About Our Literary Agency...
Founded in 1991, our agency's purpose has remained steadfastto work creatively and honestly with writers to maximize the potential value of their book ideas and aspiring careers. We work primarily with non-fiction and historical fiction authors. Being "of service" also recognizes our responsibility to editors and publishers to represent high-quality writers and help them create best-selling books and long-term beneficial relationships with our clients.
To achieve significant results for our clients, we work closely with them in shaping their ideas into impactful proposals and books. We work with many award-winning authors and leading content experts including: Matt May, Rich Sheridan, Lynn Robinson, Jeff Thull, Jeanne Meister, Braden Kelley, Rod Pyle, Ashley Davis Bush, et. al. Our agency's services include:
||digital content coaching
||small press consulting
John Willig, Literary Agent and Consultant
Celebrating 40 years working in publishing, John often says to friends that his career actually began as a Newsday paperboy growing up on Long Island, New York. He was fortunate to be raised in a family whose passions included books, basketball, and family gatherings at the beach.
After graduating from Brown University, his first job was as a sales representative in academic publishing. He soon began work as a marketing manager and then editor for HarperCollins. As his interests moved to trade publishing, he became an executive editor at Prentice Hall for business books. While at P-Hall, John enjoyed working with such authors as Henry Mintzberg, Philip Kotler and Jim Collins and acquired Mr.Collins' first book Beyond Entrepreneurship.
In 1991 he decided to become a literary agent to work more closely with writers. Throughout his career as an editor and agent, John has successfully negotiated over 750 publishing agreements. John is a member of The Author's Guild and participates at industry events including Writer's Digest conferences and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conferences.
John is the proud father of two sons, both of whom were All-Shore Academic All Stars and graduated with honors from their respective colleges. He enjoys a wide-range of hobbies from exploring new regions and discovering hidden treasures in the arts and antiquarian books.
"I probably would not have secured a deal for Rebuilding Empires in such a short period of time without attending the Pitch Slam. Of the eight agents I met, all wanted a full book proposal. Three eventually wanted to represent me. The agent I selected, John Willig, not only won me a contract with Palgrave Macmillan, but proved to be an indispensable ally and advisor."
—Thomas Lee, Writers Digest Conference Pitch Slam Attendee
John's Upcoming Event Schedule:
- May 16, Steve Harrison's Quantum Leap Conf., Valley Forge, PA
- May 18, Association of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), NYC
- May 30-June 1, Book Expo America, NYC
- July 12, ThrillerFest, NYC
- August 11, Writers Digest Conference, NYC
Our Regional and Global Book Scouts and Clients
We work worldwide with a great group of publishing professionals. Our scouts and clients are now based across the U.S. and around the world. Our clients work in many countries including Japan, Singapore, Canada, Germany, U.K., New Zealand, and China.
Sylvia Tooker, Web Manager
Based in Dallas, Texas, Sylvia Tooker provides virtual web design and site maintenance services to solo professionals and small businesses nationwide. Having previously worked for small businesses in administrative positions, designing and managing websites for them is a natural fit for her detail-oriented skills and experience.
Her recent website redesign project for author Edward Gordon included converting his static HTML website to a mobile-responsive WordPress site.
Shane Bowlin, Administrative Director
Shane Bowlin, administrative director, provides support from her office in Gainesville, Florida. She has been assisting authors/small business owners virtually for over 12 years. Shane, a leader in the VA industry, has published articles and ebooks on a variety of topics, and has been interviewed for radio, print, and electronic media.
"The greats weren't great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great cause they painted a lot. I will not be a statistic, just let me be, no child left behind, that's the American scheme. I make my living off of words, and do what I love for work. Ten Thousand. Put those hours in and look what you get."
—Macklemore, "Ten Thousand Hours"
"It's a complex, messy time. But there's reason to hope the future of news is bright. That's because
today's world resembles nothing so much as the world 300 years ago — when Americans began experimenting with a strange new media format: the newspaper."
—Olive Thompson,, Tweet All About It, Smithsonian Magazine, May 2016