February 13th, 2017

Have Courage, Writers! Use the “Theory of the Duck”

Tasha Seegmiller

If you are like me, when you started this writing journey, you probably didn’t realize how much it would force you out of your personal box of comfort. You might have imagined sitting in a comfortable room that is almost too small for anything but you, your computer, a comfy chair, a desk of your choice, and bookshelves.

And there, you and your words and your ideas would embark on a synergistic journey of creative importance, you would have had poignant moments of learning about yourself and your characters, and then people would read your book and it’d be lovely and you’d repeat the process, mingling in times when you would meet with the people who you’d inspired and hear how your words impacted their life.

Then it happened. You went to send your words into the world only to hear about “agents” and “pitches” and “queries” and “conferences”. Networking and platform building may have bleeped across your radar and suddenly, all the work that you did to create the thing of beauty would be stuck unless you did one of three very scary things:

  1. Keep your writing to yourself.
  2. Publish the book yourself and persuade people to buy it.
  3. Try to entice an agent to love your book as much as you do so they can persuade someone to buy it.

Whichever option you may have selected, it’s scary. Not boogie man scary – this is more terrifying. This scary is putting yourself out there. This scary is putting your work out there. This scary is hoping with all hope that people will like your work. This is the kind of scary that, regardless of the path you choose, requires you to ask people to spend money on your work, to spend money on you.

Brené Brown said, “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.”

And if you are reading this blog, I bet you’ve had some conversations with yourself. These are certain to be deeply personal, and they probably involve a bit of self-arguing. But if you are reading this blog, I’m guessing that you are exploring either option two or option three. And you might be working really hard to convince yourself that you are good enough, that you are brave enough, that you are deserving enough to have your work go out into the world.

When these kinds of situations occur in my life, I like to reference what I call The Theory of the Duck. It came to me a few years ago when I was helping high school students (and my own kids) try something they wanted to do, but found their want and their doubt were equally matched.

The theory of the duck is this: imagine a duck swimming across a pond. From far away to up close, the ducks motions are calm, smooth, seemingly intentional. But if you look under the water? The pace of the feet moving the duck across the water are going much faster that you’d assume looking on the surface.

When you are facing a thing that is challenging all your courage, the words you write, the pitches or queries that you send need to convey calm, certain, unflappable. If you are to engage in a scary conversation live? Your face is the duck, it is what you are conveying to the world around you. But under the surface? You can absolutely be freaking out, having your mind race through scenarios, anticipate reactions, or whatever you and your mind like to do in your own time. No one is going to see that part.

Some say that this is just “fake it till you make it”, and that may be true, but I see it more as the chance to allow you to learn to believe in yourself through seeing how others believe in you.

Because even the most accomplished people still have moments of imposter syndrome, but they have developed the habit of courage, have allowed it to stand in front of comfort as a means to advance through the struggles of a creative pursuit and to embrace a more fulfilled life.

How have you negotiated situations when your courage and your comfort are not in agreement? Have you struggled with imposter syndrome?

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About Tasha

Tasha Seegmiller is a mom to three kids and coordinator of the project-based learning center (EDGE) at Southern Utah University. She writes contemporary women’s fiction with a hint of magic, and thrives on Diet Coke, chocolate and cinnamon bears. She is a co-founder and the managing editor for the Thinking Through Our Fingers blog as well as the Women’s Fiction Writers Association quarterly magazine, where she also serves as a board member. Tasha is represented by Annelise Robey of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.


She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram @TashaSeegmiller

February 10th, 2017

Pirates Beware: How to Prepare and Use a DMCA Takedown Notice

Susan Spann

 Admit it…you’d like this sign at your desk.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) is a U.S. law that contains a number of protections for content creators, Internet Service Providers, and the public, generally designed to “maintain a balance between the rights of authors and the larger public interest” including access to information.

I could write a book (and people have) describing the DMCA in detail, but the part of the law most relevant to authors – and the topic of today’s post – is the DMCA Takedown Notice. 

(Advance apologies for the length of this post, but it takes a few more words to demonstrate how to do this in a practical manner.)

The DMCA requires website hosts and ISPs to promptly investigate and resolve claims of copyright infringement, provided the claims are presented in a DMCA-compliant notice (normally called a “DMCA Takedown Notice”). The legal requirements for this notice are located in 17 U.S. Code Section 512 (c)(3). Or, in practical English:

In order to put an ISP on notice that content on the hosted website infringes copyright, the ISP must be sent a written notice (many ISPs accept these notices in electronic format, and many websites even have a DMCA submission form) containing the following information:

1. Specific identification of the infringing material that the owner is asking the ISP to remove (or disable access to), along with enough information for the ISP to locate the material. (Normally, this means a URL or link to the infringing content on the hosted website.)

2. Specific identification of the copyrighted work the owner claims has been infringed. (If multiple works by one author are involved, the owner can send a single notice that lists all of the works.)

3. Sufficient information for the ISP or website to contact the person making the DMCA complaint. (Generally, this means a physical address, telephone number, and valid email address.)

4. A statement that the complaining party (that’s you, if you’re preparing the notice) has a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted material as described in the notice is not authorized by the copyright owner, any agent of the owner (such as a publisher), or the law.

5. A statement, made under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notice is accurate and that the complaining party (you, if you’re sending it) is either the copyright owner or legally authorized to act on the owner’s behalf.

6. The physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner (or an authorized representative, like an attorney, agent, or publisher).

If you discover your copyrighted material displayed on a website without permission, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make sure the website doesn’t have permission to post the material.

Check your contracts, licenses, and grants of rights (including the rights of publishers who may have granted permission!) to make sure the use is actually a copyright infringement.

Step 2: Make sure the use is not “Fair Use.”

Generally, offering free access to a copyrighted work in its entirety, without permission, is copyright infringement – but if the use is less than the whole, or if you’re not certain about fair use, contact a lawyer before proceeding with a DMCA notice.

Step 3: If the use is infringement, send a DMCA Takedown notice to the ISP, website administrator, or listed copyright agent.

If the website doesn’t include a copyright agent or administrator’s contact information, send the notice to the website’s host (the ISP which hosts the website on its servers).

Be aware: a DMCA Notice is only effective with U.S.-based ISPs and websites, ISPs and websites in countries which have signed the copyright treaty that prompted the DMCA’s enactment in the United States, or ISPs and websites in countries where the law protects copyright in a similar manner.

Although you can send a DMCA notice anywhere in the world, it may not be effective outside the United States, or with websites that exist purely for purposes of copyright infringement. Regrettably, DMCA notices—and even litigation—are often ineffective at stopping deliberate infringement. That said, DMCA notices can be effective with U.S. based websites, especially those that host third-party work on a regular basis.

Here’s a sample DMCA notice I wrote on behalf of a client:

(Information in brackets is redacted to preserve client privacy.)

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[Notice Address of ISP to whom the notice is sent]

Attention: [ISP Name] Copyright Agent [Agent/ISP Contact address] 

This letter is an official DMCA Takedown Notice, intended to provide you with formal notice of copyright infringement and a request to remove infringing material pursuant to Section 512 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC § 512) and any other applicable laws or regulations.

The following copyrighted works (“Works”) are or have been posted on your website without the permission of the author or copyright holder: 

[List of works infringed, by title, including publisher and copyright date.]

The Works are or have been posted at the following location(s) on your website:

[URL’s on the relevant website where the infringing work appears.] 

The address, telephone number and e-mail contact information of the individual providing this notice are as follows:

[Address, phone, email redacted.]

To the best of my knowledge and good faith belief, that use of the Works on your website is not and has not been authorized by the copyright owner, any agent of the copyright owner, or applicable law. Please remove the Works from the referenced portions of your website immediately.

I hereby declare, under penalty of perjury, that: (a) the information in this notice is complete and accurate to the best of my personal knowledge and belief, (b) I am either the copyright holder or a person legally authorized to act on behalf of the copyright holder, and (c) the physical or electronic signature at the end of this communication is the signature of the copyright owner or person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner of the works listed above.

Please contact me immediately if you require additional information.

Respectfully, [Signature.]

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Obviously, I cannot guarantee that any DMCA notice will be effective – or that any website or ISP will comply with its legal obligations. Some websites take copyright seriously, and remove infringing content promptly upon receipt of a DMCA Notice. Others may ignore even properly drafted DMCA notices, either because they are sited outside the United States or because their operators do not care about compliance with copyright law.

That said, knowing how to prepare and use a DMCA Takedown Notice is an important skill for authors to possess, and it can be an effective tool for removing infringing content from the Internet.

And now for the legalese:

DISCLAIMER: The sample DMCA Notice above, and the content of this post is provided for informational purposes only, and is not provided or intended as legal advice to any person. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and any person. Use of information appearing at this article is done at the user’s own risk and not at the advice of the author or any other person, and neither the author nor Writers in the Storm have made any representations or warranties about its effectiveness.

If you believe your copyright or other legal rights have been infringed, consult an experienced attorney to advise you.

Have you experienced copyright infringement? What did you do? Do you have any publishing law questions for me?

About Susan

Susan Spann is a California transactional attorney whose practice focuses on publishing law and business, and is also the author of the Hiro Hattori (Shinobi) mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo. Her fourth novel, THE NINJA’S DAUGHTER, released from Seventh Street Books in August 2016. Susan was the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2015 Writer of the Year, and when not writing or practicing law, she raises seahorses and rare corals in her marine aquarium.

Find her online at http://www.SusanSpann.com, on Twitter (@SusanSpann), and on Facebook (/SusanSpannBooks).

February 8th, 2017

Avoiding Stranger Danger in Your Writing

Let’s face it, the characters you write about are often more familiar to you than your own family and friends. After all, they’re with you 24-7.

Fixing dinner for your family: “So, yeah, hey, you know I think I’m actually allergic to goat cheese which means you really need to scrub that entire amazing scene at the goat.”

3 am: “Hey, hey, did I tell you about my great-great grandmother who had this fear of bread and that’s what motivated me to become a baker? Yeah, I think that’s a thread that needs to be explored.”

Date night: “You know, this is all romantic and sweet but I think we need to discuss that last scene in chapter 32. It doesn’t work. The problem starts in chapter 4 though. So here’s what you need to do …”

You know everything about these characters, of course you do, you created them. You talk about them to friends and family and perfect strangers like they’re living, breathing people. To you, they are.

Then you finish the book. You pack those characters up and send them on their way to agents or to your editor. But even though you’re getting cozy with a new cast of characters, you’re sure, as sure as you are that coffee is a gift from the gods, that these characters will forever be in your head.

Then publishing happens.

It’s been a year (maybe more) since you submitted the manuscript. A year (probably more) of working on other books, living with other characters day in and day out. Or maybe it’s your dust bunny book that has been released from its dark cave after cough-number of years.

And suddenly you realize something terrifying … those characters you knew every single intimate detail about, the ones who never left you alone, they’ve become strangers. All of a sudden you can’t remember the name of the best friend, the color of the husband’s eyes, the last name of the favorite secondary character.

Yup, those people you knew, just KNEW would always be at the ready in your brain are off on an exotic vacation without you.

I know, I know … you guys are shaking your head thinking, “that’ll never happen to me because I have character sheets and I plot and I write details down.” Yeah, yeah.

Guess what? I do too. I have notebooks and notecards and timelines for each book. I write down all sorts of things I know I need to keep straight. And yet, here I am, revising a book that I started working on back in 2012 and there are details that are totally and completely baffling me.

At the same time, I’m working on promotional pieces for my debut that comes out in May. Other than reading page proofs last summer, I haven’t spent much time with these characters.  Imagine my horror when I sat down to write a blog post and couldn’t remember a key detail about one of the characters.

So, what’s the trick to avoiding stranger danger with characters you yourself created? Notes.

You’re laughing, right?
I know you’re laughing.

We just agreed that we all already take notes and yet, I’m still in stranger danger panic.

Okay, let me rephrase … take different notes.

More than “just the facts”

Yes, you need to remember details such as eye color, hair color, what year someone was born, etc. But it’s the small details about a person that actually make the person and will make it so much easier to remember them when the time comes.

For example …

  • What was the name of the character’s first pet? What kind of pet was it? How long did they have it? At what age? Or maybe the mc’s mom didn’t let her have a pet but she always dreamed about the dog or cat or bunny she’d get when she was an adult.
  • What’s their favorite drink? Double shot soy latte? Maybe your main character starts every morning with a banana-almond milk smoothie? Or maybe her ex did and she’s now a passionate anti-banana person.
  • How does your character like to sleep? On her back or on one side? Pillow scrunched under her neck or propped up? Heavy blanket year-round because of an irrational fear of monsters?
  • What does your character like to do when “off screen”? Read curled up on the front porch of her house? Play Sudoku on her phone? Knit blankets for shelter animals?
  • Where was your character’s favorite study stop in college? Does she ever retreat to a similar (or same) spot when she needs to get away and think?
  • How did she meet her best friend? Did they click immediately or did it take time for the friendship to develop? What don’t they see eye-to-eye on?
  • And jot down funny outtakes … wacky typos, deleted scenes, characters that got cut.

All of the above help bring the characters and story back to life and will make talking or writing about the book so much easier.

And, of course, write down every detail because your brain may think it’ll remember the hair color of the main character’s mom or how tall that best friend is but, if your brain is anything like mine, you’ll find yourself reinventing the wheel and then having to uninvent three-quarters of the way through the book.

Oh, and all the notes you’re taking … consolidate, consolidate, consolidate. For this second book, I have a notebook (I stopped taking notes in here about half way through the first draft), I have the notecards I plotted the revisions with (these made perfect sense at the time, not so much now), and I have various pieces of paper from brainstorming sessions with my critique partner and my editor.

That was my big lesson learned. For someone who loves to plan and organize, I was amazed at how unorganized I was with my thoughts/research for my stories. Book 3 has a lovely notebook with tabs and calendar pages and lots and lots of paper. It goes with me everywhere!

How do you avoid stranger panic with your characters? What tips and tricks have worked for you?

About Orly

Orly Konig is an escapee from the corporate world, where she spent roughly sixteen (cough) years working in the space industry. Now she spends her days chatting up imaginary friends, drinking entirely too much coffee, and negotiating writing space around two over-fed cats. She is a co-founder and past president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and a member of the Tall Poppy Writersdistance-homeShe is rep’d by Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary Agency LLC.

Orly’s debut, The Distance Home, will be released by Forge on May 2, 2017.

You can find her on on Facebook, on Instagram, on Goodreads, or on her website, www.orlykonig.com.

February 6th, 2017

Why You Need a Media Kit, Even If You Aren’t Published Yet

June Stevens Westerfield

Have you ever known exactly the information you want to put out into the world, but then draw a blank as to how to do it properly?  Would you believe that, strangely enough, that happens to authors a lot.  Like a really lot.  You’d think that those of us that fancy ourselves talented with words wouldn’t be faced with that issue, but alas, it happens.

That happened to me with this post.  I’ve known for several weeks I was going to post this week about the importance of media and press kits.  You see, I wrote a book on the subject last year and so I know quite a bit about it.  The problem is, I just wrote a book on the subject.  How do I give you the same information in a new way?

The irony is that this is the exact same issue many authors face when presented with the need for a media kit.  All of the information one would put in a media or press kit is already out there in the world for anyone to find if they look for it, so do you really need to put together a specific kit? 

The short answer is, yes, of course.

And the answer to my issue, the one about presenting the information to you in a different way, is that I’m not going to.  Wait…what?

What I’m going to do is give you an excerpt of my book, Author Media Kit Essentials.  This excerpt is the entire first section, in which I discuss the different types of kits you should have (yes, there are two), when you should prepare each, and why each is important.

Stick with me to the end, because there is a surprise waiting for you!

Author Media Kit Essentials 

Getting Started

Welcome to Author Media Kit Essentials.  My name is June and I will be your guide on this adventure.  I’m a bestselling “hybrid” author, that means I’m both self & traditionally published.  I’m also a branding & design specialist with Author Branding Essentials.  The information contained in this book/post is based on my own experience, hours upon hours of research, and consultations with other authors, acquisition editors, and agents. 

I’m confident that by the end of this, you will be armed with the information you need to build your own press and media kits.

What is a media kit and why do I need one?

The most basic definition of a media kit is a packet of information used for promotional and public relations purposes.  That’s all it is; information.  What information is gathered and how it is packaged into the kit is what makes it a powerful tool

Media kits are used to facilitate public relations and promotional efforts of businesses and their products or services.  Your instinctual response to that last sentence may have been “but I don’t have a business.”  But that response is wrong.  If you are a writer of any kind and are published, or your goal is to become published, you don’t just have a business.  You are a business; at least in a sense.

Let’s break that down a little.  Publishing is a business.  The act of being a published writer or author is a business.  Your author name is your company, your brand.  Your books (and other writings) are your products.  If you write nonfiction and give lectures or other talks to schools, groups, or businesses, then you also provide a service. 

For the purposes of this book/post we are going to focus mainly on promotional tools for writers who have authored a book (or books) and are promoting their author brand and books. 

The differences between a press kit and a media kit.

You may have heard the terms media kit and press kit used interchangeably.  In general, that is okay.  They are, essentially, the same thing.  However, as an author, you need to very distinctive packages of information.  They will contain some of the same information, but their purposes are very different.

For the purposes of this book/post, when we use the word “press kit” we are discussing a publicly available package of information you will use to connect with bloggers, press & media outlets, the public, book clubs, and more.  From here on out our usage of “media kit” refers to a kit of information you will put together specifically targeted to promote you as an author and your pre-publication book to agents and editors.  

To sum up: The basic uses for press and media

  • Sell yourself and your book to agents and editors
  • Accessible information for bloggers and other press
  • Have readily available and easy to find information for book clubs, teachers, and students

I’m not going to self-publish, so I won’t need to do this.

One of the misconceptions new authors have is that if they are published by a traditional publisher they don’t have to worry about the marketing side of things.  This is very wrong thinking in today’s market place and can result in low sales and authors being dropped by their publishers or agents.  That is, if you can even get a publisher or agent without a media kit and solid author platform. 

You can learn more about creating your author platform in Author Platform Essentials, and we’ll go into more depth later in this book about how a media kit can be an essential tool to help you snag an agent and/or publishing deal. 

But for now, know that, in today’s ever changing publishing business, agents and publishing houses look more favorably on an author who proves, even before their foot is in the door, that they are dedicated to their own success and will put in the work it takes to ensure that success.

*** Important Note ***

No matter what stage you are at in your career, whether you have several books published or are just putting the finishing touches on your first manuscript and are getting ready to shop it, you should have at least the beginnings of both a media kit and a press kit.  If you don’t, don’t fret.  By the end of this book you should have a good grasp on what you should gather together and how to present it.

Did that grab your interest?  I hope so.  I hope you will want to read more because I am offering Author Media Kit Essentials for FREE on Amazon for five days. (This is the surprise!Author Media Kit Essentials will be FREE from February 6-February 10.  So hop on over there right now and grab your copy!


What are your questions? Do you already have a media kit? Did you create it yourself, or hire it out? For those who have one, what feedback have you received when you use it?

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About June


June Stevens Westerfield is author of romantic fiction.  She has been in the publishing field one way or another for over decade. She has helped launch several small publishing houses, worked in acquisitions, editing, cover art, web design, as a blogger, radio host, and assisted many authors in their self-publishing journeys.  Her particular expertise is in design and branding.

On a personal note, when not writing or working for ABE, she designs greeting cards.  She has a wonderful husband, a brilliant stepson, 6 fur-children, purple hair, and a chronically filthy house.

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About ABEFB_AVATAR-300x300

Author Branding Essentials is dedicated to offering comprehensive author centric branding and design services at competitive prices.  As an Author, your name is your brand. Building your Author Brand is key to success. Many agents encourage authors to begin building that brand long before they are published. At Author Branding Essentials we understand the unique criteria it takes to build an author brand, versus another type of business.  We can help you decide on the best options for your author brand and help you implement them. 

February 3rd, 2017

A Day in the Life of a New York Literary Agent

Mark Gottlieb



From time to time, I’ve been asked what a typical day is for me, as a literary agent in New York City. Not surprising to get this sort of question, as to authors, many literary and talent agencies are shrouded in mystery…

Mystery is especially the case, since when visiting the sites of many a literary agency, an author hits a wall in seeing a mere landing page with nothing but a company name and basic contact information. I can understand why a literary and/or talent agency would want to put up walls—it’s the same reason why night clubs and country clubs want to put off an air of exclusiveness—so the outsider feels as though they want to know what’s going on inside of those places. Sometimes there are very interesting things going on behind those walls. Other times a literary agency might put up a wall to lend the sense that something’s happening on the other side, when in reality, it’s actually very quiet over there. (How funny would it be to gain entrance to a supposedly trendy night club, only to find several elderly people slow dancing in a retirement home?) Or maybe the literary agency is just too lazy to update their company website beyond a landing page with contact information—a bad quality in any company.

The truth of the matter is that putting up walls merely alienates authors from a literary agency. I’ve heard it described that an author can feel like Spider-Man, stuck to cold, black, tinted glass windows on the side of a skyscraper they can’t see inside of. That just feels like a horrible feeling to me, and not just because I have a natural fear of heights. When I heard that sentiment, in designing our company’s website, I resolved to open the doors and windows to let everyone see inside at Trident Media Group, book publishing’s leading literary agency. I would rather authors feel that we’re approachable as a literary agency and have always hoped that our site would lend a sense of what it’s like for a literary agent day to day.

Beyond what our website can convey, the interesting thing is that there really is no average day in the life of a literary agent. Or at least there shouldn’t be, for when a literary agent’s days begin to stagnate in looking the same, then that person’s career is in trouble. That ought to be the canary in the coal mine for an author situated with or considering a literary agency. Of course none of this is to speak ill of the competition, but rather to give authors the information they truly deserve to know. It’s just plain sad for me to see so many authors wrongly mislead in their careers.

Stagnation among literary agencies is especially the case, since most literary agents are very transactional people by nature—they’re more so interested in getting in, doing the deal, and then getting out. (It’s kind of like the one-night stand who quietly leaves in the morning without a note or kiss goodbye). I know this to be the case because I am a literary agent and I’ve worked with literary agents for my entire professional career. Bear with me, now…

But why would that be the case when a literary agent is meant to be an author’s advocate?

The fact of the matter is that most literary agents don’t know if they’re going to be at the literary agency they’re working at tomorrow. They also face the uncertainty that they don’t know if they will be in book publishing tomorrow. Thus literary agents are more so interested in churning deals while they can, before the floor is ripped out from under them.

Many clients have come my way from literary agents that suddenly disappeared from book publishing. This is because incoming clients know that I’m not going anywhere soon, as I am grateful for having the blessing of working at a highly-established company, one that happens to be my family-owned and operated business. Authors inevitably come our way because Trident Media Group is a very robust literary agency with many resources available to us and our clients. (Our literary agency is close to fifty employees, occupying the entire floor of a Madison Avenue building, and that’s bigger than most independent publishers!) This also enabled me to do interesting things for a client outside of only deal-making that most other literary agents would not bother with. We can look at the horizon together and try to see over it.

The sad reality is that most purported literary agencies tend to be very small, perhaps several people in a home office setting, focusing on churning smaller nonfiction deals or hitching their wagon to one or two big name authors. We do a higher level of business at Trident Media Group. Clients do not get lost in the shuffle at a big literary agency such as ours because the literary agents here work in concert with various support staff to free the client of headaches and make for an awesome publishing experience. In wearing many hats, most other small literary agencies mismanage an author’s career, rarely keeping foreign and audio rights for a client in dealing with a domestic publisher. Nor do they personally attend the major foreign rights book fairs such as the London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair and Bologna Book Fair in order to see their clients successfully published overseas—instead they might use co-agents or have a tiny presence at book fairs. At Trident Media Group, we personally attend those book fairs to hand sell to foreign publishes via a contingency of half a dozen literary agents from our company.

None of this is to be braggadocios, but the spirit of reinvention and innovation is what is truly commensurate with Trident Media Group being Publishers Marketplace’s consecutively #1-Ranked Literary Agency for over a decade. Every day that I walk into the office, I think of ways to try to reinvent myself in a way to make myself competitive, while improving the careers of the authors I work with in creative and innovative ways. Every day should not be about drudgery—life is an adventure!

That could mean working in concert with our Audiobook department to turn an author’s book into an audiobook, or working with our Foreign Rights department to see the books of clients translated and published overseas. Other times, commenting on the marketing/promo plans a publisher has for a client, helping an author at Trident set up a Reddit AMA Author Spotlight session, working alongside our Digital Media & Publishing department to help market and promote an author’s career, setting up a bookstore reading or online promo, or it could even mean setting up a book-to-film/TV option for a client. Of course there are a few things typical to most every day in the life of a literary agent, such as reading and evaluating query letters, taking meeting/calls/lunches/drinks with editors and publishers as well as clients, pitching manuscripts to publishers, meeting with film/TV companies to adapt books for the screen, attending conferences/workshops, looking for new talent, and so on.

Interesting and comical things outside of the run-of-the-mill happen here all the time, though. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi might come into the office with a box of cannoli for the Trident Media Group staff, or Billy Ray Cyrus might stumble into a company-wide staff meeting to express his keen observance: “I can really feel the power in this room.”  One might even see World Fantasy Award nominee Christopher Brown touring the offices, or New York Times bestselling author & Goodreads Choice Award nominee, Kate Moretti meeting with her literary agent, preparing for a marketing/promo meeting with her editor and publicist at Atria Books. That’s what makes for fun working at the Trident Media Group literary agency—there’s really no average nor boring day here—anything can happen!

Here’s your chance, WITS readers….have any questions for Mark?

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View from Trident's New York Office

View from Trident’s New York Office

Trident Media Group (TMG) is a prominent literary agency located in New York City that originally formed in 2000. TMG represents over 1,000 bestselling and emerging authors in a range of genres of fiction and nonfiction, many of whom have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers Lists and have won major awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the P.E.N. Hemingway Award, The Booker Prize, and the L.A. Times Book Award, among others. TMG is one of the world’s leading, largest and most diversified literary agencies. For more than ten consecutive years, TMG continues to rank number one for sales according to publishersmarketplace.com in North America. TMG is the only U.S. literary agency to consistently be in the top ten in both UK fiction and UK non-fiction and has ranked as highly as number one in UK fiction deals. tridentmediagroup.com

aaeaaqaaaaaaaak4aaaajdljnmfkyzgwlwyzzdgtndkxni05nze5lwu1mdczmzljmmmxmgMark Gottlieb attended Emerson College and was President of its Publishing Club, establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature & publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP. Mark’s first position at Publishers Marketplace’s #1-ranked literary agency, Trident Media Group, was in foreign rights. Mark was EA to Trident’s Chairman and ran the Audio Department. Mark is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident. He has ranked #1 among Literary Agents on publishersmarketplace.com in Overall Deals and other categories.