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ICM/Sagalyn (formerly Sagalyn Literary Agency)

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PVish

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Anybody know if Sagalyn Literary Agency is legit?
http://www.sagalyn.com
I'm suspicious--they don't have agents' names or even a street address on their website that I could find, and they're located in Bethesda, Maryland. They take queries by email only. A gentleman I know sent me their link and asked me to take a look.
 

Richard White

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I think looking at their list of authors and books that I've certainly heard of before, they seem pretty legitimate to me.

It is odd they don't list their agents, but the lack of a street address doesn't bother me as much. They specifically say, if we want you to mail us something, they'll give out the address. Probably cuts down on people sending them unsolicited manuscripts.
 

Aconite

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PVish, I found a street address right at the bottom of their front page. Has it been newly added?
 

Julie Worth

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Aconite said:
PVish, I found a street address right at the bottom of their front page. Has it been newly added?

Apparently not. Google last scanned the site on Aug. 1, and the street address was there. Sagalyn is recommended at P&E, BTW.
 

PVish

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Thanks for the info. I didn't scroll down far enough to see the address at the bottom of the page. I'm still puzzled by why they're in Maryland and not in New York and why no agents' names are given on their site. How can one check out an agent with AAR when one doesn't know who the agent is?
 

Julie Worth

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PVish said:
Thanks for the info. I didn't scroll down far enough to see the address at the bottom of the page. I'm still puzzled by why they're in Maryland and not in New York and why no agents' names are given on their site. How can one check out an agent with AAR when one doesn't know who the agent is?

Look here:
http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/litagt/
 

HapiSofi

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Legit agents don't have to be in NYC, though most of them are. They do have to have learned their trade while working for another legit agent, which means almost all of them have spent some time living and working in NYC.
 

J. Y. Moore

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AAR search

If you do a search on "Sagalyn" on AAR, you get:

Raphael Sagalyn
Sagalyn Literary Agency
7201 Winsconsin Avenue
Suite 675
Bethesda, MD 20814
USA

I can't tell if it's hitting on the agency or the last name but it appears that the site only searches names, not agencies. Of course, he may be the only agent they have.

Good luck!

J. Y. (Jean) Moore
 

Jaws

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The AAR is for individual agents, not agencies. For example, not every agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency is (at present) an AAR member, because one new agent has yet sold enough works to qualify. Keep in mind that Don is a recent past President of AAR!

Although it is possible to search on an agency's name in the database, agencies are not members; any reference to an agency is essentially part of the address.
 

hraaja

Early in my search for an agent I asked a well respected professor I know if he could poll his contacts for the name of an established agent suited to the proposal I had put together. He agreed and checked around. Sagalyn was the name that came back.
 

absitinvidia

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PVish said:
I'm still puzzled by why they're in Maryland and not in New York


Judging by some of the titles on their site, it seems to me Bethesda (in the Washington, DC metro area) is a good location for this agency.
 

Alex_Cohen

PVish said:
Anybody know if Sagalyn Literary Agency is legit?
http://www.sagalyn.com
I'm suspicious--they don't have agents' names or even a street address on their website that I could find, and they're located in Bethesda, Maryland. They take queries by email only. A gentleman I know sent me their link and asked me to take a look.
Sagalyn is more than legitimate - they are one of the best non-fiction agencies out there (especially for business and politics), and Rafe Sagalyn is a very classy, smart, and connected guy. Rafe sold John Nesbitt's Megatrends, one of the best selling non-fiction books ever. They also do fiction -- Rafe is Andrew Greeley's agent -- but it is less of a focus for them.

He's very hands-on with the books, too: I've seen Rafe really push back with authors on what they're doing, and he offers very useful advice both on improving the quality of the book and its commercial prospects.

For the kind of clients he has, Bethesda is a good place (it is a suburb of Washington, D.C.). I believe he spends plenty of time in NY, though. Also, although I'm not sure about this, I think Rafael Sagalyn may be the only agent at the Rafael Sagalyn Literary Agency. Thus the name.

Remember a few years ago when the news of Dean Kamen's new invention leaked, and everyone was forwarding this snippet about how Steve Jobs and John Doerr and Jeff Bezos were astonished and said it would change America forever? That story came from a press release that Rafe sent out announcing he had sold Steve Kemper's Code Name Ginger to Harvard Business School Press. (Yeah, the invention turned out to be a dud, but it was a brilliant piece of book marketing.)

Disclaimer of sorts: I'm not a client of Sagalyn, but I've met with him about books, and he represents a number of colleagues. If I write a non-fiction book, he will absolutely be the first agent I'd contact.

Meta-discussion: his web site gives you all the information you need to decide whether he's legit. He has clients you've heard of (Robert Reich, Michael Kinsley, Jim Hightower, etc.), he's sold many many books to publishers you've heard of; he's sold books you've heard of; books he has sold have won the Pulitzer Prize.
 
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FSU David

Re: The Sagalyn Agency

I have a physical address and even a phone number for this Agency. I believe I found it in the LMP 2007 addition. Additionally, a New York City agent told me to look to this Agency regarding my work. Although I see the posting of this past request, this is for other Authors who may seek their contact information.

David

The Sagalyn Literary Agency
4922 Fairmont Avenue
Suite 200
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

301.718.6440
 

johncravens

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Sagalyn Literary Agency

LitMatch has Raphael Sagalyn as a member of AAR.
 

Angkor

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I can echo Alex Cohen's remarks about Sagalyn as one of the best out there. On the fiction side, he also represents David Ignatius (Washington Post reporter/novelist) and Bob Baer (spook-turned-pundit/novelist).
I queried Sagalyn about ten years ago with my second thriller. The query had barely gotten to his inbox when I received a curt rejection. Fast-forward to today: 81 minutes after querying him with my fourth thriller, I get: "we'll pass, thanks, good luck." I don't consider this rude. Just to get any answer from agents these days is remarkable. This guy's on top of his emails. But, unless you're a celebrity DC Beltway insider, give him a pass.
 

CaoPaux

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Has formed a "strategic alliance" with ICM Partners to become ICM/Sagalyn, same URL.

ETA: acquired outright in '18 (PW article), same URL.
 
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