LITERARY AGENTS’ MARKETPLACE: The Inside Track on Finding and Working with Representation

LITERARY AGENTS’ MARKETPLACE: The Inside Track on Finding and Working with Representation

Monday, April 28, 2008

As every savvy writer knows, getting the words down on the page is half the battle.
The right literary agent can open crucial doors for a writer in the publishing industry. The challenge is convincing the agent that your work is right for them! The agents on this panel will share their writer success stories to illustrate what it takes to make it as a literary or non-fiction writer and how to market yourself and your work. Also, the evening would not be complete without examining some of the pitfalls that could be avoided through shared tales from the dark side of publishing. In addition, the role of the agent and the pros and cons of dealing with an attorney versus an agent will be explored.

The Panelists:

CHARLOTTE GUSAY founded and ran the prestigious bookshop George Sand Books on Melrose in West Hollywood for many years. After the birth of her daughter, she closed the bookshop and started her literary agency. With the help of a powerful Rolodex filled with names from her bookshop patrons, she found immediate success selling books and film options to books. She has come to be known as the “Diane Keaton” of agents – eclectic, in search of quality, and very careful in choosing projects to represent. Her client, Alexis Stamatis, an eight-time novelist based in Greece, was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts International Literature Award in February 2007.The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency represents both fiction and nonfiction books, selected children’s books with movie potential, entertainment rights, books to film, selected screenplays and screenwriters. She’s interested in fiction with genres such as: adventure, feminism, history, humor, the military, and mystery and suspense. With nonfiction, she seeks out areas of interest such as health and medicine, politics and government, house and home, music and dance, the environment, psychology, sports and travel.

MIKE HAMILBURG has been a literary agent representing authors, screenplays, and projects such as “Taxi Driver”(Paul Schrader); ‘Helter Skelter” (Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry); columnist Jack Anderson; former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell; former White House Press Secretary George Reedy, and baseball great Jackie Robinson. He has co-produced Sydney Pollack’s “The Yakuza,” starring Robert Mitchum, and “White Mile” starring Alan Alda for HBO.

Moderator PAUL LEVINE of Paul S. Levine Literary Agency is a lawyer in addition to being an agent. He has represented both nonfiction and fiction authors since his agency was established inVenice, Calif., in 1998. He has sold over 80 projects to at least 30 different publishers. Levine looks for commercial non-fiction (self-help, memoir, pop culture, business) and commercial fiction (thrillers, mysteries, romance, Danielle Steele-ish novels). Sold projects include “All I Need to Know in Life I Learned from Romance Novels” and “Dangerous Deceptions.” He also handles book to film deals.