If you’re a first-time author hoping to get published, you’ll need to send your manuscript to literary agents. Most publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, so the only way to get a publisher is through a literary agent. There are many literary agencies out there, some sell many books to publishers and some hardly sell any.
Since New York is the most important center for publishing in the United States, many authors prefer working with literary agents in NY.
Here is a list of the 10 top literary agencies in New York that accept unsolicited manuscripts from emerging, first-time authors.
Visit their website for more information about the agency and their agents, as well as submission guidelines and contact details.
Curtis Brown, Ltd. is one of the world’s leading literary agencies, representing a wide variety of emerging and established, award-winning, bestselling authors of all genres since 1914. The literary agency has successfully handled more than 60,000 contracts.
Curtis Brown also takes care of film, translation, audio and digital media rights. The agency has its own full-service Film & Television Department, and has been successfully selling their clients’ dramatic rights directly to Hollywood producers for decades. Additionally, the agency is one of the few literary agencies that deal with ancillary rights in-house. This literary agency also represent an exclusive list of screenwriters.
Curtis Brown currently has 28 employees in their San Francisco and New York offices.
Founded in 1973, Writers House has played a critical role in developing the careers of hundreds of novelists and non-fiction authors. The agency represents numerous NY Times Bestsellers and award-winning books. The literary agents at Writers House provide hands-on editorial and marketing advice to authors, and handle branding, licensing, and selling film/TV, foreign, audio, dramatic and serial rights. A dozen senior literary agents and several rising junior agents work at Writers House.
Genres they represent:
Writers House represents both adult and juvenile fiction and non-fiction books as well as illustrators. Their literary agents also represent literary and commercial fiction, science fiction/fantasy, women’s fiction, history, memoirs, narrative non-fiction, biographies, science, parenting, psychology, how-to, cookbooks, self-help, business, finance, young adult and juvenile fiction/non-fiction and children’s picture books.
Trident Media Group
Located in NYC, Trident represents both emerging and bestselling
authors worldwide. According to them, their literary agents close more deals for their writers than any of the other agencies in the world.
Genres they represent: All genres.
Trident boasts of the leading foreign sales of books by their NY literary agents, as well as having world-class audiobook and foreign rights departments.
Asides from book sales, they also handle Film & TV Sales, Foreign Rights, Contract Negotiation/Business Affairs, Accounting and Information Tracking, Audio Books, eBook Sales and Marketing, and Publishing Management.
McIntosh & Otis
McIntosh & Otis, Inc. is a full-service literary agency based in New York, established in 1928. Their clients include many bestsellers, literary icons, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners. They also deal with subsidiary rights.
Genres they represent: A large range of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults.
The Knight Agency
Literary agents from the Knight Agency have placed over 2,000 titles at New York publishers, as well as at independent publishing houses throughout the United States. This literary agency also deals with subsidiary rights management in the areas of foreign, motion picture and television, audio, merchandising, and electronic rights.
Genres they represent: All genres. In fiction, they mainly represent women’s fiction, romance, young adult, literary, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction, as well as multicultural and inspirational/religious fiction. Their agents have also placed books in the genres of narrative nonfiction, self-help, memoirs, health, and financial/business.
Donald Maass Literary Agency
The Donald Maass Literary Agency is a leading literary agency for professional fiction writers.
Their literary agents Donald Maass, Jennifer Jackson, Katie Shea Boutillier,
Cameron McClure, Amy Boggs, Michael Curry, and Caitlin McDonald represent together over 150 novelists and sell more than 100 novels each year to leading publishers in the United States and overseas.
Waxman Leveall Literary Agency
Waxman Leveall Literary Agency has offices in Los Angeles and New York. This literary agency specializes in representing nonfiction and fiction authors with powerful stories. Dozens of their clients have become bestselling authors and won various awards.
Authors they represent include accomplished journalists, celebrities, experts in their fields, and first-time writers with outstanding stories.
Levine Greenberg Literary Agency
Founded in 1989, Levine Greenberg is a full-service literary agency representing all genres of fiction and non-fiction, along with dealing with subsidiary rights.
In the last two years alone, this agency has represented 26 New York Times bestsellers.
The majority of their authors’ books are published by imprints of the major houses–Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin Group, Hachette Book Group, MacMillan, etc. WLLA has also placed titles with almost fifty independent and/or university presses. They also work with many ebook publishers and app developers.
The literary agency works with co-agents to place their client’s books with leading foreign publishers, and with top co-agents in Hollywood to represent film and television rights to their books to major studios and production companies.
The Foundry Literary Agency
Foundry is a full-service literary agency and media development company representing bestselling adult and children’s books in various fiction and non-fiction genres. The agency deals with getting their clients published and established in the American market, as well as handling foreign publishing, film and TV, merchandise, and online media.
InkWell is one of the world’s leading literary agencies, proudly representing major literary prize winners as well as many of the world’s bestselling authors.
InkWell has a dedicated foreign rights department and a legal contracts manager. They also work with leading literary agencies in every foreign market and have agents based in Australia, Boston, and Dallas.
We hope this list of NY literary agencies helps you and wish you all the best success in finding a literary agent!
Facts about NY Literary Agencies
Why do Authors prefer Literary Agents based in New York?
New York is the biggest and most important center for publishing, digital media, mass media, and journalism in the United States. The American book publishing industry is based in New York.
All the big publishing houses are based in New York. Major NY publishing houses include industry giants such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers, Scholastic, Macmillian U.S., Hachette Book Group, and all their great many imprints and divisions. (See a full list of NY Publishers here.)
There are also several smaller niche publishing houses based in NY, such as Melville House, Lee & Low Books, and many smaller presses.
In New York, more than 25,000 people work in the book publishing industry, and over 200 newspapers and 350 magazines have their offices in the city. Many of America’s top literary journals are based in New York. Therefore, New York is often called “the media capital of the world”.
The city is also America’s preeminent arts center. Additionally, New York is the world’s premier financial center, home to the world’s largest stock exchanges, and the leading center of banking, finance, and communication.
Because all the book publishers are based in NY, serious literary agents move to work and live in the city.
Should You Only Work with the Biggest NY Literary Agencies?
Most authors prefer to first query the top literary agencies since these big players have a track record of selling books and many connections with Editors at all the large publishing houses.
However, the biggest literary agencies receive a ton of submissions from authors like you. If you do not receive an interested reply from any of them, you may want to try sending your manuscripts to smaller literary agencies. Sometimes, less known literary agents with fewer clients also have connections at publishing houses, and since they are hungrier for a sale they work harder to sell their author’s titles.
Before sending your manuscript to a literary agency, it’s always a good idea to do a small background check on them to ensure they are not scammers.