Dorothy Preston, author of the memoir The Preston Manor (not yet published), provided this review of former literary agent Mark Malatesta. Dorothy worked with Mark to improve her manuscript, book proposal, and query letter, which resulted in an offer for literary agency representation from a New York 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 Dorothy.
Mark Malatesta Review by Dorothy Preston
We’ll have to pop the bubbly this weekend!When an agent sent me an email offering to represent me, I wanted to jump for joy. But I didn’t allow myself to get too excited until you called me. At the time the offer came in, there were three other agents looking at my book. You told me how to follow up with them to get them responding quickly, since I didn’t want to make the first agent wait too long.
My old query was bad, very bad. It wasn’t even close to what it is now. Before I found you, I hired an agent to help with it. I took all the steps she suggested, then I passed the query by her and she made changes. But that query paled in comparison to yours. One reason is all the research and outreach you had me do.
Your process was incredibly educational, in more ways than one. The strategy you taught me about how to research a project and contact people didn’t just help me a get a successful agent. It helped me with job searching! You showed me how to approach people and connect with them in a totally different way, from a different angle.
The research and sending things out to possible promotional partners was daunting, outside my comfort zone. That was tough. But it turned out to be a wonderful experience, challenging myself and putting myself out there. I love how you walked me through it, with baby steps. Everything was logical and it all made sense, how everything worked out and flowed.
At first, I was overwhelmed when you told me how much I had to do, how many people you wanted me to contact to make my platform bigger. Now I know it was a great thing. I had 29 positive responses, a combination of influential individuals, groups, and organizations agreeing to accept a review copy of my book.
Working on my proposal was grueling. It kept me busy, but it was a really great experience. I appreciate everything you did, teaching and guiding me. You were a wonderful mentor and coach. My agent said, “The proposal is quite detailed, and I like the way you took care to thread the story and keep the potential reader wanting more.”
He also said, “Your statistics section amplifies the fact that I’m not alone and there are a lot of readers who will be captivated by your story.” He obviously read the proposal. It was like he was maybe initially thinking, “Small market.” But then, when he saw what we did there in the proposal, he decided, “Maybe there’s a bigger market.”
I sent out queries before I found you, but I didn’t get any requests, although I got a few nice responses. I kept the number of submissions small because that’s what everyone else teaches, completely opposite of what you had me do! I didn’t know what I was doing when I stumbled onto your website. I saw some of your testimonials and I kept going back to your site, very interested. Then I finally said, “I’m going to set up a coaching call.”
I’m so glad I did, and it’s funny because of some of the agents who asked to read my material rejected me in the past. You said I could I re-query them, so I did. I got a lot of requests for more material with your query letter. It was really good. It would have taken me forever to get an agent if I’d continued to go the old route, and I would have never known what was possible, had you not coached me.
I would have never known how to do it correctly. I don’t mean to disrespect the other people I’d asked for advice, because they were very nice, but they didn’t give me the kind of insight you did. It’s just not what they do, they’re not coaches. You’ve been doing this a long time. You know what you’re doing, and the process you took me through was comprehensive.
I’m still getting rejections, by the way, from queries I sent out months ago. Agents are sometimes very slow to respond. The hardest part of everything, I think, though, wasn’t the rejections. It was waiting for the agents to reply! But my husband liked that you said in your guidelines, that I was only allowed to feel sorry for myself for 24 seconds after a rejection.
I had some trepidation before my first call with you, but, after that, I felt comfortable. You’re very down to earth, warm, and engaging. I have to say though, the cost for your coaching program was scary to me. I was shocked my husband agreed to it. We took out a home equity loan to make it work and, you know what? It was worth it.
At first, I thought, “I wonder if he’s for real?” But I knew instantly when I was done with my first call with you that I wanted to hire you. I kept looking at your website, and my call with you had been extremely informative. Even if I hadn’t gone beyond that first call, I would have gotten so much from it. I have no regrets at all.
You’re also very patient, and every time I sent you emails your response time was great. I’ve absolutely enjoyed and loved working with you every step of the way. You’re wonderful and I can’t sing your praises enough. I wouldn’t have gotten here without you. I absolutely know that, unequivocally.
You’ve been instrumental on this path for me. I honestly, truly, am saying that from complete sincerity. I appreciate all your time. I appreciate you. And I’ve started recommending you to other writers.
Author of The Preston Manor
(not yet published)
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Do you want to get a NY literary agent like Dorothy? 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 Dorothy Preston.