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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.
Sandra Dijkstra Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency Query method(s): Online Form *Work 1155 Camino del Mar Suite 515 Del Mar CA 92130 USAwork
|Show Notes | Show Bio||http://www.dijkstraagency.com | Show Map ||
This literary agent represents:
FICTION: Contemporary * Family Saga * Historical * Literary * Multicultural Fiction * Short Story Collection * Upmarket Fiction *
NONFICTION: Animals/Pets * Art * Biography * Business * Celebrity * Cultural/Social Issues * Current Events/Affairs * Environment * Film/Entertainment * Food/Drinks * Gay/Lesbian * History * Memoir * Journalism * Money/Finance * Multicultural * Narrative * Nature * Politics * Pop Culture * Psychology * Religion * Science * Women’s Issues *
Sandra Dijkstra is the founder, owner, and president of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Agent to authors in the arenas of nonfiction (including history, politics, current affairs, business, and science) and fiction (literary and commercial), Sandra’s mission is to find and champion authors whose books make a difference.
Bicoastal, Sandra was born in the Bronx, schooled in the East, and then came West to attend grad school at UC Berkeley, bringing to her agenting a literary taste honed by a Ph.D. in French literature, a keen editorial eye trained during a decade of university teaching, and, on the business front, her homegrown New York selling smarts. Within her first decade of agenting, Newsweek dubbed her “the best agent in the West,” Esquire chose her as one of the nation’s “top five literary agents,” and the Los Angeles Times proclaimed her an “über-agent” and “the most powerful literary agent on the West Coast.”
Sandra looks for writers with something significant to say, who know how to say it in a distinctive way, and whose books help to make this a better world. She is agent to major American historians, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Eric Foner, Steven Hahn, and Leon Litwack, and National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor. She is also proud to represent renowned historian of ideas, Michael Kazin; scholars of the slave trade, the late Ira Berlin and Marcus Rediker; Immigration Studies historian Erika Lee; Jewish Studies historian Steve Ross, Religious Studies historians Steven Prothero, Paula Fredriksen, and Matt Sutton; and feminist historians Elaine May and Marilyn Yalom, as well as LGBTQ historian Lillian Faderman, and more.
The advocate for a leading group of investigative journalists, Sandra has championed the work of the Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger, the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik, the Wall Street Journal’s Jess Bravin, and ProPublica’s T. Christian Miller, among others.
On the science front, her list features such gurus as Don Norman, Dr. Irvin Yalom, Dr. Gary Small, Bernd Heinrich, and Jordan Fisher Smith. On the business side, she is proud to represent bestseller Joel Greenblatt, and David Einhorn, and to have agented Max DePree’s classic Leadership Is an Art.
Sandra is, perhaps, best-known for her eye for quality fiction that sells well, representing authors such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, Lisa See, Nobel Prize-winner Mo Yan, Chitra Divakaruni, and Shobha Rao, among others. On the mystery/thriller side, she champions bestsellers Diane Mott Davidson (the Queen of the Culinary Mystery), and former Cosmopolitan editor Kate White. And, on the children’s front, she is Stellaluna author/illustrator Janell Cannon’s proud agent.
Her goal is to help authors realize their dreams, supporting their work through each phase of the publishing process, so that their books reach the widest readership, here and abroad, and in as many formats as possible. To that end, she has assembled a powerful team of colleagues, each of whom has her own list, representing a wide range of genres, and each determined to make it happen for the authors they represent.
1155 Camino del Mar Suite 515 Del Mar CA 92130 USA
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Use the drop-down menu on the left to search for agents by genre, gender, location, longevity, or AAR Status. To find a specific agent or agency, enter the agent’s name or the name of the agency into the search box.
Important: If you use the search box, you must remove the search term by pressing the “Clear Search” link before you look for more agents using the drop-down menu (or you won’t see the proper results). Click on the “Show Notes” and “Show Bio” links underneath each agent for more information about that agent.
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Author Coaching Testimonials
“Mark, finding you has been both a treat and a treasure—I just signed a contract with my new literary agent!
My career has spanned publishing, TV, and feature film. I’ve served as Creative Dir. for the Magazine Group, TIME Inc.; Dir. of Time World News Service, a Founding Dir. of TIME-Life Films; Exec. Prod. for both the CBS and NBC TV Networks; Prod./Dir.: Movies of the Week: CBS Cinema Center Films and Universal MCA.
In today’s publishing marketplace, agents come and go. They also very often seem to just want an easy pathway to make a buck. Many authors are let go by their agents because their last book didn’t do well enough and the agent doesn’t want to devote the time to help the author. That’s not what you’re about Mark. Even established authors need this type of support in today’s marketplace.”
Author of ten fiction and nonfiction books
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“I’m psyched to have this be official. After getting five different offers for representation from top literary agents, I signed with Stephanie Tade who got me a 6-figure book deal with Penguin!
Getting multiple agents interested in my work was really important to me. I’ve dealt with agents before and gotten screwed on things contractually so I wanted to do it differently this time. I wanted choices.
Having you help me create that, and navigate my options, was really helpful. I heard other authors talk about their great relationships with their agents and it made me want the same thing. Now I have that.”
Author of Woman on Fire (Penguin Books)
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“After sending out the query Mark revised for me, I had the opportunity to speak with literary agents from top agencies such as Janklow & Nesbit, Trident Media, Anderson Lit, and Folio. I signed with Don Fehr at Trident and, a short time later I had a publishing contract with Berkley Books, which recently published my book in hardcover.
Before that, I sent my query letter out on my own to 30 or 40 agents and got a lot of rejections. I then found Mark online while I was researching agents. I was surprised that he offered so much during his initial consultation—for a very modest amount of money.
I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t worked with Mark. I can’t even imagine that now though, because of the grief and detours I experienced before we worked together. It was a time-consuming pain in the neck. If you want to get the attention of top literary agents and publishers, there is no substitute for working with an insider. You can’t beat experience. And having Mark on your side is incredibly valuable.”
Author of Single Handed
(Berkley Books, a Division of Penguin Random House)
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“AHHH! OMG, it happened! I got three offers of representation for my children’s picture book in the United States, even though I live abroad! When I woke up and found the first offer for representation in my email in box, I wanted to scream. But my family was still asleep so I couldn’t. 🙂
Just 8 minutes after I sent a query letter to one of my favorite agents, she replied and asked to see my manuscript. A short time later we had a lovely conversation. She was interested in representing me and sounded very positive and enthusiastic about my book. Since I also got offers from two other agents, I had to turn two of them down. One of them was upset and it felt like I was breaking her heart, but you just have to do it. I kept reminding myself that this is a good problem to have!”
Author/Illustrator of Lon-Lon’s Big Night
and many other children’s books
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“Mark, after you helped me land a top literary agent, I got publishing offers from THREE well-known publishers: Amacom, Palgrave Macmillan, and McGraw-Hill (they’re publishing my book in hardcover)!
I was at Disneyworld with my family, in the Haunted Mansion, when I got the call. I went outside and listened to the voicemail message from my agent. A huge smile came over my face. It was a fantastic feeling. For a moment I felt like life was perfect and the angels were singing.
You’re filling an important need so I’ll say this to every other author reading this testimonial. Mark showed me that getting a top literary agent is a science. If you’ve written a book, or you’re in the process, you’ve already invested a lot—a lot more than money. Don’t stop yourself from getting out there to fulfill your purpose and dreams. Thank you so, so much, Mark!!!”
Author of Customer Focused Process Innovation (McGraw Hill)
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“I got a book deal! After I started sending out my new query letter I had 6 literary agents request my manuscript in a short amount of time, which is awesome. Then, within 2 weeks of my agent starting to pitch my story to publishers, we had an offer. I signed a book contract yesterday. A little while later my agent told me that a TV co-producer asked for more info about my book.
By the way, the acquiring editor that fell in love with the manuscript jumped in with both feet and we just worked out our timeline for publication. She’s as passionate about getting my book out as I am, and that means everything. She read the manuscript in two days and said she couldn’t put it down. And the book is going to be published as a hardcover!”
Author of A Chick in the Cockpit
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“Thank you Mark! After you helped me get a well-known agent with Hartline Literary Agency (for my previously self-published murder mystery), he got me a deal with an American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) approved publisher. I’m hard-pressed to find anything that I had an expectation for that you didn’t deliver on.
Before I worked with you I sent out queries, but no one ever requested my complete manuscript. Comparing your new version of my query to the one I wrote before, I can see a vast difference.
I’ve been in business for 35 years so I’m not just saying this… what you’re doing is phenomenal. There are other people offering similar services, but the difference is your success. Others might say they do similar things but, if you research them, they don’t have your background or track record.”
Author of The Rector
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“Mark, you’re a miracle worker. Thanks to your help with my book, query letter, and synopsis… I now have a legitimate publisher who described my book as ‘Powerful Magic’ and it’s now available in bookstores and online!
I’m a lifelong academic writer who one day found myself writing inspired short stories that came to me in dreams and I began thinking of them as novels. That’s when I had a momentous conversation, an introductory coaching call with Mark Malatesta, the American creative writing coach, or rather, to be precise, a how-to-sell-yourself-and-your-work adviser. It was the best-spent money of my life apart (possibly) for my wedding ring.”
Author of The Black Inked Pearl
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“Within 4 minutes of sending out my query letter, a top literary called me on the phone (the #1 agent on my wish list). Less than 30 days later I had three major publishers making offers. A few days after that, I signed a deal with Random House. Mark, your query letter did that.
My agent talked about the query letter you helped me create for a long, long time. When he first called me on the phone, he hadn’t seen any of my sample chapters. It was just the query letter that did it. Communicating the right thing is so important. You are a wonderful medium helping authors find their voice and elevate their writing from just a hobby to a real business… a source from which they can both learn and earn.”
Author of Lights Out (Random House)
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“MARK, MARK, MARK!!!!!!! Holy smokes… I just signed my book deal. First, two well-known literary agents asked to represent me. One of them responded to my query letter in less than 4 minutes!!
Then THREE different publishers wanted my book and started talking about making offers. The publisher I chose is perfect for me because they produce titles for the trade, educational, and scientific markets. And they agreed to publish my book as a hardcover!!!
When I met you, Mark, it was a pivotal time. I was under the belief that I could self-publish my book with a vanity press and then seek a publisher. I didn’t know what a literary agent was, why I needed one, or how to get one. I was wandering in the dark. You guided me in the right direction and gave me a solid plan.”
Author of Intestinal Health (Rowman & Littlefield)
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“Boom!!! I just signed a contract with Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins for (what I’ve been told by several people) is a very large advance for a first-time author.
Before working with Mark I submitted my book to agents but didn’t get any interest. This time around I got a top NY literary agency (Fine Print Lit). What cloud is higher than 9?
I had several agencies interested before deciding to go with Fine Print. And, to be honest, all of the attention didn’t surprise me. The query letter and proposal that Mark helped me develop were incredible. Agents actually said things to me like: ‘Scott, I read your proposal and I’m just blown away by it!’ Mark is extremely talented at what he does. If you have the opportunity to work with him, take advantage of it.”
Author of The Unbreakable Boy
(Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson)