Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Agent Stories - Ted Weinstein

Ted Weinstein of Ted Weinstein Literary Management is leading us off in the "Agent Stories" series.

Once upon a time there was a talented graphic designer and business consultant who made a career out of using visual thinking techniques to help companies as wide-ranging and successful as Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart, Sun Microsystems and eBay solve their business challenges. He wanted to teach his techniques to many more people and decided that a book would be the right tool.

Although momentarily dazzled by the idea of working with a "name" literary agent, he took the advice of his former colleague, the legendary designer Roger Black, and signed instead with an agent who instantly understood his unique insights and had passion and creative ideas for how to package them into a book.

The initial proposal and its author wowed editors at every major business imprint, but all were fearful of the cost of producing a four-color illustrated book and rejected the project. Crestfallen, the author and his agent had long discussions about whether self-publishing would be the right approach or if a book just wasn't meant to be. But rather than letting the author give up or head down a path fraught with great expense and risk, the agent spent many months helping him rework his ideas and develop a new proposal for a book that conveyed the same uncommon insights and techniques in a format closer to what traditional business book imprints are comfortable publishing.

The revised proposal generated even more excitement and led to a whirlwind tour for the author to meet with editors at major publishers on the East and West coasts. The agent held a lively auction and the book sold for six figures to one of the world's leading business book publishers. Next Spring, literary agent Ted Weinstein recommends you pick up a copy of "The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems with Pictures," by Dan Roam, published by Penguin Portfolio.

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