Mark Gottlieb’s focus on publishing began at Emerson College, where he was a founding member of the Publishing Club, later its President, overseeing its first publication and establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature and publishing, Mark began his career with the Vice President of Berkley Books (Penguin), working with leading editors.
His first position at the Trident Media Group literary agency was in foreign rights, selling the books of clients around the world. Mark later worked as Executive Assistant to Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident, with responsibility for organizing/managing diverse authors and their complex business transactions. He next assumed the position of audio rights agent. Since Mark has managed the audio rights business, the annual sales volume has more than doubled. Mark showed great initiative and insight in identifying talented writers.
In passing the Audio Department’s torch, Mark is building his own client list of writers. He is excited to work directly with authors, helping to manage and grow their careers with all of the unique resources that are available to Trident. Since that time he has ranked as high as #1 in Agents on publishersmarketplace.com in Overall Deals. He has also ranked #1 in categories such as Science-Fiction/Fantasy, Children’s, and Graphic Novels. He has ranked in the top five for Thriller, Mystery/Crime, Womens/Romance, Young Adult, and certain nonfiction categories such as Pop Culture, Memoir, How-To, and Humor.
Mark Gottlieb has been immersed in the publishing world his entire life. One could even argue that his career began at birth, as his family privately owns and operates Trident Media Group, the leading literary agency.
“For most folks, book publishing tends to be what’s known as the ‘accidental profession,’” Mark says.
“In my case, I elected to pursue an undergraduate study in writing, literature and publishing at Emerson College where I was a founding member of the Undergraduate Students for Publishing Club, later its president, and the founder of the Wilde Press.
When people remark on how young Mark looks to be so far along in the publishing business, he replies that he was basically “publishing from the womb.”
For Mark, there are three qualities he looks for in a writer. He’s come to refer to these qualities as his “three Ps in a pod.” Below, he expounds on these Ps:
“Perseverance: This being a subjective business, rejection is inevitable at most any level of an author’s career. It is important to remember to stay the course and to learn/grow from experience constructive criticism. Remember, it’s not folks saying you’re not good; instead they’re saying you’re not yet good enough.
“Patience: With book publishing being a hurry-up-and-wait business, patience is certainly required in our aspect of the entertainment industry. It takes more time to read a manuscript than a screenplay, for instance. While it can often seem like a nail-biting experience waiting to hear from a publisher, it is often worth the wait.
“Participation: An author who thinks they can merely write their manuscript then check out will seldom succeed in major trade publishing, whereas an author who realizes their central roll in the marketing and promotion of a publication will often experience success. Of course fans also want to hear from an author first and foremost, before they hear from their publisher. Moreover, with the book publishing landscape becoming ever more crowded by self-published books, and the closure of bookstores, it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd.”
For Mark to get excited about representing a client, the process starts with a well-written query letter.
“It makes my job of crafting a pitch to publishers a lot easier, for one,” Mark says, “but good writing in a query letter is usually a very good indication that the manuscript will also be well-written.”
Mark has also found that the size of an author’s platform has become of increasing importance to publishers, as well.
“Of course since Trident Media Group is the leading literary agency in book publishing (#1-Ranked on Publishers Marketplace for 10+ years), we have no trouble in getting our submissions read by publishers,” Mark says, “but the right kind of blurb or award can often tip the balance in the favor of an author being considered by an editorial board.”
You can query Mark via Trident Media’s form on their website.