Meet Mark Gottlieb, an agent with Trident Media Group, who will be at the Pennwriters 30th Annual Conference, in Pittsburgh, May 19 – 21, 2017.
If you had a time machine, where and when would you be right now?
If I had a time machine I think I’d like to be in The Roaring Twenties.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I had the opportunity to graduate from college early but decided to take my time. I would have liked to get out into the world sooner in order to spend a year traveling or devoting myself to a humanitarian cause, but then again I wouldn’t have met my wife in our senior year of college. In a perfect world, I would have like to have met my wife much sooner and graduated sooner.
What is your favorite resource for writers?
Publishers Marketplace. It’s the gold standard in book publishing for publishing news and deal announcements. The site also ranks literary agencies by number or deals and monetarily. Our agency typically ranks #1 for fiction, nonfiction and agencies, both for volume of deals and for six-figure+ deals and higher. We’ve ranked that way consecutively for over a decade.
What has been the most satisfying aspect of your literary career?
Helping make the dreams of authors come true.
What is your favorite tip for writers?
I call them “the three peas in a pod,” and often look at them in this order:
Persistence: Don’t be discouraged by rejection. This being a subjective business that is bound to happen many times over. It does not mean that you’re not good—it means you’re not quite good enough as of yet. Learn from constructive criticism and grow.
Patience: This being a “hurry-up-and-wait business,” since reading and editing can take time, it is important to be willing to wait patiently for editors/publishers to consider work once it is submitted by a literary agent. There have been instances, though, where I’ve sold a project in as little as four days. In other instances, it has taken months. It may seem like a nail-biting experience while rejections start to flow in along the submission process, but it is often worth the wait once an offer finally arrives.
Participation: As I mentioned before, an author has a central role in the book publishing process. Authors that merely want to write their manuscripts, then check out, rarely experience successful publications. Asking one’s publisher or literary agent how they can help leading up to publication and in the months thereafter, is a great starting point. Being curious about a publisher’s marketing/publicity plans and commenting on them is also of key importance.
What do you like to see in your inbox?
I am currently looking for fiction, children’s books and graphic novels. In nonfiction, I look for authors with a very strong platform.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I consider my career choice to be something of an accomplishment. One of my favorite parts of the job is helping the positive message of a book get out there by first finding the right publisher and then connecting the book with its audience. I feel strongly that books have the power to change the world for the better, so I am honored to be in a profession where I can help spread the good word.
To register, click here: 2017 Pennwriters Conference Registration.