This week's Agent Spotlight features Adam Chromy of Movable Type Management.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “After receiving a degree in Finance and Management from N.Y.U.’s Stern School of Business and spending a decade as a sales and marketing guru for technology startups, Adam Chromy decided to blend his love of narrative with his modern entrepreneurial spirit. The result was Artists and Artisans, where for ten years he represented authors with a professional rigor seldom seen in the book business. After hundreds of published books and numerous bestsellers, Adam reorganized Artists and Artisans as a management company to better serve clients by offering them the higher visibility afforded by film and television adaptations of their work. At Movable Type Management, Adam will serve as President of Movable Type Media, managing a very exclusive list of authors while developing and producing the adaptations of MTM’s clients’ work.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Movable Type Management provides inventive and expansive management services, working with authors in a wide variety of categories and genres to develop properties for distribution across platforms, devices, and territories. A bicoastal management company, MTM performs in-house film, television, and digital development, leveraging our relationships with digital start-ups and veteran producers to add value to an author’s work at every opportunity.” (Link)
What He's Looking For:
General fiction, Mystery, Fantasy/science fiction, Juvenile fiction, Biography
Computers/technology, Business/investing/finance, Health, Lifestyle, Cookbooks, Sports, Science (Link).
From a Conference Bio:
“Adam is still signing authors of fiction and narrative nonfiction as long as the writing is exceptional and the authors have something truly unique to say. He is also interested in practical nonfiction from authors with strong platforms and/or a point of view that challenges the status quo.” (Link)
From an Interview (06/2007):
“I like a unique but readable voice telling a great story in a world that is somehow interesting. When I evaluate a book for consideration, I look at the following:
“1. The voice or personality of the writing. This is critical because voice can’t be helped or changed. Some take years to get it, other never do – so for me you either have one I like or you don’t.
“2. Novelty of the premise. I think readers like archetypal stories, but told in unique settings or worlds. So I look for a premise or setting so interesting that I don’t even realize I am reading a universal/familiar story.
“3. Technical quality. Mostly, I am concerned about narrative structure,
dramatic tension, a satisfying resolution etc. I hope the book is good, but I can work on this with the author.
“4. Promote-ability. I am looking for an author or premise that is press worthy. If the author is already a success, the press is easy. But for up and coming or debut authors the press potential for the book usually comes out of the author’s connection to the subject of the book, i.e. a debut espionage thriller from an former spy is far more promote-able than the same book from an accountant.” (Link)
What He Isn't Looking For:
Children’s books, screenplays. (Link)
On being a literary manager:
“Agents are only allowed to sell authors’ work. But manager can either sell their clients’ work or act as producer for it. This is irrelevant in the book business but has huge ramifications in the extremely critical performance arena. If I were an agent, I’d only be able to sell the performance adaptation to my clients’ books and sit with them on the sidelines and wait for news from Hollywood. The buying producer would have free reign to do as they pleased with the property and we wouldn’t even know what’s going on most of the time. As a manager however, I am able to work as a producer on my clients’ adaptations. So my clients save the commission (because I am paid by the studio as a producer) and I work along side the buying producer to bring the project to fruition all the while looking out for my clients interests. This is a win-win for me and my clients and this is why I spend nearly half of my time in Los Angeles lately.” (Link)
As needed. This quote pertains to non-fiction but may apply to fiction as well.
“Hardly anything is perfect coming in, so we fine-tune everything that goes out. And we even take on projects in dire need of help if we see potential. We can do wonders (even if it means finding a ghostwriter) if we like the project and/or author.” (Link)
As of this posting, Mr. Chromy is listed on Publisher’s Marketplace as having made 4 deals in the last 12 months and 58 overall. Recent deals include 1 women’s/romance, 1 non-fiction: memoir, 1 non-fiction: pop-culture, 1 television rights.
E-mail: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
The most recent and clear submissions guidelines I could find are these from the 2012 Guide to Literary Agents:
“Query by e-mail only. Start subject line with ‘query.’ No unsolicited submissions. All fiction queries must include a brief author’s bio, and the setup or premise for the book. Accepts simultaneous submissions.” (Link)
“I like to read email queries, but I only respond when interested. My latest pet peeve is authors who lead with the word count. As if getting to 120,000 words was the greatest accomplishment of the work and merits further consideration.” (Link)
Mr. Chromy only responds if interested. Stats on the web suggest he often responds within days when he is.
What's the Buzz?
Adam Chromy founded Artists and Artisans, an agency recommended by P&E and which ran successfully for ten years. In fall of 2011 Artists and Artisans merged with Movable Type Literary Group to form Movable Type Management. The new agency manages more than 200 authors in a variety of genres.
Mr. Chromy is open to YA submissions, but it does not appear to be a particular area of interest for him. Off his 58 listed deals, PM shows 3 YA sales for Susanne Dunlap and 1 for Cheryl Diamond. He is also very selective.
Worth Your Time:
“Super Agent” — Adam Chromy on Creating a Brand, interview at GalleyCat (03/2010).
Voices on Writing: Literary Agent Adam Chromy at The ASJA Monthly (2010?).
Tips for Succeeding in a Tough Market, interview with Ask the Editor (12/2008).
Agent Advice Interview with Adam Chromy at Guide to Literary Agents (03/2008).
Interview with Adam Chromy at A View From the Top (06/2007).
Around the Web:
You can join the agency mailing list here.
Adam Chromy on P&E ($).
Movable Type Management thread on AbsoluteWrite.
AbsoluteWrite thread for his former agency, Artists and Artisans.
Announcement of the Artists and Artisans / Movable Type Literary Group merge at GalleyCat (10/2011). There is another here at Michele Matrisciani’s tumblr.
Blueprinting Your Novel, Break the Rules of Adhere to Form, YouTube video featuring Adam Chromy (07/2011).
Author Mistakes, YouTube video featuring Adam Chromy (09/2010).
Making Divorce Work, YouTube video featuring Adam Chromy (09/2010).
How I Got My Agent: Don J. Rearden at Guide to Literary Agents (01/2011).
Agent Roundtable with Jason Allen Ashlock & Adam Chromy, pictures at Paragraph (01/2012).
Mr. Chromy’s co-authored book, Please Fire Me.
Please see the Movable Type Management website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 4/19/12.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
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 and/or teen 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.