Agent Insider 2007: What’s New, What’s Tried & True, What They Want

Agent Insider 2007: What’s New, What’s Tried & True, What They Want

Monday, April 30, 2007

You have a strongly saleable idea and writing you’ve polished until it shines. Now you want to explore the realm of agents. What still holds true from the dog-eared books on agents that you have on your shelf? What’s changed in today’s milieu and with the electronic environment? What’s hot today? A stellar panel of agents, including former Los Angeles Times Book Review editor Steve Wasserman (now a New York agent), will share insider views. Join us and become armed with the most up-to-date information.

Meet the panelists

Steve Wasserman is now director of Kneerim & Williams at Fish & Richardson and manager of the firm’s New York office. While at the L.A. Times as Book Review editor, Wasserman was also a principal architect of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. He’s in town this month for the Festival and will join us the next night. Wasserman’s literary interests are eclectic, and include history, memoir and biography, narrative nonfiction, science, and popular culture.

Betsy Amster heads her own literary agency in Los Angeles. Before opening Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises in 1992, she spent 10 years as an editor at Pantheon and Vintage. In a profile in the ASJA newsletter, Amster is said to have a no-nonsense style and a whimsical sense of humor. Her clients include best-selling writers María Amparo Escandón (“Esperanza’s Box of Saints”) and Elaine Aron (“The Highly Sensitive Person”). Her agency looks for literary fiction, quirky mysteries and thrillers, memoirs, narrative nonfiction, self-help, parenting, business, etc.

Paul S. Levine wears two hats, as a literary agent and lawyer. He represents authors, the sale of motion picture and television rights to books, and film and TV writers. Previous projects include fiction by Edward Cline (the Sparrow Hawk series), “The Dog Ate My Resume” (by Zack and Larry Arnstein), and the made-for-TV movie “Santa Jr.” (Hallmark Channel). His literary/book interests include self-help, how-to, politics, sports, and commercial fiction (i.e. thrillers, mysteries, “soap opera” novels [a la Danielle Steele], and literary fiction). In film, his interests lie with romantic comedies, thrillers, historic epics; and for TV, he focuses on true-life movies, docu-dramas, and series (both dramatic and comedic).

Robin Quinn, an award-winning nonfiction ghostwriter and book editor from Los Angeles, moderated.