Mark Ryan | Former Literary Agent and Former AAR Member

Former Literary Agent Mark RyanMark Ryan, also known as Mark Malatesta (click here to see Mark Malatesta Reviews), is a former literary agent, the former president and owner of New Brand Agency Group, and a former member of the AAR (2002-05). Mark acquired New Brand Agency from the founder, Eric D. Alterman, an author and attorney who graduated from Tufts University and the Washington College of Law as a member of the Law Review. Eric mentored Mark for a short time before he took over the agency.

Mark Malatesta was born in Miami, Florida on March 17th, 1971 to his mother and father, Stanley Mahlon Malatesta. Although Mark now uses his father’s last name, he used his stepfather’s name, Ryan, for many years when he was younger, including the time during which he was a literary agent. Mark legally changed his name as a teenager to Mark Ryan at his mother’s request when she remarried, but then changed it back to Malatesta in 2007 after having no meaningful contact with his stepfather.

Mark Ryan’s birth father was an honest, hardworking veteran of the United States Navy who was always kind to neighbors and strangers, and quick to stand up for what was right. Mark’s parents divorced, however, when he was just nine years old, and his father died of a heart attack two years later. Growing up in a single parent home with two older half-sisters, Mark found role models in the church that his family attended every weekend. He also found comfort in books, but it would be quite some time before he would have any type of leadership position in the world of publishing.

Mark Ryan has always loved words and won the spelling bee when he was in first grade. Mark then went on to graduate high school a year early in a special program that gave forward-thinking students the opportunity to substitute their final year of high school with a year of college. Mark attended a community college for one year while working full-time as a metallurgical laboratory assistant to pay his way. He then attended Ambassador University, a liberal arts school, where he studied Psychology and Communications, wrote hundreds of love poems, and dreamed of finding his soul mate. Mark worked as tree crew foreman and worked two jobs most summers to avoid taking out loans.

After graduation, Mark worked with several social service agencies in South Florida serving at-risk children and adults with developmental disabilities and psychological disorders, including ARC Broward, BARC Housing, and Henderson Mental Health Services. Mark served as a Behavior Specialist, Behavior Safety Coordinator, and Community Educator. He taught child abuse prevention to parents in homeless shelters. And he initiated the conversion of a group home for teens recently released from locked facilities to a live-in foster home and volunteered to move in.

Years later, in Boulder, Colorado, Mark Ryan worked with additional social services agencies including Roundup Fellowship and Imagine! where Mark served as an Emergency Intervention Specialist, Crisis Responder, and Trainer for staff, families, and caregivers of children and adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Mark taught multi-day workshops about both verbal and physical techniques to build rapport and safely manage dangerous situations, including how to manage police who often don’t have adequate training when it comes to people with developmental disabilities, when they arrived at a scene.

Today Mark Ryan, now known only as Mark Malatesta, is happy to say that he no longer puts himself in stressful situations requiring police involvement. Although Mark frequently attends charity events, including those supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities, Mark now spends all of his professional time coaching and consulting authors through his companies The Bestselling Author and Literary Agent Undercover. Click here to learn more about Mark Malatesta.

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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]

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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]


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.