The Directory of Literary Agents
7 Insider Secrets to Get a Top Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal
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Literary Agent Directory
Important: Visit each agent’s website (links in their listings below) to see if they’re open to submissions before querying.
Lisa Ekus is a literary agent with The Lisa Ekus Group. Lisa is a quintessential entrepreneur who knows a thing or two about ingredients. Hailed as the “best in the business” by the New York Times, Lisa is someone who not just created a business, but invented a category. In 1982, she started the first public relations agency devoted to publicizing cookbooks, chefs, and food products. As a March 25, 1998 article in the Springfield, Massachusetts Union-News stated: “It was like discovering she was on a surfboard on the biggest wave of the ’80s, and she’s ridden its towering crest ever since.”
It all started with Lisa’s internship at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency in New York (while a student at Barnard College), followed by several publicity positions at leading publishers, including Random House and Crown Publishers. But really, it started before then, as she cooked with her mother, creating meals and family memories around food (experience she later put to use when preparing three meals a day for more than 120 people in a kibbutz in Israel).
Then came the cookbooks. And more cookbooks. By the time Lisa moved with her family to Hatfield, Massachusetts, she had amassed towering boxes of books, enough to later create a two-floor library that now boasts approximately 10,000 books, about 7,000 of which are—you guessed it—cookbooks.
The library is the centerpiece of her 250-year-old renovated farmhouse, to which is attached a barn-turned-office, renovated in 1992, where the company continues to carry on its core business areas of public relations, media training, spokesperson partnerships, and literary agenting. Food has remained the primary business focus, with the company also expanding to include complimentary areas such as health, nutrition, well-being, and women’s issues.
In 2000, Lisa Ekus Public Relations began Literary Agenting services and has since negotiated more than 300 book deals with such publishers as Andrews McMeel, Artisan, Chronicle, HarperCollins, Penguin, Robert Rose, Simon & Schuster, Sterling, Taunton, Ten Speed Press, Wiley, and numerous others.
The last decade has seen expanded media training services, increased culinary partnerships and spokesperson opportunities, new public relations campaigns, publishing consulting, and an ever-expanding literary agenting practice. And, to reflect all this growth, the company changed its name in 2007 to The Lisa Ekus Group.
In her 30+ years in the culinary industry, Lisa has cooked dinner for Julia Child, media trained Emeril Lagasse, cemented book deals for more than 150 authors, created culinary partnerships for leading manufacturers the likes of Lipton, Del Monte, Keebler, General Mills, Kraft, and Williams-Sonoma, and represented such restaurants as Al Forno, Susanno Foo, Fonda San Miguel, and others around the country.
But that’s not all. She has raised two beautiful daughters; wined, dined, traveled, and shared a life with family and friends; employed numerous people; and contributed countless hours to charities such as The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and PeaceTrees Vietnam, all the while keeping a business evolving, thriving, and succeeding.
And that’s Lisa Ekus for you. She has prepped culinary professionals for stardom and helped turned writers into prominent cookbook authors. Over the years, she has written restaurant reviews, attended food events and conferences around the world, coordinated book tours and publicity tie-ins, matched food experts with corporations, and conducted numerous seminars and presentations. She has hosted more events than possible to number in her home, including fundraisers, chef introductions to media, client gatherings, staff soirees, and for several years, author retreats. She has been regularly interviewed by the media, was given awards by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and the American Marketing Association, and has been a board member of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, IACP, and The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, as well as being a top fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Whether helping established chefs or rising stars make their mark on the culinary landscape, the common denominator in Lisa’s career has been giving people the tools they need to follow their passion. How does she do it? She follows her passion and maintains a personal mission to educate, inspire, encourage, guide, and promote the joys of cooking, writing, and healthful eating and living.
More than three decades in the business alone is a statement that small ideas and big dreams can lead to even bigger accomplishments. Small companies can spring up in a barn that once rested on a potato field and somehow impact a world of culinary talent. Take several ingredients, put them in a pot, and let bubble…the results are delicious indeed.
This literary agent represents:
NONFICTION: Cooking/Cookbook * Diet/Nutrition * Food/Drinks * Health/Wellness * Lifestyle * Mind/Body/Spirit * Narrative *
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