Nancy Williams, author of Murder Walks on Peachtree Street, published by Elk Lake Publishing, a traditional Christian publisher with more than 175 books in print, provided this review of former literary agent Mark Malatesta. Nancy worked with Mark to improve her pitch materials, which resulted in an offer for representation by Joyce Hart, the president of Hartline 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 Nancy.
Mark Malatesta Review by Nancy Williams
Elk Lake Publishing just offered me a contract!!
They’re a traditional Christian publisher with more than 175 books in print and they only work with agents. As you know, Joyce Hart, the president of Hartline Literary Agency, is handling everything. She’s a real sweetheart. When I got the contract, I took a deep breath, jumped up and down, and told my husband. He watched me go through this tense process. We’re both relieved because now we have better meals and a cleaner house again!
I’m very methodical and organized, so you’ve been a blast to work with. You’re also very encouraging, and I needed that too at times. I made myself a little chart of your, “Don’t give up, you can do it” messages. That kept me focused when I really wanted to take a nap. You need some type of reminder to look past the moment, because the moments can be really tough. But the end result can be very satisfying.
I really prayed about working with you. My husband and I have a bed and breakfast, and I have an editing business. It’s all been successful to a point, but we’re not going to burn down any barns or anything. I thought I was supposed to work with you and my husband trusts my instincts, so I did it. When you’re working on your own, you need help, especially with your query letter, because you lose the objectivity needed to be successful.
I knew my stuff was as good as I could make it, but I also knew I needed a fresh set of eyes, attached to somebody who knows the business. In your case, you know three sides of the business: writer, agent, and publisher. You tweaked my presentation in ways I wouldn’t have thought to do. It was really good because you made the query more thorough and that caused people to more carefully consider the project.
I had nibbles at first that sounded really promising, but they didn’t pan out. When those didn’t come through it was hard to take, but every time I saw any glimmer of hope, I was on it and that’s how everything finally worked out. You helped me through the rough periods so I could get stoked again and say, “I’m going to finish the job and, if I don’t get anything, I’ll at least know I did the best I could.”
Some authors write as a hobby but for others like me, this is our legacy. And, if it’s worth fighting for, it’s worth putting money and effort into. You want to have the persistence needed and give yourself the best chance to get over the hump. I say, “Do it when you don’t feel like it because that’ll be the moment it comes through. When you’re at your worst, do your best. The reward may come in, despite what you feel.”
We’re all good at certain things, and not others. To be perfectly honest, I hate marketing and told the Lord, “I don’t get it, I don’t want to get it, and I don’t want to do it. I want somebody else to do it.” Then your website popped up. Anybody can do a halfway job, but you helped me do the best I could with what I’ve got. That’s been my motto all my life. If I find a good avenue, I’ll go down it. Even if I have to borrow money and eat peanut butter sandwiches…although I didn’t have to do that in this case.
It would have been easier not to try, to not have any hopes. It’s hard to get your hopes up and be torn apart if it doesn’t come. But you never know what might happen unless you see something through, which I did. The right agent might be right around the corner if you stick with it, and you’ll never know if you don’t try. I’d be fine giving my books away out of the trunk of my car, but I’m happier to have a legitimate publisher. That way I’ll reach more readers with the important messages in my books.
The introductory coaching call we did together was huge because hearing you helped me gauge your sincerity. You can sense things in someone’s voice that you can’t get from a website. That was important to me because I’ve been ripped off a number of times and, after a while, you can start thinking everyone’s a bit shady. So, that was very helpful. I wouldn’t have signed up if it hadn’t been for that first call.
I also like that you don’t take anybody who wants to work with you after that first call. Everybody needs to know that, because your coaching can only be as good as your clients’ writing and their commitment to following your suggestions. I’m one of those people who will find gems everywhere I look, but I didn’t have to do that with you. You’re a well-rounded person with a great sense of humor, which can be healing. And, most important, I felt your genuine belief in my writing…every writer needs that.
I’ve had a lot of people say they like my writing, but my confidence grew in leaps and bounds with you, an authority, when you said my writing was good. It’s wonderful when you invest your time, and it works in your favor. For me, it was also a confidence builder. I appreciate all your wisdom and your “Don’t quit” attitude.
You’re a blessing.
Author of Murder Walks on Peachtree Street, published by Elk Lake Publishing, a traditional Christian publisher and member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), the Christian Indie Publishers Association (CIPA), and associate member of the Christian Retailers Association, with more than 175 books in print
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Do You Want to Be Like Nancy Williams Who Provided this Review About Mark Malatesta?
Do you want to be like Nancy and get represented by a top literary agent such as Joyce Hart, president of Hartline 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 Nancy Williams.