Resources for planning, writing, promoting, and profiting from a published book
Home | Daily Tips Blog | Discussion Forum | Events | Tell a Friend | Text Size | Search | Member Area
 Join
Gain immediate access to all our articles, features, how-to's, discussion group, archives plus. Click here for details.
 Join Today
 Members Benefits
 Sample content
 Subscription Form
 Steps to Success
 Step 1: Plan
 Step 2: Write
 Step 3: Promote
 Step 4: Profit
 Resources
 Articles
 Audios & Videos
 Author Guides
 Author Interviews
 Events
 Recommended books
 Weekly Tips
 Tools
 Assessments
 Mindmap templates
 Worksheets
 Topics
 Getting Started
 Author brand studies
 Mind mapping
 Planning your book
 About Roger C. Parker
 Coaching & Editing
 Roger's Books

Previous Month July 2018 Next Month
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
 About this Site
 About this Site
 Affiliate Program
 Article Index
 Contact Us
 Help
 Press Center
 Site Map writing tools
 Subscribe Today
 Tell a Friend
 Text Size
 Your Account
 Products
 Products
 Teleseminars
 Editorial Board
 A-M Members
 N-Z Members
 Testimonials
Here's what Published & Profitable readers and subscribers are saying ...
Your step-by-step path took the "someday" out of my, "Someday I will write a book."
William Pearsall
Belleue, WA M&A

...fantastic and inspiring, just the kick in the pants (and action plan) I needed.
Debbie Weil
Author, Corporate Blogging Book

I've just moved "write a book" from my dream list to my to-do list. Now I know I can translate my knowledge into additional sources of income and credibility for my practice.
David Woods
Creating Key Clients


Roger's structure, process, and insight can help you transform your knowledge and expertise into a practical and profitable book.
Ross Allen
Inventor


Takes the work and uncertainty out of writing by showing how planning, structure, and promotion, make it easy to translate ideas into career enhancement and dollars.
Thom Hartmann
Psychologist and futurist


I never thought I could successfully write and promote a book. Now, I know I can and I will.
Steve Zaboji
Balaton Marketing
 Other
 Our Guarantee
 Privacy Policy
 Terms of Use
Sample content





What agents look for in authors, from Jim Levine interview

Meet Jim Levine, founder and co-Principal of the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

Jim is also the author of seven books and hundreds of articles. He has appeared on countless nationally televised programs including Today, Good Morning America, and Oprah.

In this interview, Jim described how he conducts his business and the ingredients for a successful agent and author relationship. Any writer who has ever wondered how to acquire an agent, what agents look for, or how to effectively interact with an agent will find this interview invaluable.

Background

Prior to founding his agency in 1989, he was a Vice President at Bank Street College of Education, where he served as agent to publishers on a variety of book, magazine, and software products. He was instrumental in developing the content of the products he represented, rather than acting exclusively in a sales role.

He brought this approach to his literary agency. He and has 13 agents work closely with writers to finely craft a book--from the early proposal stage to the marketing of the end product.

Case study

Dan Ariely, the highly successful author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Affect Our Decisions is one Jim's clients and serves as a case study of how Jim Levine works with an author developing a book.

(Published & Profitable members may listen to Mr. Ariely's interview on this website for a detailed discussion of his involvement with the Levine Greenberg Agency).

What Jim Levine looks for in authors

Jim Levine, who represents both first-time authors and established experts, explains that he looks for three important characteristics in every book proposal: a fresh idea, a distinctive voice, and a platform--or the potential to develop a platform--to sell the book.

A fresh idea is of paramount importance to the potential success of a book.

An example, he described the proliferation of books on China that flooded the marketplace in recent years.

While such a proposal might have inherent merit, such books struggle to communicate fresh ideas. These are the types of judgments that agents must make on a daily basis.

Often an agent will be impressed with a fresh idea for a book but, there is a great deal of work to be done to fine-tune the proposal. One of the stories Jim Levine describes concerns one of the inventors of the original personal data assistants.

Obviously an expert in his field and a man of great intelligence, the inventor came to the agency with an idea for a book about how the brain works.

However, books are conversations--not collection of notes. Great scientists and great thinkers might not possess the skills--or, in many cases, the time--to write a book in a conversational tone. This is where the right agent can make the difference between a dream and a published book.

"We will do whatever it takes to get the best product," says Mr. Levine. The agency will work with an author who has a strong foundation for a proposal and act as a "book doctor" to create and develop a product that will enjoy a high level of success.

Author platforms

Jim and his agents have to be selective when choosing their clients. In part, this is due to the current climate in the publishing industry.

"Publishers want safer bets and they want an already established platform for a book," says Mr. Levine.

A platform is, as he explains it, is the ability to sell a book. For example, celebrity status in a field is clearly an excellent platform, but occasionally a book itself serves as an excellent platform for an unknown author.

He described a story about Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm. The book became a success partly due to the author's ability to network throughout the HP Corporation. "The persistent harvesting of the fields," as Mr. Levine calls it, contributed to the book's success in the marketplace.

Conclusion

The interview with Jim Levine presents an inside look at what agents want and the format they want it in. He described "red flags" to avoid and a great deal of pragmatic advice. Published & Profitable members can access the full, 1-hour recorded interview.


Printer-Friendly Format
·  INTERVIEW: Jim Levine, NYC literary agent, "Origins of Exceptional Books"