Mark Gottlieb on Finding & Working with a Literary Agent

We live in an amazing time when authors have lots of options for publishing. The main three options are these:

First, you can self-publish your books, which means you assume all the risks, responsibilities, and rewards.

Second, you can work with a hybrid publisher, which usually means you pay for their help with specific services, and they provide some of the functions of a traditional publisher.

The third option, and the one most familiar to everyone, is traditional publishing. In this scenario, you sell your book to a publisher in exchange for an advance. They own the book but also take all the risk of producing and distributing the book, in addition to some marketing.

Even though self-publishing has come a long way in the last ten or fifteen years, many authors still dream of getting a traditional publishing deal, especially with one of the big five New York publishers. If that’s your goal, you will need help in pitching your book to publishers to secure the best deal.

That’s where a literary agent comes in. On today’s episode, I’m honored to talk with Mark Gottlieb, a New York literary agent who is here to give us the inside scoop on how to find and work with an agent.

Mark is the vice president and literary agent at book publishing’s leading literary agency, Trident Media Group in New York City. He attended Emerson College and was President of its Publishing Club, and established Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature and publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP.

His first position at Trident Media Group was in foreign rights. He was the EA to Trident Media Group’s Chairman and ran the Audio Department. He is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident Media Group. He is ranked highly among literary agents in overall deals and other categories.

Some of the topics I talk about with Mark are: how he became a literary agent, what an agent actually does in the publishing ecosystem, the benefits of traditional publishing, what kinds of projects he looks for and how to stand out as an author, what the most successful authors do when pitching and working with an agent, and some common mistakes to avoid when trying to secure an agent.

You can connect with Mark at and find out more about the Trident Media Group at

* * *

Today’s episode is sponsored by Vellum, the go-to book formatting software for indie authors who care about creating beautiful ebooks and print books. Use the link to download Vellum for FREE.

📚 Download your FREE Daily Writer Starter Kit at

✉️ Want writing tips and inspiration delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the FREE Daily Writer email at

🚀 Want to grow your writing business and accelerate your success? Check out our Daily Writer Club.

📱 Follow us: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter