This week's Agent Spotlight features John Rudolph of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “John Rudolph joined Dystel & Goderich in 2010 after twelve years as an acquiring children’s book editor. He began his career at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers as an Editorial Assistant and then moved to the G. P. Putnam’s Sons imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, where he eventually served as Executive Editor on a wide range of young adult, middle-grade, nonfiction, and picture book titles. He graduated from Amherst College with a double major in Classics and Music.
“John is always eager to discover fresh new voices and highly original stories regardless of category, though he’s probably known as a “boy book” kind of guy. He is particularly interested in thrillers and other commercial men’s fiction. He is also actively looking for narrative nonfiction, especially in music, sports, other performing arts, health/popular science, business, memoir, military history, and humor. And on the children’s side, he is keenly interested in middle-grade and young adult fiction, and would love to find the next great picture book author/illustrator.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Dystel & Goderich Literary Management was founded in 1994 by Jane Dystel, who has been a respected figure in publishing for over 30 years — first as an editor, then as a publisher, and finally as a savvy and successful agent. The agency is the product of her innovative vision of author representation as a full-service enterprise.
“DGLM was launched with a quickly growing roster of Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, celebrated experts in fields as diverse as parenting, women’s health, and cooking, acclaimed literary and commercial fiction writers, and an eclectic and exciting list of titles. The primary goal of the agency was and is to offer not just financial and contractual advice to its clients, but also editorial guidance and support.
“Being involved in every stage of putting together a non-fiction book proposal, offering substantial editing on fiction manuscripts, and coming up with book ideas for authors looking for their next project is as much a part of our work as selling, negotiating contracts, and collecting monies for our clients. We follow a book from its inception through its sale to a publisher, its publication, and beyond. Our commitment to our writers does not, by any means, end when we have collected our commission. This is one of the many things that makes us unique in a very competitive business.” (Link)
What He's Looking For:
Fiction - Action/Adventure, Children's (author/illustrators), Middle Grade, Young Adult, Commercial Fiction, Literary Fiction.
Non-Fiction - Celebrity, Pop Culture, Narrative, Music, Film & Entertainment, Current Affairs & Politics, Humor & Gift Books, Sports. (Link)
From His Bio (as above):
“John is always eager to discover fresh new voices and highly original stories regardless of category, though he’s probably known as a ‘boy book’ kind of guy. He is particularly interested in thrillers and other commercial men’s fiction. He is also actively looking for narrative nonfiction, especially in music, sports, other performing arts, health/popular science, business, memoir, military history, and humor. And on the children’s side, he is keenly interested in middle-grade and young adult fiction, and would love to find the next great picture book author/illustrator.” (Link)
From His Personal Essay (DGLM website):
“For middle-grade and YA fiction, I’m on the lookout for authentic kids’ voices and rousing, high concept stories—I love a good ‘what-if’ scenario—and at a younger level, I’m eager to find the next great illustrator who can also write. For adults, men’s commercial fiction (thrillers/mysteries) have really gotten me excited lately, as has narrative nonfiction in areas like music, sports, health, business, military history, memoir—basically, if it’s a ‘boy book,’ it’s probably for me!” (Link)
From a Blog Post (04/2011):
“By far, the bulk of the queries I receive are fantasy-based or have paranormal elements, and while that’s all fine and good, I’d LOVE to see more fiction that deals with kids in contemporary, realistic settings. And it’s not that these stories can’t be creative or plot-driven—too often, I feel like authors equate fantasy with action, while realism is reserved for ‘issues.’ There are tons of possibilities for high-concept storylines that don’t involve alternate worlds or werewolves, and I was very glad to see some of them this weekend.” (Link)
From an Interview (11/2010):
“Right now, I’m especially keen on middle-grade adventure fiction, because I think there’s room out there for a great new middle-grade series. I’m also looking for YA across all genres, and while I’m not actively looking for picture book manuscripts, I would love to find some illustrators who can write.” (Link)
What He Isn't Looking For:
Plays, screenplays, poetry. (Link)
“I’m not actively looking for picture book manuscripts unless they’re by author/illustrators.” (Link)
“While I still relish editing and working with authors and illustrators, finding new talent has always been my favorite part of an editor’s job, and so I’m thrilled for this new opportunity to directly encounter fresh, distinct voices and to help authors transform their voices into books.” (Link)
A list of Dystel & Goderich clients is available on the website.
Mr. Rudolph’s clients include: Rachele Alpine, Steven Cordero, Ericka Blount Danois, Stephen Duncan, Bryan Gilmer, Paul Gude, Craig Heimbuch, Shandy Lawson, Adam Lazarus, August McLaughlin, Joe Oestreich, Adrienne Sylver, among others.
As of this posting, Mr. Rudolph is listed on Publisher’s Marketplace as having made 7 deals in the last 12 months and 7 overall. Recent deals include 2 young adult, 1 picture book, 1 general/other, 1 memoir, 1 pop culture, 1 sports.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales.
E-mail: Yes (preferred).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Per the D&GLM website:
"Enclose a cover letter, outline or brief synopsis of the work (with word count if possible), a sample chapter, and a stamped, self-addressed envelope for our response. Please type all of your correspondence and double space everything other than the cover letter. E-mail queries are fine, but keep them brief and make sure your cover letter is in the body of the e-mail. We won't open attachments if they come with a blank e-mail. Please be sure to query only one agent at this agency. We will not review queries sent to more than one of us."
See the agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
The agency's stated response time for queries is six to eight weeks and eight weeks for requested material. If you do not hear back in that time, feel free to resend. (Link)
Mr. Rudolph’s response times range from hours to a couple months on queries and days to a month or so on requested material.
What's the Buzz?
Former Putnam editor John Rudolph has been with DGLM just over a year now. He’s made a good number of sales out the gate and his clients seem very pleased with his representation. I recommend following his posts on the DGLM blog.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with an Agent: John Rudolph at Mother. Write. (Repeat.) (03/2010).
7 Questions For: Literary Agent John Rudolph at Middle Grade Ninja (11/2010).
New Agent Interview: John Rudolph, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management at SCBWI: The Blog (10/2010).
Mr. Rudolph posts regularly on the DGLM blog. Here’s a link to his label, which should take you to most, if not all, of his posts.
All I Want For Christmas - Children’s Wish List (12/2010).
All I Want For Christmas Part II - Adult Wish List (12/2010).
Around the Web:
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management on P&E ($, Highly Recommended).
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management thread at AbsoluteWrite.
Mr. Rudolph’s personal essay on the DGLM website.
Subscribe to the DGLM newsletter here.
Please see the Dystel & Goderich Literary Management website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 12/01/11.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 12/01/11.
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.