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Sep 22, 2020

Agent Spotlight Series: Mariah Nichols

Mariah Nichols Spotlight image
Today we virtually sat down for a chat with literary agent Mariah Nichols. Mariah has a great passion for storytelling and the publishing industry. With a BS degree in Business, she wanted to apply her degree towards the world of books. After interning at Howland Literary, she transitioned to the role as a reader and in-house editor for the D4EO Literary Agency, working with Bob Diforio in all aspects of the business, with the intention of being named a D4EO literary agent.

CM: Welcome, Mariah! Let’s start with a fun fact about you.
Mariah: I actually hated to read as a kid. I would avoid it at all costs, until I stumbled upon the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park. Totally changed my view on literature and the love for books grew from there.

CM: How did you become an agent? If you were not an agent, what career would you have pursued?
Mariah: I was an intern at D4EO Literary Agency before getting promoted to a literary agent. I learned a lot and it was a great opportunity for me to grow. If I wasn’t an agent, I would either lean on my creative side and pursue fashion design or sway toward the path of law school because I love learning and find entertainment law and intellectual property very fascinating.

CM: Can you give us some insight as to how you pitch manuscripts to publishers? For example, do you confirm with your client where to shop it?
Mariah: I always try to make the process an exciting one as it’s the big moment for their book to go out to publishers. The author is always in the loop in the pitching process and knows where their book is going out to. They are included in each email along with the pitch list.

CM: In a world where many people have to social distance, virtual events are increasingly important. Are there any virtual events you recommend for writers in the querying trenches?
Mariah: I believe it’s a great opportunity for writers in the comfort of their own home to still attend events that can help them in their writing journey. One event that I know of coming up in October is the Push to Publish Annual Conference as I will be participating.

CM: How hands-on are you in the editing process before you send the manuscript out to publishers?
Mariah: I would say that I’m pretty hands-on in the editing process as I want to make sure the book is the strongest it can be. I work closely with authors if it’s fixing a certain scene in the book, formatting, etc. I’m here to help. It’s truly a team effort.

CM: What is a common myth about agents?
Mariah: That we read books all day.

D4EO Literary Agency’s Clients
(This list includes affiliate links)
Forge Books - 2021
Thomas & Mercer - 2020

How to query Mariah:
Fiction: Include query letter and the first 20 pages.
Non-fiction: State the marketing/publicity in your query letter along with your proposal, followed by the first sample chapter. Please include your ability to help promote and publicize your book as publishers want their NF authors to have strong media platforms
Mariah is accepting queries via Query Manager