her company. My impression of her is that if you have her in your corner, you have a strong willed, knowledgeable agent representing you.
    "Not all who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Beware of Mary Evans

    Indeed, Mary Evans certainly says the right things, but having had her as an agent I would strongly NOT recommend her (or her partner in blather, Tanya McKinnon).

    I found her to be consistently unprofessional, less-than-forthright, and often just plain bizarre. Let me give you an example of the last quality:

    I actually took on Mary Evans AFTER I had sold my novel to a major house because I'd heard how literary she was etc.... Anyway, Mary and Tanya were always talking about how they wanted to meet my editor, who was a young up-and-comer. So Mary has lunch with my editor. A week or two later, Mary attends a party for me after my first reading which my editor also attends. Now my editor is rather distinctive looking (in a good way), tall and quite noticeable, but in this group of say, 30 people, Mary Evans DOES NOT RECOGNIZE MY EDITOR WITH WHOM SHE'D HAD LUNCH A WEEK OR TWO BEFORE! My editor had to reintroduce herself to Mary, who had previously SO wanted to meet her. Now isn't this a little odd?

    My publisher also gave a kickoff luncheon for my book in NYC, attended by folks from The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, etc. The ONLY invitee who did not RSVP to my publicist's invite was--you guessed it--my own agent, Mary Evans, who never actually let us know whether she planned to attend (a bit of a problem when the restaurant wants to know how many will attend). As it turned out Tanya McKinnon showed up (unfortunately), but neither of them ever responded to my publicist and this, to be honest, was rather embarrassing for me. Thanks so much for being supportive, guys.

    In her post, WishWords says that Mary seems like someone "strong who will stand behind you." That may be how she SEEMS, but in my experience it is not how she IS. On the contrary.

    Or how about the numerous times she and her staff lost stories I sent them to be submitted to magazines? I mean, they lost them AFTER Mary had called to tell me how much she liked them. The stories were never sent out. Until I called months later and inquired whatever became of them and, oh, oops, gee, let us look... Oh, gosh, here it is! We'll send it out now.

    Or how about this: I get a rejection from then-fiction editor Bill Buford at the New Yorker asking specifically to see more of my work. (From a friend who works at the mag I understand that this is a big thing to reach him and hear directly from him.) I send a new story to Mary and specifically remind her and her assistant to send the story to BILL BUFORD who asked to see it.

    You can guess what happened... I get a rejection from Roger Angell, to whom they sent it instead.

    Or how about agreeing to sell one of my stories to an editor at a major publication who, it turns out, everyone BUT Mary seemed to know was on his way out? So after a wait, the story is actually NOT bought in the end and, because the book in which it is included is coming out imminently, it is too late to submit it anywhere else.

    I could go on and on. But I will point out that I am not the only person who has noticed that Mary (and Tanya) do not seem to be quite "all there." The Director of Marketing at my house also made remarks suggesting that Mary was unreliable or "flakey," to put it euphemistically.

    But, gee, if you want to sit and listen to her talk about how successful Michael Chabon is, you'll probably enjoy her. (Though, in the interest of historical accuracy, Mary in no way "discovered" Michael, her biggest client. Mary was working for the famous agent Virginia Barber at the time and Michael was handed to her.)

    In sum, you know those stories about erratic diva writers and their long-suffering agents? With Mary Evans, you should reverse that relationship. Maybe it's different if you make her a million dollars. But in my case it was a great relief to get that gasbag out of my life.

    PS And I found Tanya to be just as gassy and self-absorbed. Some of the things she said about writing were so empty-headed they made my jaw drop--though they were supposed to "sound" good, if you weren't actually listening (or thinking).

  8. #8
    figuring it all out Repunzel's Avatar
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    Fuwanna - This is enough for me. I do NOT need an aggravation like this in my life. As Miss Snark has said (something to this effect): no agent may be better than a terrible agent - and this sounds like a nightmare.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Fuwanna, thank you for your detailed and revealing post.

    I just received a query response from Kevin Sparks at Mary Evans. They are insisting on a hard copy submission of my novel, which is very unusual at this time in the business. But after reading your post, I'm wondering if I really want to spend the $32 to copy and send/return postage the manuscript to them.

    Many thanks again, and best of luck to you in your career.
    Last edited by White Ginger; 05-04-2009 at 02:01 AM.

  10. #10
    aka Sadistic Mistress Mi-chan M.R.J. Le Blanc's Avatar
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    Just because they're a 'good' agent, doesn't mean they're the right agent for you. Doesn't make them a bad agent, just not the agent for you.

    After reading Fuwanna's post however, I wonder about this agency being either.
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  11. #11
    Got the hang of it, here tbrosz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by White Ginger View Post
    Hi Fuwanna, thank you for your detailed and revealing post.

    I just received a query response from Kevin Sparks at Mary Evans. They are insisting on a hard copy submission of my novel, which is very unusual at this time in the business. But after reading your post, I'm wondering if I really want to spend the $32 to copy and send/return postage the manuscript to them...
    I can't speak to whether this is a good agency or not, but it is far from outlandish (even nowadays) for reputable agents and publishers to want to see hard copies of manuscripts.

    I've found that for my book, which is quite long, it's cheaper to print a new copy for each submission and let them recycle it than to pay return postage costs. Besides, it makes a good impression when you send a crisp new copy to each agent. Also you don't have to flip through the returned one to make sure there aren't gum wrappers or rude penciled notes in it.

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I didn't say hard copy requests were "outlandish", but rather "unusual". Of the 56 manuscript requests I've had in the past 5 months only 3 were for hard copies.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Mary Evans is great

    As someone who's worked at several literary agencies, I can attest to the fact that it's still very common to request a hard copy of a manuscript. If you were lucky enough to have your material requested, I would print it off, send it, cross your fingers, and quit complaining!

    Mary Evans Inc represents several well known authors; Mary herself is very pleasant and has a solid reputation.

  14. #14
    Yep, still at it. Dear Author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gettingby View Post
    Any idea about response times. I am waiting on Tanya.
    I'm also wondering about average response times - I queried Devin McIntyre. No info on QueryTracker.

  15. #15
    Bird In Flight Wonderlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by literati85 View Post
    As someone who's worked at several literary agencies, I can attest to the fact that it's still very common to request a hard copy of a manuscript.
    I'm actually signed with an agent and I still am asked to provide an initial hardcopy. (Only the version to be submitted is sent electronically.)

  16. #16
    An unknown known SJWangsness's Avatar
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    ME

    Their website is just too weird. They need some tech help.

  17. #17
    Yep, still at it. Dear Author's Avatar
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    Is anyone getting responses either way from them? I snail queried McIntyre (w/SASE) at the end of June & haven't heard anything. According to AQ he accepts unsolicited queries, but maybe he's not interested?


  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    They seemed to reply pretty much on the day they got the query letter, and then very kindly asked me to email the manuscript. Maybe it depends which agent you're dealing with and how they feel about email.

  19. #19
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    They're a bit old-fashioned. I have to assume that Michael Chabon could get another agent if he thought they were incompetent.
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  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Lessee ... Devin left to start his own agency and Tanya is now with Victoria Sanders. Current agents include Rachel Vogel and Georgia Cool, near as I can tell.
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  21. #21
    In the Center of things Vandal's Avatar
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    From the Lunch:

    Rachel Vogel has joined the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency as an agent, where she will continue building her list of upmarket and literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir. She was most recently an agent at Mary Evans Inc.
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  22. #22
    Out, damn'd spot! out, I say. Lady MacBeth's Avatar
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    Does anyone have updated info on this agency?

  23. #23
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    The page transition on their website is freakin' annoying, but other'n that, what sort of update were you looking for? Current agents-other-than-Evans are Julia Kardon and Mary Gaule.
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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