248: What Literary Agents Are Really Looking for with Michele Martin

2023 IP Podcast - Episode 248 - Michele Martin - rectangle

with host artist Miriam Schulman

A lot of people think about sharing their story and writing their own book. As a creative, my bets are that you’ve considered this idea as well. But the publishing world can be intimidating, and figuring out where to get started can be overwhelming. 

Our guest today is Michele Martin. Michele is a literary agent and the founder of MDM Management. She started in the book publishing industry in the 1970s and has worked as an associate publisher at Random House, Simon Schuster, and other major book publishers. Most importantly, she’s my book agent for Artpreneur. 

In this podcast, you will discover…

What makes your book proposal stand out to an agent? What makes them take a second look at your proposal in the middle of looking at hundreds of other proposals each week? Here are three pieces of advice from Michele: 

  • Have a unique idea 
  • Have an established platform 
  • Have a defined, personal voice 

“Your book has to be clearly new enough that they’re willing to take another book off the shelf to put yours on it.” – Michele Martin 

Writing a book is a fun process. The journey to getting it published can be exciting. And there’s nothing like the feeling you get when people tell you that your book helped them, or that they connected with your story. 

Links Mentioned

Connect with Michele Martin: 



About Michele

I am a literary agent. I started in book publishing in the 1970s as an assistant at Doubleday. I spent the next few decades as Associate Publisher or Publisher at Random House, Simon & Schuster and other major book publishing companies. I became a literary agent, by accident, about 15 years ago and never looked back.

About the host, Miriam Schulman

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.

After witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, What Women Create, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. Check out my best-selling book with HarperCollins Leadership, Artpreneur, how to make money from your creativity, wherever books are sold. When I’m not in the studio, I split my time between New York City and a farmhouse in the country. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at schulmanart.com/freebies

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Listener shout out of the week!

Great podcast!
I have listened to so many episodes that I lost count. I learnt so many fundamental building blocks to sell one’s artworks and this knowledge became instrumental in building my own art business. The show is always easy to listen to–great pacing and great guests–while I work.

~ michelleksfung


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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