I. Advice From a Literary Agent: Meet Ted Weinstein



I always use as an ideal reader in my own head when I'm looking at a proposal trying to figure out does this have potential I just imagined my father college-educated retired reads widely and is this the kind of book that would attract a general interest reader like Hammond I've sold six-figure deals off strangers who have just sent me an equerry I'm Ted Weinstein I'm a literary agent I represent a pretty broad range of nonfiction authors everything from serious narratives history biography current affairs a lot of practical nonfiction which can be anything from personal health and personal finance to pretty high-end business books and some other books that are quirkier and less predictable the range is a lot of fun I've been doing this for a little over nine years I've been in publishing for almost 20 and I hung out a shingle back what turned out to be nine days before 9/11 every author has pride of authorship which is wonderful I believe every author would benefit from some editorial help there are very few authors who write deathless prose on the first draft or even the third draft of their own I don't think any author finds it an easy process but a self-aware smart astute mature author if I've done good work with them and if I've matched them with the right editor they'll be able to with a little bit of time to breathe and walk away come back look at the manuscript and say yeah it's better because of the help these other people provide you every agency has a website and we are all putting up an enormous amount of helpful material because we want authors to succeed and the more we can give material and information and guidance and templates the better the quality of the pitches that are coming to us so once an author has a sense for this is the project I want to write next step is to do the research go to lots of agencies websites read some of the books that are out there one in particular is by Susan rabiner called thinking like your editor and the first couple chapters are a brilliant exercise in crystallizing do you really have something to say because she forces an author to think through okay and so what what are the implications of what you're writing just writing the facts is uninteresting writing something in a way that has an implication for the reader is what's necessary for a book to succeed so what I'd say is professionalism doing the research thinking very clearly that this is a project that's intended to be commercial that I do this for a living I don't do this for fun or for love although I'd get some of both in it publishers are absolutely by definition of business and the more that an author can come to agents and then to editors with something that looks like a very crisp business plan for what will eventually be be a product a book the more that the author can approach us with that crystal clear business professionalism the greater their chance of success

1 thought on “I. Advice From a Literary Agent: Meet Ted Weinstein

  1. I wrote a book called "Standing Rock A Protest Model of Terror by Pam Hemphill, I need a agent.

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