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Literary Agent Undercover - Mark Malatesta

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 agents, 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.


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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

Photo of Mark Malatesta - Former Literary Agent MARK MALATESTA is a former literary agent turned author coach. Mark now helps authors of all genres (fiction, nonfiction, and children's books) get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals through his company Literary Agent Undercover and The Bestselling Author. Mark's authors have gotten six-figure book deals, been on the NYT bestseller list, and published with houses such as Random House, Scholastic, and Thomas Nelson. Click here to learn more about Mark Malatesta and click here for Reviews of Mark Malatesta.
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