Brian Madigan, author of the not yet published nonfiction book Get Naked: The Gay Man’s Guide to Happiness, provided this review of former literary agent Mark Malatesta. Brian worked with Mark to improve his manuscript, pitch materials, and platform resulting in representation with a very established literary agency. 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 Brian.
Mark Malatesta Review by Brian Madigan
Did this really just happen?
To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting into when I met you. I just had a chunk of a book and no query or book proposal. I didn’t know what those things were! But I got an agent after sending out just two rounds of submissions.
I was sitting in my office, thinking about going to the gym, when I saw a note from an agent I’d sent my query and proposal to. She said, “I love the idea. There are some small changes we’d like to make, but we want to offer you an agency agreement.” I was like, “Okay, that’s cool.” I shut down my computer, got ready for the gym, and went to work out.
It was surreal.
Walking to the gym, I pulled up the email on my phone again. Yeah, that actually just happened. When I got home, I saw my partner and said, “We need a bottle of champagne tonight. I just got an agent.” It was pretty cool. We ended up going out to one of our favorite restaurants for a king crab and champagne celebration dinner.
I didn’t respond to the agent right away. I needed to process everything, and I wanted to talk to you about it. That’s when it hit home. I was like, “Oh, my God. This is like a huge deal. This is the end. We’ve been on this road for two-and-a-half years or something.” There was that feeling of loss you get at the end of a project, when something is finally done.
When I first approached you, I just had bits and pieces of things. I wasn’t really sure how to pull them together or do it in a way that was genuine. I was just skirting around everything, it wasn’t solid. I was already coaching people about some of the things I wanted to write about it my book. But my book and brand needed to evolve. Working with you, everything became more aligned, bigger, and more impactful.
That was a huge, huge thing.
I think the other thing that stood out for me was the marketing you had me do. I don’t enjoy marketing. But looking at my market gave me more confidence that it was possible to do what I wanted to do. Understanding my market better also made me realize how big the audience for my book could be. I got excited because I realized how many people I could impact, and it started looking completely possible that my book could happen.
Before I worked with you, I was always looked to other people to do my marketing for me. I just didn’t understand it, and I didn’t want to understand it. I had no interest. But I’ve learned you have to understand your brand and oversee your marketing, even if you hire someone else to help you with it. That was a big lesson for me. Nobody ever got it right before, but, how could they? You have to figure out some of it yourself.
Getting an agent was a bit of a surprise for me. The minute I started sending out query letters, I was like, “Oh, God. I don’t know if this is really going to happen.” Then I was like, “Okay. I’m just going to do this, because it’s what I have to do.” It was a moment of faith and it was really weird that the minute it started getting real, I started backing off from it emotionally. I was trying to shield myself from disappointment, but I kept going.
Too many people give up, right at the moment where they’re about to be successful. I recognized that in myself. Going through this process helped me see other points in my life as well, when I gave up on my goals as things started getting hard or frustrating. It’s easy to stop because of a lack of belief in yourself, or something else, and go find another goal. But, with my book, I had so much wrapped up in it, I didn’t feel like I could give up. I also think it helped that a lot of people knew I was working on the book.
When we talked the first time, you helped me realize that what I was doing could be a lot bigger than just a book. I thought, “Okay. I’m going to get into the world and really do this. So, what is it that I really want to do?” And I tried to be open. That was a pretty tall order, but, if you go into something with a lot of skepticism, you’re not going to be coachable. So, I let you give me whatever it was you could give. I prefer working with clients like that as well.
When you’re a coach, people sometimes think you can do the work for them. They think you can just snap your fingers and suddenly make them a different person or create some other miraculous outcome. That’s not how it works. There’s a lot of work the client has to do. The client has to allow himself or herself to embrace the things they need to do or change to be successful. That’s a big, big deal that a lot of people aren’t prepared for, or willing to do. I try to get that out pretty early with people.
I tell my coaching clients, “You’re going to get uncomfortable. Because, if you don’t get uncomfortable, there’s a problem. We don’t want you to walk out of here being the same person you were when you walked in.” From a coach’s perspective, it’s hard to watch people struggle, especially when you know they don’t have to struggle. But, if you rescue them, they don’t learn or grow. Sometimes, you have to let them go, and say, “It’ll be okay. You’re not going to drown.” You have to let them flail around in the pool a bit until they start treading water and get themselves sorted out.
There were times during my coaching with you when I wondered, “Okay, this process is taking me a long time. Is this guy really going to be there and stick around?” I was pretty sure you would, because I felt I’d gotten to know you pretty well, but you never know if your coach is going to be committed or stay committed. You and I have had our fair share of head-butting, but, when I look back at it, that was a valuable part of the process too. Some of the fighting I did was to have my brand be truer to me. That was important.
Thank you for everything.
Author of the upcoming nonfiction book
Get Naked: The Gay Man’s Guide to Happiness
(not yet published)
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Do You Want to Be Like Brian Madigan Who Provided this Review About Mark Malatesta?
Do you want to be like Brian and get represented by a very established literary agency? 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 Brian Madigan.