This week's Agent Spotlight features Elena Giovinazzo (formerly Mechlin) of Pippin Properties, Inc.
Status: Accepting submissions.
About: "Elena Giovinazzo joined the team in June of 2009. Having begun her publishing career in subsidiary rights, moving on to children’s book marketing with a stint in audio, she realized that a position in agenting would enable her to continue to be involved in the many aspects of publishing about which she is so passionate from one place. She is thrilled to be pursuing her love of children’s literature and the industry from her seat at Pippin and especially enjoys the treasure hunt that is sorting through the daily query emails." (Link)
About the Agency:
“Since 1998, Pippin Properties, Inc. has been an integrated publishing and entertainment representation agency. Located in New York City, it is a diverse agency dedicated to maximizing the creative and commercial potential of all its properties. Pippin represents the works of these writers and artists to a wide range of publishing, animation, motion picture, television, and licensing companies. Because Pippin both develops and represents its projects, it is a unique, full-service company that prides itself on attention to detail. Small and discerning in choosing its clientele, Pippin is devoted to maintaining a standard of excellence in content unmatched in the industry.” (Link)
What She's Looking For:
Children’s picture books, middle grade, and young adult.
From Her LinkedIn Profile:
“Elena loves funny picture books, is typically averse to rhyming texts, likes goofy middle grade, and is on the hunt for beautifully written YA.” (Link)
From an Interview (02/2013):
“I’d love to see something that surprises me. So many of the queries that we see are for books that are a variation on a popular theme or riding the coattails of other books that have done enormously well. I’m always attracted to the stories that have come about because they’re worth telling, not because the author thinks they could write something that’s a lot like ______ (fill in the blank).” (Link)
From an Interview (11/2012):
“…in terms of fiction, certainly my tastes run more literary, contemporary, or historical rather than sci fi or fantasy. I find myself most attracted to stories with a timeless quality to them. In regard to picture books, I most like things that make me laugh or are clever in some new way.” (Link)
From an Interview (10/2012):
“A great middle grade series. It can be fantastical, but it has to feature real kids with real emotions dealing with some real world issues (in addition to fighting the odd dragon, ogre or petulant god).” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
The agency specializes in children's and teen books and is not actively seeking adult projects.
“Super editorial. I most often will not sign someone on until going through at least one or two rounds of intense edits with them. Not only are we ultimately going to get a better deal on a manuscript that’s in better condition, but I also want to make sure that you’re willing to work just as hard as I am to make your good manuscript great. HOWEVER—this does not mean you should try submitting something that isn’t your absolute best work, hoping that we’ll help you make it good enough for submission. Only begin querying agents when you’ve brought you story as far as you absolutely can on your own.” (Link)
E-mail: Yes (only)
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Writers: E-mail a query letter that includes a synopsis of the work, your background and/or publishing history, and anything else relevant.
Illustrators: Send a query letter detailing your background in publishing or illustration and any other pertinent information. Include a link to a website with examples of your work, if possible. The agency will request digital files or hard copies if they're interested in seeing more.
See the Pippin Properties website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
“The number one thing a writer can do to catch an agent’s attention is show that you’ve done your research and that you’re querying Pippin because you know who we are and what we do. Then, tell us, in the best way you know how, what sets your story apart from the pack.” (Link)
There are a few submission tips on the submission page of the website.
The agency only responds if interested. If you do not hear back within three weeks, assume rejection. Stated response time on requested material is four weeks. See below:
"Unfortunately, we are not a large enough agency to respond to each query individually. If you don't hear from us within three weeks, please understand that we have read and considered your query, and have concluded that we are not the right agency to represent your work at this time. If we do request additional material, we would appreciate the exclusive opportunity to review it for one month." (Link)
What's the Buzz?
Elena Giovinazzo joined Pippin Properties in 2009 and was promoted to full agent February 2013. Prior to joining Pippin, Elena worked at Simon & Shuster and Random House in subsidiary rights and marketing. Pippin is highly respected and specializes in children’s and teen literature.
I recommend following Ms. Giovinazzo on Twitter @ElenaMechlin for further insight and client news.
Worth Your Time:
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo at Middle Grade Ninja (02/2013).
Literary Agent Interview: Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties, Inc. at Guide to Literary Agents (11/2012).
Interview: Holly McGhee and Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties Literary Agency at Writer Unboxed (10/2012).
Q and A with Agent Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo at Scribe (03/2011).
Live Chat with Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo, Joan Slattery, and Holly McGhee from Pippin! at WriteOnCon (01/2011).
Around the Web:
How to Write a Winning Query, Ms. Giovinazzo's query tips from the Rocky Mountain SCBWI fall conference at Write Up My Life (10/2010).
Some brief conference notes from the Lines and Letters Conference on Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo at Lightbulb Books (09/2010).
Keep an eye on the Pippin Properties NEWS page for updates and happenings.
Follow the Pippin Properties blog for inspiring and heartwarming client stories.
The Pippin Properties Facebook page has great "behind the scenes" pictures and coverage.
Please see the Pippin Properties website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 8/12/13.
Last Reviewed By Agent? N/A.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com
Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.