Cristina LePort, MD, author of the novel Dissection (Bancroft Press), provided this review of former literary agent Mark Malatesta. Cristina worked with Mark to improve her book, platform, and pitch materials resulting in her being offered representation by literary agent Bob Diforio, then getting a publishing contract with Bancroft Press, a top-ten independent publisher since 1992. 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 Cristina.
Mark Malatesta Review by Cristina LePort, MD
Bancroft Press is publishing my book and sending it out to try getting a movie contract! Bob Diforio is now my agent. He spent 17 years at New American Library (Dutton / Penguin USA) in positions ranging from VP Sales to President and Publisher, Chairman and CEO. I signed his agency agreement on my birthday and went to Italy a couple days later. The timing was just a coincidence, but it feels great.
Mark, you’re the best!
I’m a doctor and I was at a medial conference—feeling like a paranoid nervous wreckand constantly checking emails on my phone, waiting for an answer. When I read the news I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t because I was at the event. I was standing there, looking for somebody to tell. My husband was speaking on stage, so I couldn’t tell him. So, I called my daughter on the phone and told a few friends. I didn’t tell a lot of people until I’d received the contract, I wanted to be sure. But it was one of the greatest feelings of my life.
Getting an agent didn’t happen right away. It happened little by little, so it wasn’t a total surprise. Bob had requested the book more than one month earlier, and the manuscript had gotten lost because he’d moved. His reader looked at the novel first. She said something like, “This is a good book, very exciting, I can’t put it down. I’m going to finish reading it this weekend.” That was on a Thursday, so I didn’t hear more until Monday. It was strange because I was expecting a phone call. Instead I got an email, and I thought it was rejection. But, when I started reading, Bob said he’d read the novel during the weekend and he wanted to represent me.
I tried to get an agent for three years before I worked with Mark. One year for my current manuscript and a couple years for another one. I got very little response, almost nothing. That’s when, having seen Mark’s advertisements pop up on different occasions, I figured maybe I should try one last thing before self-publishing. I figured, maybe there was something I could do better. After Mark revised and rearranged my query, all of a sudden I got ten requests from agents to read my manuscript. I even got a request after I’d signed with my agent. If I hadn’t worked with Mark, I probably wouldn’t have gotten an agent.
The other important thing is that I got a good agent. Before I met Mark, I was sending out queries left and right. I just thought the purpose was to get AN agent. I didn’t realize the difference between really good agents and those that aren’t good. As a new author, it’s easy to think you should query small agents or new agents, that they’re the only ones who will pay attention to you. Mark told me to start with the big ones. He also gave me an agent list, a spreadsheet that showed which agents were good. I’d used Query Tracker and other things on the web in the past, but there’s no way to know who’s good or bad on sites like that. The only way to figure it out is to spend a lot of time looking online.
The spreadsheet Mark gave me also allowed me to send out queries more quickly, and it allowed me to easily keep track of my submissions. I don’t think authors realize how difficult it is. That’s another useful thing about the spreadsheet. It’s makes it faster and easier to check out agents and send out your submissions. Mark is also good at keeping people positive. It’s very important when somebody’s down, for them to know someone is there for them. Mark does that, gives you hope, and he answers emails promptly. He has your back.
I felt that way the first time I went to his website. It has a lot of information people can learn from, whether they do coaching with him or not. That’s when I started to get the feeling that maybe I wanted to work with Mark. The information he gives away for free is really good, but I knew that wasn’t going to cut it for me. And, during our first phone call, I got the feeling Mark knew what he was doing. Obviously, I then made the bigger commitment to work with him in a longer-term coaching program. That required quite a bit of money, so, when I jumped into it, I was thinking, “What if this doesn’t pan out?” But Mark sounded upfront and I wanted to do everything I could to get an agent.
I also knew, if it didn’t work out, I could self-publish, but Mark told me I probably wouldn’t need to do that. He said that if I wasn’t able to get an agent, we could probably find a smaller press that didn’t charge money or require an agent to publish my books. Thankfully, I didn’t have to find out. Mark helped me get a lot of agents reading my book. And he gave me great diplomatic sentences to use when agents were asking difficult questions about exclusivity and things like that.Thank you, Mark, for everything. I’ve been sending authors to your website and I look forward to staying in touch.
Cristina LePort, MD
Author of the novel Dissection
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Do You Want to Be Like Cristina LePort, MD Who Provided this Review About Mark Malatesta?
Do you want to be like Cristina and get represented by a successful literary agent like Bob Diforio? 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 Cristina LePort, MD.