Are you an American author who has written a book you believe has the potential to be a bestseller?
Is your plan to partner with a literary agent in order to find a publisher? Continue reading to learn about 15 top literary agencies in the US.
A New York City-based literary agency, Trident Media Group was founded in the year 2000. For over 10 years now, TMG has been ranked number one in terms of sales within the North American publishing marketplace, while also holding similar records in the UK marketplace. It now represents more than 1,000 authors of fiction and non-fiction, some of whom have won the Pulitzer Prize, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the National Book Award, and many other titles.
When it comes to books, there are many more advantages than trade publishing, respectively digital publishing services for eBooks, a world-class audiobook rights department, career management, and comprehensive support services.
If your manuscript fits the standards of fiction or non-fiction, regardless of the topic, you can send it to TMG for future assistance. They are actively looking for new authors, and you can find the guidelines for both published and unpublished writers here.
Founded by Deidre Knight in 1996, as a result of her experience in the entertainment industry, the Madison-based company has gained best-selling clients and over 800 titles which fit the standards of commercial fiction, women’s fiction, romance, inspirational, memoir, non-fiction narrative, business, personal finance, self-help, and of numerous other genres and subjects. The Knight Agency has also collaborated with Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Thomas Nelson, and with many more.
Whether you’re a writer of historical romance or science fiction, there is a great chance that they will be interested in your work. You can become familiar with what they’re looking for by browsing their catalogue.
If you decide to collaborate with them, you will have to send a query to your literary agent of choice by using Query Manager. Although they normally aim to respond in around two weeks, there may be delays – to learn more about the process, read the Submission Guidelines displayed here.
Pippin Properties is based in New York City, and was founded in 1998 by Holly McGhee. Their greatest advantage is the fact that they host regular portfolio parties, where they essentially show their artists’ work, thus visiting with editors, clients, foreign publishers, scouts, and film producers. Due to their experience, they now have the editorial expertise needed to bring every project to its full potential.
Pippin Properties mainly specializes in picture books, graphic novels, middle-grade, and young adult novels, but they also represent adult projects at times. They are also preoccupied with licensing all ancillary rights to their books, from live stage to audio.
They are permanently looking for authors and illustrators – if you are an author, you can send them the first chapter of your novel along with a short synopsis, or the whole picture book manuscript. For further information, feel free to access their Submission Guidelines.
Founded in 1974, the Jane Rotrosen Agency is based in New York City. Because of their vast experience, their list currently includes more than 1,000 best-sellers, both domestic and international, in all formats. Their services are available for aspiring authors as well, because they adapt them to the individual needs of the client.
The Jane Rotrosen Agency represents both fiction and non-fiction projects. However, they are presently not accepting manuscripts for plays, screenplays, and children’s picture books. If you want to reach them, you will have to send a query to one of their agents, which you can find here – be careful to read their full descriptions, as some of them do not accept unsolicited queries at the moment.
In case you want to find out more about their best-sellers first, you can do that by accessing their online list.
A Brooklyn-based full-service literary agency, the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency represents literary and commercial fiction, as well as a broad range of non-fiction, which includes history, memoir, narrative, business, popular science, and biography. They also work with a wide variety of clients, which vary from academics to journalists, and they provide an international reach to a large audience, as they collaborate with leading agencies from the UK.
They are not interested in screenplays, self-help, poetry, or genre fiction, which includes science fiction, romance, and mystery. They are also closed to unsolicited manuscripts and proposals sent by email – they want the first contact to be sent by mail, according to the Submission Guidelines available here.
Initially a great part of the Christian book market, the Hartline Agency now works in the general book market also. It is a Pittsburgh-based agency that collaborates with all of the renowned CBA and General Market publishing houses, as well as with several independent ones. Mainly interested in inspirational fiction and non-fiction for adults, they represent most subjects which fit the first category.
Hartline Agency does not publish poetry, magazine articles, screenplays, scripts, or children’s books. They do not charge any fees for evaluating your work – even more, they always try to respond as fast as possible.
If you have a high-quality manuscript that you would like to share with them, you can send it according to the guidelines displayed here. Keep in mind that your book proposal has to be sent via e-mail, otherwise it will not be taken into consideration.
Established in the mid-1980s in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, The Jeff Herman Agency now prides itself on almost 1,000 book deals, which include numerous bestsellers. It has become a leader in terms of non-fiction books, and its area of expertise also involves spirituality and business, among many others.
In their Books Represented section, you will find three main categories, respectively business, reference, and professional titles, computer books, and textbooks/reference. Some of them were published by John Wiley & Sons, The Career Press, Palgrave, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Penguin Random House.
Luckily, they are currently open to unsolicited submissions – their specific areas of interest are how-to/self-help, parenting, health, history, psychology, memoir, and several others that are listed here. However, they may not respond if your work will not be accepted.
A Los Angeles-based agency, Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises handles publishing rights and all ancillary, including audio, TV, and electronic. They are open to working with both aspiring and established authors, and they have a rather wide area of interests. Thus, they represent works of literary fiction, travelogues, women’s issues, popular culture, psychology, parenting, cooking, self-help, and countless others.
They do not take interest in western, romance, fantasy, spy capers, horror, techno thrillers, and poetry. A full list of the genres that you cannot submit is available here. However, their associate, Mary Cummings, represents picture books, young adult novels, poetry for children and teens, humor, fantasy, and more.
If you’re interested in a collaboration, you can find their Submission Guidelines on the website.
Operating from Manhattan, The Book Group was founded in 2015 by Julie Barer, Faye Bender, Brettne Bloom, and Elisabeth Weed. Their range of clients includes award-winning journalists, memoirists, historians, and essayists, writers of children’s literature, as well as bestselling novelists. Their main interest lies in talent, so they work with both aspiring and established authors.
The agents specialize in literary and commercial fiction, history, memoir, psychology, children’s books, narrative non-fiction, journalism, essay collections, and many others. Each of them has individual preferences, so you will have to read all of their descriptions before sending your work, in order to see who is the most appropriate for your project.
Unless your area of expertise is theatre & screenplay, you can contact them for a collaboration after reading their Submission Guidelines.
Founded in 1996 in Amherst, Massachusetts, it is a full-service literary agency that represents authors to university presses, major publishers, and independent publishers. An agent that has worked in the book industry her entire career, Linda Roghaar also has experience in marketing and publisher representation.
If you want to become familiar with the represented authors and their works, you can find a complete list here. They suggest taking interest in fiction and non-fiction, although no genres are specifically mentioned.
As they are experts in the field, you can send them your work for evaluation according to the Submission Guidelines provided online – keep in mind that they request e-queries that do not contain any attachments. They normally respond in 8-12 weeks, but you may have to wait over three months, depending on the project.
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Brattle Agency maintains connections with publishers and editors from all around the world. They provide editorial guidance, submission and sale of works, foreign language sales, contract negotiations, marketing and publicity strategies, film and television licenses, and many others.
Their range of interests includes art history, music, American studies, political theory, cultural and race studies, literary fiction, and sports. In terms of submissions, they only accept queries sent via email – they have to include a formal cover letter, a CV, and a short synopsis.
However, The Brattle Agency is currently unavailable for fiction – if this is your area of expertise, you can find future updates here, along with their Submission Guidelines. If they are appropriate for your project, feel free to submit a query, as they do not charge any fees for requested submissions.
Operating from Boston, this literary agency was founded in 1983 by Helen Rees. She has become a renowned figure in Massachusetts politics, as she was also elected as a committeewoman at the Democratic National Convention in 1972. The team mainly represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, history, biography, young adult and middle grade, business, psychology, science, and self-help. Furthermore, you can find a children’s books section online as well.
Their team is comprised of four agents – Ann Collette is currently closed to submissions, but the other three are available for new authors. Although they do not have any Submission Guidelines displayed on the website, they do provide contact information in case you’re interested in collaborating with them. Thus, you can find their email addresses here.
The LaFarge Literary Agency was founded in 2003 and has been operating independently since 2006. Their range of clients includes cultural institutions, literary estates, and authors, for which they provide rights management. The agency has several partnerships with Hollywood and London co-agents and attorneys, as well as with other professionals located further. These connections are maintained for the exploitation of translation, audio, and other such rights.
They are mainly interested in non-fiction, respectively memoir, essays, history, reportage, biography, business, criticism, science, urbanism, and many other subjects which are presented here. If you would like to become familiar with the books they represent before submitting your work, you can find a complete list on the website.
Unless your area of expertise consists of genre fiction, screenplay, or children’s books, feel free to contact them using the information provided online.
Located in South Orange, New Jersey, this agency was founded by Nancy Gallt in 2000. With a purpose to promote artworks and life stories that have a great impact on young readers, the team has a wide range of interests, which vary from middle grade and young adult fiction to non-fiction.
If you are a novelist, a picture book author, or a graphic novelist, the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency may be an appropriate choice for your project. For additional information, you can access their Submission Guidelines here.
A New York City full-service agency founded in 1998, Cynthia Cannell’s business has remained active in the national and international publishing markets. The team is specialized in biography, self-improvement, memoir, spirituality, and non-fiction that treats contemporary issues.
However, they do not accept works of romance, cookbooks, category mystery, science fiction, screenplays, young adult, children’s books, or illustrated books, unless they are specifically solicited.
If your manuscript fits the standards of their preferred genres, you can send them an e-query that contains a brief project description, along with relevant biographical information. You can find their complete Submission Guidelines here.
What did you think of our list of top literary agencies in the US? Do you know of any others? Please tell us about them in the comments box below.
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