My Book Agent

A Literary Agency Getting Authors Published Well


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Timothy Staveteig

Literary Agent

How will you help grow my career?

I began my publishing career as an editor with a strong hand, and I can add value most in the areas of manuscript/story development and finding your voice. I will give you candid and honest feedback about the work you’re doing. I will caution you if I think your current work is below your own standards or those of your readers. Then, after taking my comments into consideration, I expect that you will push back. By helping you increase the quality of your work, by circulating this to the best publishing outlets, your career will grow.

How long have you been in business as an agent?

As a literary agent, I have been in business since October 2009.

What is your previous experience in publishing?

I spent about 25 years as an book acquisitions editor at three mid-sized publishing houses, moving up through the ranks, including 5 years as an editorial director and 10 years as a publisher (chief operating officer-level). My professional experience as an acquisitions editor and publisher has been in non-fiction, but I am also equipped to handle fiction.

Who in your agency will actually be handling my work? Will other staff members be familiar with my work and the status of my business at your agency?

Some proposal editing may be outsourced to one of my trusted colleagues, but all work is reviewed by me. I will not hand off you and your proposal to someone else (unless some emergency arises).

Do you issue an agent-author agreement? May I review the language of the agency clause that appears in contracts you negotiate for your clients?

Yes, My Book Agent requires a signed agreement with an author before a campaign is constructed. I send a blank copy (a specimen) at the time I offer to represent an author. Contact us to request a specimen.

And yes, you can review the agency clause, which is a paragraph inserted into the publisher’s agreement with the author. The agency clause usually specifies that the publisher will send payments to the agent on behalf of the author and that the agent will deduct fees before remitting the remainder to the author. Some clauses carry a third element, namely, that the agent can sign on behalf of the author. My Book Agent neither seeks nor agrees to this aspect. Contact us to request a specimen.

Do you place a minimum time requirement on our relationship? If so for how long?

Our minimum agreed upon time is 30 days. Some agencies do insist on 2 or 3 years for new authors. We hope to achieve this sort of representation time (or longer!). We think, however, that working on the relationship and being productive are better building blocks than is legal obligation.

For details, click on the FAQ tab.