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Nhi Aronheim, author of Soles of a Survivor, published by Skyhorse Publishing, distributed by Simon & Schuster, with 52 New York Times bestsellers, named by Publishers Weekly as the fastest-growing small publisher in America, provided this review of former literary agent Mark Malatesta. Nhi worked with Mark to improve her manuscript, pitch materials, and platform, which resulted in her getting a top literary agent and publisher. 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 Nhi.

Mark Malatesta Review by Nhi Aronheim

Thank you for your support during the nail-biting experience of getting an agent. My book is now being published by Skyhorse Publishing, distributed by Simon & Schuster. They’ve published 52 New York Times bestsellers, and they were named by Publishers Weekly as the fastest-growing small publisher in America.

After you and I worked on my manuscript, book proposal, platform, and query letter, I prepared to send out my first large round of submissions to agents. But, within 24 hours, eight agents asked for more information and I got an offer.

I was thrilled. 

I then took your advice and used the script you sent me to start contacting all the interested agents to let them know I had an offer. I said I couldn’t wait three or four months for them to read the manuscript and decide if they wanted to represent it. So, they pushed everything aside to read my proposal in a hurry.

NA-SOAS-BkCoverIt was exciting but extremely stressful, trying to figure out how long to wait, which offer was best, and how to do it without pissing anyone off. I was freaked out talking to different agents on the phone. Thank goodness I had you. Once I knew who I was going to work with, I went out with my husband and two author friends to celebrate.

Before I worked with you, I sent out many queries for my book but didn’t get offers, just standard rejections. After getting requests for more material and having every agent pass, I knew something wasn’t right. That’s when I started doing research and reached out to you. 

One of the reasons it worked the second time is that you helped me emphasize different themes. The message of the book remained the same, but you helped me phrase the query letter and description in a way that made the book more relatable. Before, it was just a survivor story about a kid in Vietnam. Now it appeals to a broader audience—it’s an inspirational memoir about diversity, survival, and unconditional love.

My agent said the query letter was exceptional, and every other agent who contacted me for more material said the same thing. The agents also said my author platform was impressive. In fact, my agent said, “It’s so impressive that it might just be too much.” She said she was going to pull out some of the things we included in the marketing plan and tell publishers there’s more promotional material if they want it.

NA on stage at TEDxWhile writing my book, my friends asked about you, I would say, “This man, I have a love-hate relationship with him. What I love about my coach is that he’s an expert and very caring. He’s like the parent who knows what’s best and tells the kids what to do, but the kids don’t like it because it is hard work.” Working with you felt like I was getting my master’s degree in English literature 🙂

Actually, I felt like I was being trained by Mr. Miyagi in the movie The Karate Kid. It was a lot of, “Change this. Do it again. Wax on. Wax off.” One day, you’ll remember this, I was lazy and didn’t put enough effort into my chapter summaries. You made me redo them four times. Each time, I told my husband, “Damn it, he keeps bossing me around!” I love that you told me what I needed to hear, to put myself in a better position, and my husband had a good laugh at the torture you put me through.

Developing my author platform was also painful. I remember thinking how hard it was but then I got 14 well-known people saying they would review my book for promotional purposes. I was so excited. When I told you, you said it was a good start. Then, when I told you I had 28 people, you said that was better but you asked me if I wanted to be mediocre or excellent.

I told my husband, “He’s killing me, he’s killing me!” I didn’t like hearing the word mediocre. My husband said, “This man knows how to push your buttons. He knows how to get you to do more.” My husband was quite entertained by the whole process. You were part of my family dinner conversation and the kids loved learning about you and your “agonizing” process. 🙂 And, needless to say, that’s how you continued getting me to raise the bar and took me from zero promotional partners to 59. 

I appreciate you pushing me.

NA on stage at TEDx in front of large crowdAnother way to describe working with you is training for an Ironman Triathlon. When athletes are training for those events with coaches, pushing through the pain, they often say, “I hate you. You’re torturing me. You’re killing me.” It can feel that way, but the coach and athlete respect each other, and the athlete knows the coach has good intentions.

The agent list you made for me, with the agents prioritized regarding who’s really good, was also a godsend. Copying and pasted agent information manually is a lot of work and that takes too much time. Having the list you sent to me allowed me to get a lot of queries out pretty fast, much, much faster than before I worked with you.

What first sold me on you wasn’t just the big number of testimonials on your website, or the success you’ve helped people achieve. It was the caring way people who’ve worked with you talk about their experience. When I spent the money to do your coaching, I didn’t know if I’d get an agent, but I knew I’d learn a lot and have a much better chance.

I expected it to be hard, but I was really surprised at the joy and the respect I felt working with you—the partnership. My husband, who is now a fan of yours, was so intrigued by the relationship I have with you that he asked me for updates to figure out what you’d been doing to push me. He wanted to learn your moves, especially after finding me staying up at two in the morning doing the work!

Authors should know they can’t just give you their credit card number. They have to do the work. And they should expect to run into challenges. When that happens, they need to remember that you only want them to succeed. Then need to just shut up and do the work. That’s what I kept telling myself. You can cry inside for five or ten minutes. But then do the work. If you’re not willing to do what Mark suggests, then don’t join his program because you’ll waste your money and also cause frustration for everyone.

Thanks again, Mark, for everything!

Nhi Aronheim

Author of Soles of a Survivor, published by Skyhorse Publishing, distributed by Simon & Schuster, with 52 New York Times bestsellers, named by Publishers Weekly as the fastest-growing small publisher in America

“It’s said that refugees lead three lives: their life before being driven from their home; their life on the move, seeking refuge; and, if they survive, a new life adapting to a foreign land. Nhi Aronheim lives all those lives and more in this memoir of persistence, hope, and healing.”

– Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee

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Do You Want to Be Like Nhi Aronheim Who Provided this Review About Mark Malatesta?

Do you want to be like Nhi and have your book published by a top publisher such as Skyhorse Publishing, with 52 New York Times bestsellers? 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 Nhi Aronheim.

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