Thursday, September 03, 2015

Thanksgiving, Giving Thanks

    Time to give thanks, to writers everywhere, for their talent and for their work!

The agency is closed to submissions for the Thanksgiving week.  My reading list is full, for which I am thankful, with new projects from clients and submissions from late summer and fall conferences - Writers Digest, Ridgefield (CT) Writers Conference, and CLMP (Council of Lit Mags and Presses). Any queries received between now and Monday, November 30, will be deleted unread, alas.
     We plan to resume considering queries as of Tuesday, December 1st.
     Please scroll down to the bottom for instructions on how to submit through this site - which is the preferred method.   Below that, if you would like to read about my approach to agenting, you'll find a post on What An Agent Does.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hailing this week's useful, inspiring new release

It's always a good week when it's publication week.  And this week, after almost twenty years (!) in print, a useful, inspiring classic has a new second life in digital: FINDING YOUR WRITER'S VOICE by Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall, published by St. Martin's Press, and available on and ebook stores everywhere

Friday, June 19, 2015

Welcome Summer!

     BEA is behind us, where we visited with publishers in town from New Hampshire, the Bay Area -- and China. (Wouldn't it be nice if we got to visit them all instead of the other way around?).  My first big deal of the summer - very topical nonfiction, to be announced at a later date - is done, and a slew of proposals are nearing submission perfection.  And finally it is warm enough for the beach, where I'll be for a long 4th of July weekend, with much to do beforehand.

     I'm thrilled that Joanna Russ, author of the classic and ever-timely THE FEMALE MAN, received The Solstice Award at the SWFA Nebula Awards in Chicago and will be the Memorial Guest of Honor at ReaderCon next month.  Would that she was still with us!

If you're here to query me, please scroll down. I’m interested in nonfiction of course  - and am also actively looking for new fiction to balance out the list.
                What I'm looking for:
      Fiction with strong storytelling, including YA, although I am very selective.   I have a wonderful genre-bending first novel readying for submission now.
     Nonfiction: narrative, history, science (I love math!), politics - especially the progressive kind, environmental books of all kinds, business, memoir.  Most of my clients, writing all of the above, are journalists.
      See my post below on what it's like to work with an agent.
You can follow me on Twitter at:

     A tip:  What day of the week do I (like most agents) receive the most queries on?  Tuesday.  Every week, without fail.  So you could consider querying me on another day.    Thanks!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Forward

It's really spring now, finally, and I am looking forward to going south: April 25th for the Books Alive 2015/Washington Writers Conference. And I'm looking ahead to the Writers Digest Conference in NYC on August 2nd - which seems very far off at the moment (summer?  hot weather? what's that?)  Then in the fall it's the Ridgefield Writers Conference in Connecticut, September 26th.

    My clients who chose the cold winter months for their book tours are now home and thawing out:
          * Veteran environmental journalist Mark Schapiro came east to discuss Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of a Disrupted Global Economy (Chelsea Green) at Columbia, Rutgers, SUNY Stony Brook and snowy Boston University Law School
           * Loretta Napoleoni, whose book Islamic Phoenix, on the stunning rise of ISIS and why it is unlike any previous terrorist organization, sold to 18 foreign language publishers, toured throughout Europe: Rome, Milan Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Budapest, Zagreb and Stockholm   (Seven Stories Press, Feltrinelli)
* And world news sparked sales too on Julia Cooke's fascinating book on young Cubans, The Other Side Of Paradise (Seal Press).    

And May is for magazines:  
* Jonathan Rosenblum in Tikkun on the SeaTac wage fight and new paradigm of union organizing for an economy of inequality
* Scott Porch in Politico on Teddy White's seminal The Making of the President 1960  
*  Antonia Juhasz in Harper’s on the deep-sea damage from the BP 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A gift from the last year's holidays:

A Poem for Your Holiday Reading Pleasure

by Chris Morrow, co-owner of the Northshire Bookstore with stores in Manchester Center, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Can we pause,
come back to our hearts
offer up a moment
of gratitude.

Beyond the bounds
of hope and fear,
beyond the ring of
the register, and the
call from the bank.
Can we abandon
the habit
to struggle
and, instead, rejoice?

Rejoice in gratitude,
for this breath, and the
for the sun, and snow
for the smiles of
friends and strangers.

for creating an oasis
    of elegance, of humanity
    of culture, of service
in the desert of

for the beautiful books
arriving every day.

for the ceaseless flow
through receiving to shelf

for the patter of
as kids lead parents
to the land of magic
on floor two.

for the embodied
energy of service
to each other,
to our guests,
to the larger vision.

for excellent co-workers
and the everyday
co-creating of Northshire Bookstore,

We live, it is said,
in the slime and muck
of the dark age.

But we can light a
of love.
We can pause and appreciate
what it means
what it means
what it truly means
to put the right book
in the right hands
at the right time!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

How To Query Me

You may query me at this link: (click here) with a good full query letter and the first ten or so pages of your manuscript.
Before submitting your query, you may want to read my post below on 'What To Expect From An Agent.'
For more information on the agency, see my listing on Publishers Marketplace.
Thanks so much,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What To Expect From An Agent

Here's some information on what to expect from working with an agent. I developed this from a checklist I emailed to a client once. I think it's such a good idea to address an author's expectations about what working with an agent will involve, what an agent does, what an agent can do for an author. So much that is unexpected can and does arise during the process of publishing a book (some of it good!) that it helps tremendously if an author and agent have a clear, shared vision of what their working relationship will involve.

OVERVIEW An agent does not earn their commission simply by matching up an author with a publisher - it is far, far more than that. Sometimes the author and publisher have even already found each other when the agent’s work begins. Preparing and editing the proposal or manuscript for submission, selecting the editors and publishers to submit to, handling the offer or the auction, negotiating the deal terms, negotiating the language and detailed provisions of the contract, helping out in relations with the publisher as needed (which includes everything from scheduling, to editorial questions, to legal issues, to promotion and publicity upon publication and over the life of the book), maximizing the opportunities for further rights sales on a book, and working with an author on career development – an agent is involved in all these aspects of the business of publishing.

Here’s a quick overview of what to expect from working with an agent:

ADVANCE & OTHER FINANCIAL TERMS An agent will negotiate not just the amount of your advance but also the payment schedule (Is it paid in two installments or three? Is there a payment on delivery of part of the manuscript or only on complete delivery? Etc.) The percentages of royalties for various types of sales (hardcover, trade paperback, high discount, export and more) will all be spelled out in your agreement. Your share of income from subsidiary rights that the publisher controls, such as book club or foreign rights will be negotiated – unless your agent reserves the foreign rights for you and sells them to foreign publishers either directly or via subagents overseas. And the agent will be taking on the fiduciary responsibility of collecting these payments for you, chasing the publisher for them if they are late, and reviewing the detailed royalty statements to make sure that they accurately follow the contract terms, don’t contain any unexplained or questionable information, and that no sales activity seems to be unaccounted for.

E-BOOK DEVELOPMENTS This is a huge new area - e-book publication - that is developing rapidly, everyone in publishing is testing new strategies and making new policy. Your book will be a great opportunity to forge new ground in e-book publication, everything from issues of timing to share of profits to you to international distribution, etc.

ADDITIONAL RIGHTS BEYOND INITIAL BOOK AND E-BOOK PUBLICATION Subsidiary rights, foreign rights, dramatic rights - all these are negotiable, including terms, control, approvals, splits, timing, strategies.

LEGAL ISSUES For this book there are important legal issues to address (also if the book is released in the UK, which should be a strong market for this story) and I would make sure that DB does that in a way that protects you.

AGENT OR LAWYER? Some authors wonder whether to be represented by an agent or, particularly if they have already been approached by a publisher, by a lawyer who could negotiate their book contract. I believe that you need an agent who knows the book business and who knows what is happening in the marketplace to go over your contract. Publishing contracts are legal documents that also address standard business practices in book publishing, and need to be reviewed by someone who understands both the legal issues and the business practices. A lawyer who charges by the hour could end up charging more than the standard 15% commission percentage, and would not be able to address the marketing aspects as well as an agent would. And a lawyer might not be there for you later on in the process should problems arise during the editing or publication of the book.

FILM You should control the film and dramatic rights to your books I co-agent the film rights to my clients’ books with agents who specialize in handling film rights to books, and I sometimes handle film options directly. It is an area in which the timing of submissions can be extremely important.

PROMOTION AND PUBLICITY Finally - promotion and publicity, the actual publishing of the book and publicizing of the author: On many books I do the most work on this aspect, dealing with everything from brainstorming publicity ideas with author and publisher to following through and making sure that the publisher is doing everything they should, to advising the author on websites, e-media, etc. Many publishers now require authors to have an online presence, a full website, Twitter account and Facebook page.

AUTHOR/AGENT AGREEMENTS You and your agent should expect to commit to each other to work on placing your book. One of the exciting aspects of the business is that offers can come about in many ways, from the traditional (your agent works with you on the proposal and submits it simultaneously to a group of selected publishers) to the serendipitous (you or your agent meet an editor on vacation, at a child’s school event, and discover a shared interest; an editor reads an article you wrote or comes across your website and calls to propose a book project). No matter the initial genesis of the offer, your agent will work with you to make sure you have the best possible deal with the publisher, and the best possible publishing experience.

AGENT FREES UP YOUR TIME AND ENERGIES TO WRITE AND TO BE AN AUTHOR – TO BE THE BEST AUTHOR YOU CAN BE Maintaining the editorial relationship with the publisher is your responsibility. Your agent works to further your relationship with a publisher and does not interfere with it. There is plenty for an agent to do in terms of negotiating the deal and details of publication - you should not have to handle this yourself and you should not have to negotiate in person with your publisher, which can be stressful and at times even antagonistic. You should be free to concentrate on your writing and then on promoting your book.