Louis Manzo, author of the nonfiction book Ruthless Ambition (Trine Day), which has sold 10K+ copies, and the novel An Irish Lullaby (Moonshine Cove), provided this review of former literary agent Mark Malatesta. Louis worked with Mark to improve his pitch materials, resulting in an offers from two publishers. 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 Louis.
Mark Malatesta Review by Louis Manzo
I just got offers from two publishers and, following your advice, I was able to get them to expedite their review of my manuscript. Your strategy works. You and I talked about the possibility of my book not being a particularly easy sell, because of the hard-hitting subject matter. Some agents took it as an affront. I could see there was a bleeding over of politics and political correctness within the industry that was hindering me.
You then came up with the fantastic idea of going to traditional publishers directly, legitimate publishers. Within three weeks, we had a hit. Then two hits. Naturally, because I believe in my project and had sunk a lot of time into it, I wanted it to work. Thank God for your unconventional approach, that it worked, and that it worked so quickly. I thought it was going to be another long haul, like it was going after agents.
Lots of agents are comfortable with the authors in their stable, so it’s very hard to break in, especially with a controversial book like mine. That’s why going direct to publishers is a great alternative. You can get your book to the right people—publishers—who are ultimately the ones who should have the final word. Not just agents, who often say, “I’m not even going to try this because I’m worried what publishers will think.”
I’m ecstatic, excited about this entire process. My publisher is extremely enthusiastic as well. Every author who’s serious about their writing should follow your approach. If an author sticks with your program, it can work for them too. As long as they have the drive, it’s an easy program to follow. I’m very happy with it. During our time together, I could always send you an email or set up a phone call to talk and you’d give me advice.
Prior to coming on with you, I was just getting “Thank you” responses to my queries. Nobody requesting more material. You created a hook that made people want to see more. It was night and day. Like, “Oh, my God. How did I not see this?” I never had a problem getting people asking for more of the book after that. The query sucked them right in. It was the second phase, finding an agent or publisher gutsy enough to handle the book that was hard. I’m glad you didn’t give up on me at that point.
I was first attracted to your website because it was the only one I could find that was completely geared toward how to get an agent and publisher. Like most authors, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. You gave me ideas about how to sell my book, and you encouraged me to send out letters to successful authors for blurbs. Two pretty prominent authors got back to me. I think that helped me get requests for material as well. At first, I thought, “Who the heck is going to respond to me sending them a letter?”
But, when I started getting those positive replies, it psyched me up. That, and you being a former agent who knows how to press the right buttons. It was invaluable. You know how to get in people’s heads and say just the right things to get requests for material. It’s perfect. We got a LOT of requests. Now I’m focused on making sure my publisher has everything he needs to promote my book. Then I’m going to start working on my next book.
The list of agents you gave was also invaluable. I used the Writer’s Digest book before that, and a magazine they put out that includes a few new leads each month. Trying to get an agent that way is stretching it. You wind up trying to make your book fit people who aren’t quite right, not a fit. It’s a horrible way to go about it. Your process is better because you do a lot of the work. We talked about my book’s genre and you showed me which agents might be interested, rather than me shooting all over the place, constantly changing my query letter to try to fit what each individual agent was looking for.
If authors follow your instructions and they’re diligent, they can meet with success. Your process builds confidence. It helps authors believe in their work and stay enthused, instead of getting frustrated and confused, to the point where they want to say, “Ah, I’m giving up on this. It’s too hard.” Your process, which you break down into manageable steps, allows authors to keep making progress and see their progress, every step of the way.
I also like that you don’t work with authors if you think their work is garbage or they’re writing isn’t good enough. To me, that’s a great selling point. I’m glad I found you. I wouldn’t be having this success today without you.
I really appreciate it, Mark.
Author of the nonfiction book Ruthless Ambition (Trine Day), which has sold 10K+ copies, and the novel An Irish Lullaby (Moonshine Cove)
* * *
Do You Want to Be Like Louis Manzo Who Provided this Review About Mark Malatesta?
Do you want to be like Louis and get offers from two publishers? 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 Louis Manzo.