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Nathan Lundholm

Agency: Mystery Detective Literary Agency

No agency does more than Mystery Detective Literary Agency to get our writers published with the best contracts from established ethical publishers. What distinguishes Mystery Detective Literary Agency from other agencies is our marketing strategy for our clients.

Research has shown some extremely discouraging statistics for the unknown, unpublished writer. Like most businesses, the publishers need to make a profit. Publishers once depended on their editorial staffs to select which submissions out of hundreds received from writers would be accepted for publishing. They now have cut their editorial staffs to a fraction of what they once employed. Publishers now depend upon literary agents to perform that task via submissions by writers the agents select to represent. Publishers usually publish only three percent of the total agents' submissions.

If a publisher accepts an unknown writer, the writer will usually get a minimal or even no advance payment. The writer's income from sales will then be restricted to the net revenue from the book's sales. The publisher determines the net revenue. Guess who gets little or nothing? An additional negative is the time to publication and distribution will usually be between two to three years from the publisher's acceptance.

Another major obstacle for an unknown writer is the cost of promoting a book. Research reveals a minimum of $160,000 needs to be spent promoting a book or it is doomed for market failure. How much do you think a publisher is willing to spend promoting an unknown writer? Like throwing mud on the wall hoping some of it will stick, the publisher hopes sales for the unknown writer to somehow take off on their own.

Like publishers, agents typically accept only about three percent of the hundreds of submissions they receive. So what are the chances of an unknown writer being published? Multiply those stats of three percent agents' acceptance by three percent publishers' acceptance. The chances of an unknown writer even being published is only slightly better than one out of 10,000!

These statistics result in a lot of excellent unknown writers being ignored. Mystery Detective Literary Agency has no choice but to follow the same process as other agencies in submitting to publishers because publishers determine the process. However, if we believe the writer's novel is a winner even though publishers have rejected it, we will promote and publish the novel at no cost to the writer.

Our goal is to be the best agency for mystery/detective authors. That requires having the best products. The following criteria determines acceptance of a submission.

The main character must be a strong, proactive detective/investigator with interesting personality traits that make him/her unique, and preferably somewhat flawed.
Fast moving introductory chapters with a good hook are must.
The plot with clues must be logically developed to an exciting, preferably surprising climax. We want the reader to think back and say to himself, "Oh yeah, that's right!"
If you rate your novel as a nine or ten page-turner on a scale of 1 - 10, submit your query letter with introductory chapters and a short summary of the novel to:

Nathan Lundholm, Manager
Mystery Detective Literary Agency, Inc.
1301 Cordone Ave LL100
Reno, NV 89502

Listed in Jeff Herman's directory of agents: No

Reading fee: No