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[Agency] Don Gastwirth & Associates

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mschannon

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Anyone have any experience with Don Gastwirth as an agent? He was recommended to me by a published author, but he doesn't have a website & a google on him doesn't bring much up.

Thanks.
 

victoriastrauss

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He does have a track record, though as you say there's not much information floating around about him, so it's hard to tell how large or prestigious it is.

I've had a couple of reports (not documented) that he charges reading fees.

- Victoria
 

mschannon

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Thanks for feedback. He was recommended by a published author on Readerville.com & he agreed to read the first 130 page of my novel, which he liked. I told him it would take a while to finish, and at one point, he actually called to ask how it was going. He doesn't respond to e-mails very much. And, so far, he asked even talked about fees. although I'll find out because the books done & about three weeks from final edit.
 

Jim Tenuto

Don Gastwirth

Don has represented me for two years and sold my first novel, BLOOD ATONEMENT. It is a male mystery series, not the easiest thing to sell in the current environment.

Don suggested I visit New York City with him and we made the rounds of the NY publishers back in 2003. We met with Carolyn Marino, Ed Katzenmeyer, Sara Ann Freed and others. It was a literal who's who on mystery fiction.

Don sold the book to The Lyons Press and it will be released on June 1st.

He is a delightful man to work with. Pleasant, quick witted, well connected and respected.

Jim Tenuto
 

Aconite

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Jim: Did he charge fees? Anything besides straight commission?
 

MarylandBird

mschannon said:
Anyone have any experience with Don Gastwirth as an agent? He was recommended to me by a published author, but he doesn't have a website & a google on him doesn't bring much up.

Thanks.

Don't know anything specific about him. However, I have heard that some agents prefer to be under the radar so they don't receive piles of submissions. I guess they figure if they need new clients, they'll go out and get them or somebody will be passed along to them.

So, the fact that you can't find much about him may not be the worst thing.
 

Jim Tenuto

Gastwirth...does he charge a fee?

Boy, I really suck. I posted this and then slipped into a coma.

Don does not charge reading fees. He will, however, ask you to cover some of his mailing costs.

Jim Tenuto
 

Kasey Mackenzie

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That's a bit of a red flag for me. It suggests that he's not making enough money on commissions to cover his own mailing costs. I know that some successful agents DO charge costs to their clients, but it's typically at the back end and taken out of the client's advance and/or royalty check.
 

Aconite

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Since people became more aware that a "reading fee" was a bad thing, some agents aren't calling them "reading fees," but "mailing fees" or "administrative costs" or some such instead. I'd be wary of any agent charging any fees, no matter what they're called.
 

HapiSofi

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As far as I know, Don Gastwirth's real.
 

Cathy C

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Publisher's Marketplace lists three non-fiction sales in the past three years for him -- all to imprints of Perseus Books in the UK. I can't find much about the publisher, though.
 

waylander

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Perseus seem to handle serious non-fiction/academic books. They have a stand at the London Bookfair this year.
 

Flapdoodle

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Cathy C said:
Publisher's Marketplace lists three non-fiction sales in the past three years for him -- all to imprints of Perseus Books in the UK. I can't find much about the publisher, though.

There's no "Perseus Books" listed in the Writer's Handbook for 2006 as a UK publisher. There is a US publisher under this name, which seems to be an academic press.
 

CaoPaux

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Looks like they're "Perseus Running Press" in the UK.

From the London Book Fair:

http://www.lbf-virtual.com/page.cfm/action=Exhib/ExhibID=00241

From Perseus Books:

http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/perseus/contact_us.jsp

UK and Europe Publicity and Promotion
> Basic Books, Basic Civitas Books, Da Capo, Counterpoint, PublicAffairs, and Westview

For inspection copies, review and catalog requests, and general information, please contact:

Perseus Running Press
69-70 Temple Chambers
3-7 Temple Avenue
London, EC4Y 0HP Tel: +44 (0) 207 353 7771
Fax: +44 (0) 207 353 7786
Email: <snipped>
 

HapiSofi

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I've double-checked. There's evidence of Don Gastwirth's legitimate sales all over the place.
 

mschannon

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Don's been my agent now for over a year & he's great. He took me on the strength of my first novel, but then decided that it didn't fit any clear genre & asked me to write a second. Sure...

I don't remember what he said, but I did write a second novel in about 7 months, which is now sitting with him, and it's the best thing I've ever written.

He has asked me cover some mailing fees, which have been minimal, but I consider him a good friend as well as a demanding and yet supportive agent. He mainly handles non-fiction, but next week we start developing the attack plan to get a publishing house.

Thanks to all for your intelligence gathering. By the way, Jim, he mentioned you this morning--all favorable.
 

greggp

I haven't worked with him as an agent, but he was my professor in Entertainment Law in law school (he is a lawyer too). I found him to be of the highest integrity.
 

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I know Don Gastwirth very well. He has a very substantial portfolio representing nonfiction and some fiction, e.g. mystery. He has represented national security experts, literature on the entertainment business, some fiction, and a lot of scholarly work (e.g., history, translations of literary classics -- and he is a "Shakepeareophile.")

Don majored in American Civilization at Yale and also is a graduate of Yale Law School, with a special interest in Constitutional Law. He taught entertainment law. And he worked on John Kerry's campaign for President. Don is one of the most deeply read people I know, and one of the most sincere. Recently he agented a complete new translation of Dante's "Comedia" (not out yet) and the bestselling "Sistine Secrets."
 
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CaoPaux

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Alas, Mr. Gastwirth passed away Jan '15. (obit)
 

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