Sunday, December 08, 2019

April 2023:  
Earth Month and Spring Cleaning time, and I'm concentrating on clearing out my submission backlog, which has become way too great after my mother's passing and settling of her estate, which included three generations of possessions and hundreds of my father's books, he was an English and Drama professor for fifty years! 

This means the agency is closed to all fiction submissions, and taking only nonfiction queries, including memoir, until further notice.


Querying through my site is the preferred method, as we see new queries this way within 12 hours of submission. If you're here to query me, please scroll down for instructions.

Scroll a bit further for a post on my agenting philosophy, if you would like to read that before querying.

Please consider checking out the agency Facebook page for news, events and samples of current client work, I post more frequently there than here.
You can also follow me on Twitter at:

 What I'm looking for:
     Nonfiction: my favorite categories are narrative nonfiction, history, science (I love math!), politics - especially the progressive kind, environmental books of all kinds from lifestyle to science to adventure, business, and memoir.  Most of my clients are journalists, writing all of the above.
     Fiction: strong storytelling - adult, YA, or middle grade. If it's literary fiction, I respond best to stories that are not too quiet and have unique, unexpected elements.  In genre fiction, I don't handle  romance, but I will consider other genres, especially science fiction and fantasy.    

     A tip:  What day of the week do I (like most agents) receive the most queries on?  Tuesday.  Every week, without fail.  So if you like to stand out from the crowd, do consider querying me on another day.  (But of course if everyone reading this avoids Tuesday, the day could be all yours!)



Diana Finch Literary Agency
116 West 23rd Street, Fifth Floor
New York, NY 10011
917-544-4470 (no query calls please)

Monday, October 07, 2019

Oktober Book Fest!

Monday, 10/7:  We're in publishing's Harvest Season - when Fall's big books are released and when international publishers and agents gather in Germany for the Frankfurt Book Fair the week of 10/14 - exciting and extremely busy!
So for this week and next, 10/7 - 10/21, the agency is closed to fiction submissions, but open for all nonfiction.  Danke schoen!


Friday, December 26, 2014

A Gratitude Prayer, written for the holidays, but good at any time of year

A Poem for Your Holiday Reading Pleasure

by Chris Morrow, co-owner of the Northshire Bookstore with stores in Manchester Center, Vt., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Can we pause,
come back to our hearts
offer up a moment
of gratitude.

Beyond the bounds
of hope and fear,
beyond the ring of
the register, and the
call from the bank.
Can we abandon
the habit
to struggle
and, instead, rejoice?

Rejoice in gratitude,
for this breath, and the
for the sun, and snow
for the smiles of
friends and strangers.

for creating an oasis
    of elegance, of humanity
    of culture, of service
in the desert of

for the beautiful books
arriving every day.

for the ceaseless flow
through receiving to shelf

for the patter of
as kids lead parents
to the land of magic
on floor two.

for the embodied
energy of service
to each other,
to our guests,
to the larger vision.

for excellent co-workers
and the everyday
co-creating of Northshire Bookstore,

We live, it is said,
in the slime and muck
of the dark age.

But we can light a
of love.
We can pause and appreciate
what it means
what it means
what it truly means
to put the right book
in the right hands
at the right time!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

How To Query Me

You may query me here:


                        with a good full query letter and the first ten or so pages of your manuscript.
Before submitting your query, you may want to read my post below on 'What To Expect From An Agent.'
For more information on the agency, you can also see my listing on Publishers Marketplace and check out the agency's Facebook page.

Thanks so much,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What To Expect From An Agent

Here's some information on what to expect from working with an agent. I developed this from a checklist I emailed to a client once. I think it's such a good idea to address an author's expectations about what working with an agent will involve, what an agent does, what an agent can do for an author. So much that is unexpected can and does arise during the process of publishing a book (some of it good!) that it helps tremendously if an author and agent have a clear, shared vision of what their working relationship will involve.

OVERVIEW An agent does not earn their commission simply by matching up an author with a publisher - it is far, far more than that. Sometimes the author and publisher have even already found each other when the agent’s work begins. Preparing and editing the proposal or manuscript for submission, selecting the editors and publishers to submit to, handling the offer or the auction, negotiating the deal terms, negotiating the language and detailed provisions of the contract, helping out in relations with the publisher as needed (which includes everything from scheduling, to editorial questions, to legal issues, to promotion and publicity upon publication and over the life of the book), maximizing the opportunities for further rights sales on a book, and working with an author on career development – an agent is involved in all these aspects of the business of publishing.

Here’s a quick overview of what to expect from working with an agent:

ADVANCE & OTHER FINANCIAL TERMS An agent will negotiate not just the amount of your advance but also the payment schedule (Is it paid in two installments or three? Is there a payment on delivery of part of the manuscript or only on complete delivery? Etc.) The percentages of royalties for various types of sales (hardcover, trade paperback, high discount, export and more) will all be spelled out in your agreement. Your share of income from subsidiary rights that the publisher controls, such as book club or foreign rights will be negotiated – unless your agent reserves the foreign rights for you and sells them to foreign publishers either directly or via subagents overseas. And the agent will be taking on the fiduciary responsibility of collecting these payments for you, chasing the publisher for them if they are late, and reviewing the detailed royalty statements to make sure that they accurately follow the contract terms, don’t contain any unexplained or questionable information, and that no sales activity seems to be unaccounted for.

E-BOOK DEVELOPMENTS This is a huge new area - e-book publication - that is developing rapidly, everyone in publishing is testing new strategies and making new policy. Your book will be a great opportunity to forge new ground in e-book publication, everything from issues of timing to share of profits to you to international distribution, etc.

ADDITIONAL RIGHTS BEYOND INITIAL BOOK AND E-BOOK PUBLICATION Subsidiary rights, foreign rights, dramatic rights - all these are negotiable, including terms, control, approvals, splits, timing, strategies.

LEGAL ISSUES For this book there are important legal issues to address (also if the book is released in the UK, which should be a strong market for this story) and I would make sure that DB does that in a way that protects you.

AGENT OR LAWYER? Some authors wonder whether to be represented by an agent or, particularly if they have already been approached by a publisher, by a lawyer who could negotiate their book contract. I believe that you need an agent who knows the book business and who knows what is happening in the marketplace to go over your contract. Publishing contracts are legal documents that also address standard business practices in book publishing, and need to be reviewed by someone who understands both the legal issues and the business practices. A lawyer who charges by the hour could end up charging more than the standard 15% commission percentage, and would not be able to address the marketing aspects as well as an agent would. And a lawyer might not be there for you later on in the process should problems arise during the editing or publication of the book.

FILM You should control the film and dramatic rights to your books I co-agent the film rights to my clients’ books with agents who specialize in handling film rights to books, and I sometimes handle film options directly. It is an area in which the timing of submissions can be extremely important.

PROMOTION AND PUBLICITY Finally - promotion and publicity, the actual publishing of the book and publicizing of the author: On many books I do the most work on this aspect, dealing with everything from brainstorming publicity ideas with author and publisher to following through and making sure that the publisher is doing everything they should, to advising the author on websites, e-media, etc. Many publishers now require authors to have an online presence, a full website, Twitter account and Facebook page.

AUTHOR/AGENT AGREEMENTS You and your agent should expect to commit to each other to work on placing your book. One of the exciting aspects of the business is that offers can come about in many ways, from the traditional (your agent works with you on the proposal and submits it simultaneously to a group of selected publishers) to the serendipitous (you or your agent meet an editor on vacation, at a child’s school event, and discover a shared interest; an editor reads an article you wrote or comes across your website and calls to propose a book project). No matter the initial genesis of the offer, your agent will work with you to make sure you have the best possible deal with the publisher, and the best possible publishing experience.

AGENT FREES UP YOUR TIME AND ENERGIES TO WRITE AND TO BE AN AUTHOR – TO BE THE BEST AUTHOR YOU CAN BE Maintaining the editorial relationship with the publisher is your responsibility. Your agent works to further your relationship with a publisher and does not interfere with it. There is plenty for an agent to do in terms of negotiating the deal and details of publication - you should not have to handle this yourself and you should not have to negotiate in person with your publisher, which can be stressful and at times even antagonistic. You should be free to concentrate on your writing and then on promoting your book.