Literary Agent Undercover

Mark Malatesta - Literary Agent UndercoverLiterary Agent Undercover (LAU) was founded by Former Literary Agent Mark Malatesta (see Reviews of Mark Malatesta here) to help authors of all genres get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. A division of The Bestselling Author, LAU is based on the idea that it’s better to “get paid to publish” instead of “pay to publish”. Authors are also more likely to reach a bigger audience and become bestselling authors if they have the power, experience, and resources of prestigious publishers behind them. LAU provides information, coaching, and consulting for authors of all genres, at all stages of their careers, including those who’ve already had top agents and book deals, as well as aspiring authors who are just getting started.

As a former literary agent who’s helped his authors get book deals with major publishers, Mark knows exactly what authors need to do to launch their publisher careers—or, in the case of authors who are already established, take everything to the next level. Publishing houses that Mark secured deals with for his clients when he was a literary agent include: Simon & Schuster, Entrepreneur, Random House, Andrews-McMeel, Harcourt, St. Martin’s, Hyperion, Prentice-Hall, Workman, Barron’s, Amacom, and many more.

Literary Agent Undercover – Success Stories

Since Literary Agent Undercover’s inception in 2011, founder Mark Malatesta has helped authors get represented by literary agents such as:

  • Bethany Buck with Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
  • Al Longden with Albert T. Londen Associates
  • Amy Jameson with A+B Works
  • Andrea Somberg with Harvey Klinger, Inc.
  • Anna Olswanger with Olswanger Literary
  • Becky Vinter with Fine Print Lit
  • Bill Contardi with Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.
  • Bob Diforio with D4EO Literary Agency
  • Byrd Leavell with Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
  • Chip MacGregor with MacGregor Literary
  • Christine Cohen with the Virginia Kidd Agency
  • Cindy Uh with Thompson Literary Agency
  • Coleen O’Shea with the Allen O’Shea Literary Agency
  • Dan Balow with The Steve Laube Agency
  • Dan Strone with Trident Media Group
  • David Nelson with Waterside Productions
  • Dean Krystek of WordLink USA
  • Diane Flegal with Hartline Literary Agency
  • Diane Nine with Nine Speakers, Inc.
  • Don Fehr with Trident Media
  • Elizabeth “Liz” Kracht with Kimberley Cameron & Associates
  • Esmerantia Parnall-Gilbert with Gilbert Literary Agency
  • Harvey Klinger with Harvey Klinger, Inc.
  • Helen Zimmerman of the Helen Zimmermann Literary Agency
  • Irene Kraas with Kraas Literary Agency
  • Italia Gandolfo with Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management
  • Jak Burke with The Rudy Agency
  • James Schiavone, Ed.D with Schiavone Literary Agency, Inc.
  • Janet Rosen with Sheree Bykofsky Associates
  • Jennifer Lyons with the Jennifer Lyons Agency
  • Jill Marr with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
  • Jim Hart with Hartline Literary Agency
  • John Willig with Literary Services, Inc.
  • Joyce Holland with D4EO
  • Kanishka Gupta with Writer’s Side
  • Karen Canton with Canton Literary Management
  • Ken Atchity with AEI Entertainment (aka Atchity Entertainment)
  • Linda Langton with Langtons International Agency
  • Lord Colin Ivar Campbell, co-agent for the Marianne Strong Literary Agency
  • Marianne Strong with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency
  • Mary Sue Seymour with The Seymour Agency
  • Maryann Karinch with The Rudy Agency
  • Matt Wagner with Fresh Books Literary Agency
  • Matthew Carnicelli with Carnicelli Literary Management
  • Melissa Carrigee with Loiacono Literary Agency
  • Nena Madonia with Dupree Miller and Associates, Inc.
  • Piers Blofeld with Sheil Land Associates
  • Rebecca Collazo with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency
  • Regina Ryan with Regina Ryan Books Literary Agency
  • Robert H Lieberman with Robert Lieberman Associates
  • Robin Mizell with Robin Mizell Ltd., Literary Representation
  • Roger Williams with New England Publishing Associates (NEPA)
  • Sarah Jane Freymann with Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
  • Sergei Tsimberov with Anderson Literary Management
  • Stephane Tade with the Stephanie Tade Agency
  • Stephany Evans with Fine Print Lit
  • Susan Schulman with Susan Schulman Literary Agency
  • The Carol Mann Agency
  • Victoria Sanders with Victoria Sanders & Associates

Literary Agent Undercover – The Backstory

Mark Malatesta understands and appreciates writers more than most publishing professionals because he’s a writer, too. In fact, the main reason Mark went “undercover” and became a literary agent was to discover how to get his own books published. That’s why Mark enjoys helping other writers so much. He knows what it’s like to dream about getting a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. He knows what it’s like to get rejection letters. And he would have given virtually anything to have someone like himself sharing insider information when he was attempting to get an agent. Most important, because of his experience as a literary agent, Mark knows exactly what authors need to say, and do, to get representation. The strategies Mark once used to help his clients get book deals with top publishers are the very same strategies Mark uses now to help his coaching clients get top literary agents.

Since Mark never set out to be a literary agent for his entire life, it was only a matter of time before he would move on to do other things. But, when Mark closed the doors of his literary agency, he missed it. He missed discovering new books with bestseller or high commercial potential. He missed helping develop those books. He missed working with authors to improve their platforms and pitches. And he missed interacting with authors: talking shop, educating them, and helping them have the right mindset for success. Mark also knew that there were more than one thousand literary agents helping authors get book deals with major publishers—but no one had creating a premier information and coaching/consulting company devoted to helping authors get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals.

At the time, there were a small number of individuals and companies offering information and advice to help authors get literary agents, but no one was doing it in a comprehensive way. And they weren’t very successful. Everything was in bits and pieces. That because, to other people and companies offering “similar” services, helping authors increase their chances with literary agents has always been something of an afterthought—a “side thing” that writing teachers and freelance editors sometimes offer. But getting a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal takes laser focus. Those people aren’t former literary agents who know exactly what book agents are looking for. And, to make matters worse, those people often (inadvertently) provide contradictory (and incorrect) information that confuses aspiring authors, results in rejection letters, and makes authors want to quit seeking representation.

Literary Agent Undercover – How We’re Different

In addition to LAU being the only coaching and consulting company completely dedicated to helping authors get top literary agent, publishers, and book deals—run by a former successful agent—we take a comprehensive approach to the process. Anyone who knows anything about traditional publishing knows that it’s extremely difficult to get a top literary agent, publisher, and book deal. In fact, authors often joke about the fact that it’s sometimes easier to get a publisher than an agent. So our approach at LAU is to leave no stone unturned.

That means we educate our authors, and that’s why we offer so much free information on our various Websites for Authors. The more you know before you sign up for an introductory coaching call with us, the more we’ll be able to help you apply high-level strategy during your time with us—instead of us wasting your precious time (and money) educating you about the basics. We also send everyone who registers for an Author Coaching session with us a very detailed author questionnaire before they’re able to schedule their introductory author coaching session.

The more we know about you, your book, and your goals before we talk, the more we’ll be able to help you see what you should do next to reach your goals. We also give every author who registers for an introductory coaching call the opportunity to send us everything they have available for review prior to the session including: query letter, synopsis, chapter summaries, book proposal, sample pages, website and social media links, and anything else that might be relevant. Again, the more we know about you before we talk, the more helpful we can be.

Click here to visit Literary Agent Undercover and
click here to learn more about Mark Malatesta.

Directory Features


* 1,000+ literary agent profiles and bios
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Author Success Story: Nonfiction/Self-Help  
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"Mark helped me get five different offers for representation from top literary agents. I signed with Stephanie Tade who got me a 6-figure book deal with Penguin Books, which published my book in hardcover! When Stephanie first contacted me, she was very excited and said, ‘I can’t get your book proposal out of my head. It’s brilliant – I mean, really, it’s fantastic. Editors should be salivating by the time they get to the chapter outline.’ Working with Mark was completely worth it." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Nonfiction/Narrative Nonfiction  
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"Berkley Books recently published my book in hardcover after Mark helped me get multiple agents interested in my work. I was able to speak with literary agents from top agencies such as Janklow & Nesbit, Trident Media, Anderson Lit, and Folio. I signed with Don Fehr at Trident Media and a short time later I had a publishing contract! Having Mark on your side is incredibly valuable." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Fiction  
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"It has been an awfully long and bloody road towards publication but I’m finally on my way. Hard work, struggle, disappointments, and perseverance are important. So is following the advice of publishing industry experts like Mark. He helped me get a top literary agent and now my novel, The Wrong Hand is being published by Penguin Books and their prestigious Michael Joseph imprint, which is ‘principally interested in publishing Top Ten Bestsellers’. It’s hard not to be excited." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Nonfiction/Business  
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"Not long after Mark helped me land a top literary agent, I got a call from my agent letting me know that I had three different publishing offers from well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and McGraw-Hill who recently published my book in hardcover! It was a fantastic feeling and a huge smile came over my face. For a moment I felt like life was perfect and the angels were singing." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Eleven Fiction and Nonfiction Titles  
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"Finding Mark has been both a treat and a treasure. I now have two different agents for my work, and a book deal with Sky Horse Publishing. I’ve served as Creative Director of the TIME Incorporated Magazine Group; Director of Time World News Service, a Founding Director of TIME-Life Films; Executive Producer for both the CBS and NBC Television Networks; and Producer/ Director: Movies of the Week: CBS Cinema Center Films and Universal MCA. You just can’t do it alone today as an author." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Memoir/Christian  
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"Before I decided to work with Mark, I submitted my book to literary agents but didn’t get any interest. After I revised my query letter and book proposal, I got several agencies interested and decided to sign with Fine Print Lit, a top literary agency in New York. They got publishers bidding against each other and I ended up signing a contract with Thomas Nelson (an imprint of Harper Collins) for what I’ve been told by several people is a very large advance. What cloud is higher than 9?" [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller  
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"Ballantine Books published my first two novels in hardcover and paperback after Mark Malatesta helped create an auction and bidding war for my books, resulting in a six-figure offer. Mark is one of the rare and genuine good guys, but he also has incredible information (even his ideas have ideas). One of the most important keys to success as an author is good information and support." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Memoir  
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"I got the number one agent on my wish list thanks to Mark. He’s done more than 100 deals in just two year and has a long list of accolades, including being talked about in the New York Times. Within 4 minutes of sending out my revised query letter, my literary agent called me on the phone. Less than 30 days later I had three major publishers making offers. And, a few days after that, I signed a deal with Random House. Mark’s query letter did that." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Fiction  
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"Before I revised my query letter with Mark, I got no responses. When I sent out my new query, I got four requests for more material within 24 hours The support Mark provides is fantastic. His suggestions changed my original query significantly, but they also helped me see that I had something to offer. Now I have a top agent! Mark is smart and reliable and working with him has made all the difference." [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]

Author Success Story: Fiction/Young Adult  
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"When I got the phone call about my publishing offer with Harcourt, I was in my office with three other people. I slammed down the phone, ran into the secretary’s office, threw myself down on the floor and said, ‘I got a deal!’ They sat there and held my hand. I was speechless. I’ve never ever been that happy in my life. On my wedding day I wasn’t that happy! Getting married and having children are wonderful experiences, but I didn’t ‘work’ to get my children!" [Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews]


About Mark Malatesta

MARK MALATESTA is a former literary agent and former AAR member who now serves authors as a coach. Mark helps authors of all genres (fiction, nonfiction, and children's books) get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. Mark is founder of The Bestselling Author and Literary Agent Undercover. Click here to learn more about Former Book Agent Mark Malatesta and click here for Reviews of Mark Malatesta.