Thomas Nielsen, author of the upcoming novel Asklepion provided this review of former literary agent Mark Malatesta. Thomas worked with Mark to improve the beginning of his book and his pitch materials (query letter and synopsis), resulting in representation by an AAR 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 Thomas.
Mark Malatesta Review by Thomas Nielsen
“I had been waiting and waiting and waiting – and waiting – before I finally got an email from an agent offering to represent me. A second agent was also seriously interested, but, by the time that happened, I already had the contract from my current agent. I’m a physician and I was at work when it happened, so I told everybody at the clinic. They all congratulated me, but I was even more excited to tell my wife about it. Before that moment, I don’t think she really saw me as a writer. So, getting an AAR agent who believes in me was very validating. My wife and I went out that night for a celebratory dinner!
My initial rejections, before I worked with you, Mark, simply said things like, ‘No, not interested’, or they were canned form letters, nothing individualized. After you improved my synopsis and query, I still got rejections, but many of them were clearly individualized. They said things like, ‘This is a great book and it’s very timely.’ Or, ‘It’s good, somebody will want this, so keep at it.’ Agents were often encouraging and sometimes gave me tips about how to improve my manuscript. It was interesting to see that the quality of my rejections had improved, which I took as a good sign.
You honed in on the right things in my query and made it more appealing. You also encouraged me to seek endorsements from well-known authors who are published, and I got a couple of positive responses back from them. They ended up in my query letter and made it more eye-catching. You helped me improve the opening of my manuscript as well. We made it more female friendly, which made the book more appealing to a larger number of agents, publishers, and book buyers. That insight also caused me to rewrite some other sections of the book, and I made one of the female characters more prominent.
The agent information you gave me was also valuable. Before that, I had used some of the online databases that you can subscribe to, but they really weren’t as organized, and they didn’t specify the credentials and quality of the agents. Looking up agents that way, it was very difficult to tell where agents were located and what their primary interests were. So, the information you gave me helped me focus on the top agents I should go after and it saved me a lot of time. I think the agents who ultimately asked to read my manuscript were all part of the first forty agents of your spreadsheet.
I was feeling down after sending out letters myself and just getting form letter rejections. It was nice to have personalized one-on-one coaching from somebody who knows the book industry, someone who knows what agents are looking for. Most of the advice I got from other authors and online forums I’ve gone to was common knowledge. You gave me insider information, but also encouragement. You’ve always been complimentary about my book. Without your support, I probably wouldn’t have been successful. I would have given up and self-published on Amazon, and probably not had very many sales.
I’m always hesitant to give someone money until they show me they can do something for me. But, after my first coaching call, I felt very confident about going ahead with you, even though, for my income at the time, it was a bit of a stretch. That first call with you was great, very focused. You had good answers to my questions, and it was clear you knew what you were talking about and could help me. And, as it turned out, you did! My wife was very skeptical, so I didn’t tell her until later that I signed up for your bigger program. She wasn’t very happy with me for a while when she found out. But, now that I have an agent, she’s gotten over it. Working with you was very worthwhile.
Trying to do it all on your own as an author is nearly impossible. I can’t even imagine how many people are submitting things to agents – and it seems so daunting to do it all alone. I think, unless you’re a celebrity in some way, it’s very difficult to get your first book out there. So many of the books that I see today in bookstores are from people who are television personalities or already famous, and now they’re writing books. Before working with you, Mark, I’d been trying to get my book out there for a year or more – but I was just dabbling. Working with you gave me the focus and encouragement I needed. It was a long time coming, but we finally made it. Thank you!!!”
Author of the novel Asklepion
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Do You Want to Be Like Thomas Nielsen Who Provided this Review About Mark Malatesta?
Do you want to be like Thomas and get represented by a successful literary agent who’s a member of the AAR? 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 Thomas Nielsen.