Bill Ballester, author of the nonfiction book The Nine Principles of Winning Teams, published by Post Hill Press, distributed by Simon & Schuster, provided this review of former literary agent Mark Malatesta. Bill worked with Mark to develop his book and improve his pitch materials (query letter and book proposal), resulting in representation with a successful literary agent. Scroll below to learn more. Click here to see all Mark Malatesta reviews. And click here to learn more about Literary Agent Undercover and The Bestselling Author after you read the review about Mark Malatesta below by Bill.
Mark Malatesta Review by Bill Ballester
“When I got the news that I had an agent to represent me, I wasn’t surprised. I had no question it was going to happen with Mark’s coaching and encouragement – and our preparation. It was just a matter of time. I’ve never had a problem being overconfident. I just expect things to happen – that’s my personality.
To be candid, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing before Mark and I connected. My book was already self-published and I knew that I didn’t have the knowledge to adequately market it myself, so I called a former gymnast and a very successful author to ask for his advice. He said, flat out, ‘Get an agent.’ My response to his suggestion – I have no idea where to start – I don’t even know what agents are looking for and I heard that many agents get as many as s 180+ book proposals every month – most are not even read. Finding an agent seemed like a very difficult process to me and it was clear to me that I needed help.
I finally found the help that I needed – enter Mark Malatesta with The Bestselling Author – former literary agent – now author coach. I’m quite clear that had I tried to get an agent on my own, it would have ended in failure and whatever I might have written would have been just another letter in the rejected letter pile. Following Mark’s guidelines, I wrote a query letter and proposal. Mark used his expertise and understanding of what agents are looking for, and edited my work, from my perspective – with our combined efforts it was well put together and very well-written. I wouldn’t have had a prayer without Mark.
I’d looked at a lot of agent websites. Frequently, agents say what they expect in a proposal. ‘Do this; do that, blah-blah-blah.’ I wouldn’t have had any idea what they meant, and probably would have given up. I thought pitching an agent would be simple: Here it is – do you like it or not? It boggled my mind that it didn’t work that way.
Now I understand that if agents get 180+ book proposals a month, they don’t have the time or desire to read them all. And, if they did, a lot of that time would be wasted time. It’s been an eye-opening experience. Mark’s query letter and book proposal had everything agents needed, and they did what they were supposed to do – create enough interest from agents for them to contact me. I was able to get on the phone with two agents, and I rejected two more who indicated interest. I still re-read the query letter and proposal Mark helped me with and go, ‘Wow, I feel good about that – and I learned something!’
One of the most valuable things about Mark’s coaching was I always knew he was available for me to contact. He cared and was open to listen if something came up. On one hand, I was open to anything he said, because publishing was a new world to me and I didn’t have any experience. On the other hand, I also had a bit of resistance because of my lack of understanding – even though I’m a coach myself. I think that’s normal. We don’t always want to listen to people, based on what we think and feel. But I listened to Mark because he has the expertise and background, and that’s why I hired him.
When two or more people share a common dream and common goals they become a team. Mark and I worked together as a team and the testimonials he has from other authors show how he supports all his authors’ dreams, and how authors also support his dream – which is to help as many authors as he can – to get published. That’s what teamwork is – you share a common dream, create a relationship, and then work together to figure out how to accomplish the dream. Winning is the by-product of accomplishing those dreams. That’s the relationship of an athlete and a coach. That’s the relationship of Mark and his authors. Mark helped me to move one step closer to reaching my dream to have my book published and winning.
I tend to be intuitive making decisions about who I work with. I investigate something a little bit and, if I feel good, jump into it. That’s what I did with Mark. What convinced me was his expertise, but, also, more importantly, that I believed he could help me reach my goals. Mark is confident, knowledgeable, and competent – but he’s also very dedicated and committed to his clients. I know I pestered him and took some extra handholding but, even though we’ve never met in person (at least not yet), we’ve gotten to know each other and we like and respect each other.
The agent list Mark sent me was very helpful as well. I still marvel over it. To think that he put all that information together. I’m just glad that I only had to research and query 80 agents, rather than the 800 names that he provided for me! It wasn’t an easy task for me and took a lot of time, but it worked. Mark also gave me honest, candid feedback about everything I was doing. One of the hardest things for human being to do, particularly those who are confident, is ask for help. I asked Mark for his help to locate and get a quality agent – having made a significant investment – at least for me – I realized to reach my goal I had to really listen to and follow Mark’s coaching. Yes, it was a significant investment of time and money – but now my dream is one step closer to becoming a reality.
I’m excited, and I’m real clear none of this would have happened if Mark hadn’t helped me through the process. It’s no accident. Whatever you need, Mark will give it to you. If the carrot isn’t working, then you can expect a push – a kick in the pants. He’ll keep trying until he finds a way. That’s the difference between a coach who’s successful and one who’s not. Thanks Mark, for your time and effort, and your integrity. You always did what you said you would do, and you always responded immediately. Don’t sell yourself short on this strength. Every time you and I agreed on something, I could count on it. I call that personal integrity, something that you and all successful leaders have – one of The Nine Principles of Winning Teams!”
Author of The Nine Principles of Winning Teams
(Post Hill Press, distributed by Simon & Schuster)
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Do You Want to Be Like Bill Ballester Who Provided this Review About Mark Malatesta?
Do you want to be like Bill and get represented by a successful literary agent? Click here to get instant access to the Free Resources on our websites for authors and click here to find out how you can Schedule an Introductory Coaching Call. Mark Malatesta is founder of The Bestselling Author and Literary Agent Undercover, helping authors of all genres (fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books) get top literary agents, publishers, and book deals. The above review of Mark Malatesta, Author Coach was provided by author Bill Ballester.