Survey Blog Blog


A composite list of bestseller titles based on The New York Times Book Review, The Times of London, and The Toronto Globe & Mail. Presented in no particular order...


1. 1. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent; AGENT: Joel Kneedler at Alive Communications. Longest established of the agencies concentrating on books aimed at the Evangelical Christian market.

2. ONE NATION, by Ben Carson with Candy Carson; AGENT: Sealy Yates at Yates & Yates. Primarily a law firm who last we spoke with them made different charges determined according to the size of the advance. (Was a flat $7,500 under $50k and 15% of commission above that.) Sealy Yates at one time worked with Rick Christian, founder of Alive Communications. (See above.)

3. THE BOYS IN THE BOAT, by Daniel James Brown; AGENT: Dorian Karchmar at Wm Morris Endeavor in NYC. Karchmar auctioned the ms and got a seven figure deal for this story of the US rowing crew that took the gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

4. FINDING ME, by Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford; AGENT: Jan Miller at Dupree Miller in Dallas. One of the handful of successful agencies not based on either coast (with 98% in NYC). Specialists in narrative non-fiction, usually with a strong human interest hook.

5. FLASH BOYS, by Michael Lewis; AGENT: Al Zuckerman. Founder of Writers House and technically retired. Not necessarily so you'd notice.

6.NO PLACE TO HIDE, by Glenn Greenwald ; AGENT: Dan Conaway at Writers House.

7. THE ROMANOV SISTERS, by Helen Rappaport; AGENT: Charlie Viney in London. This one originally sold in 2012. Rappaport now seems to have moved with her latest to Caroline Michel at PFD in London. US sales by the UK agents in both cases.

8. IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME?, by Mindy Kaling; AGENT: Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment represents this star, writer, and producer of The Office.

9. ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, by Piper Kerman; AGENT: Stuart Krichevsky. Much more in keeping with the Krichevsky list then his novelist client's entry in the fiction list below.

10. SPECIAL HEART, by Bret Baier with Jim Mills; AGENT: Claudia Cross at Folio Literary Management and Larry Kramer of Kramer Talent Management (Baier is a Fox News anchor, so the involvement of a talent agent isn't a surprise.)


1. A SHIVER OF LIGHT, by Laurell K. Hamilton; AGENT: Merilee Heifetz at Writers House. Most interesting fact: Heifetz is a long established agent (LEA). Now, read on.

2. THE GOLDFINCH, by Donna Tartt; AGENT: AGENT: Amanda Urban at ICM. As LEA as an agent can be. As for the book, it's now in its 33rd week on the NYTimes combined E and Print list and is at number 3.

3.THE HURRICANE SISTERS, by Dorothea Benton Frank; AGENT: Amy Berkower also at Writers House, also LEA.

4. THE ONE AND ONLY, by Emily Giffin; AGENT: Theresa Park, Arguably not quite as Long Established as the above, but started her agenting career as an asst to bigger names in '94. Earlier the author was with Stephanie Evans (got into the game around the same time as Park).

5. SKIN GAME, by Jim Butcher; AGENT: Jennifer Jackson at Donald Masse. Yup... another fairly Long Established Agent. We started a record for her in 1993. Last few years, Jackson is VP of the agency.

6. SAVE THE DATE, by Mary Kay Andrews; AGENT: Stuart Krichevsky. Also LEA. Made his name representing the likes of Sebastian Junger and Nathaniel Philbrick in the 90's. Andrews has been with him at least a dozen years.

7. FIELD OF PREY, by John Sandford ; AGENT: Esther Newberg at ICM. LEA for sure.

8. CHINA DOLLS, by Lisa See; AGENT: Sandra Dijkstra. Doyenne of the West Coast agents and go-to for all things Asian-American. At least most things.

9. I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND, by Marie Force; AGENT Kevan Lyon. Relative newcomer compared to the above. Lyon started with the Dijkstra agency in 2005 and she and Jill Marsal founded Marsal Lyon in 2009.

10. SHIELD OF WINTER, by Nalini Singh; AGENT: Elaine Spencer at The Knight Agency. Relatively new agent by the standards above. First picked her up in 2006.

11. MORAL OF THE STORY? Beverly will be blogging on this in the next few days.


Even if one of these books is very like your own work, knowing the agent's name doesn't:

  • tell you enough to make a meaningful judgment about the agent's abilities
  • help you determine how well you'd fit on the agent's list
  • help you get on the agent's list.
But it's fun. And if you're ready to commit to getting a first class agent of your own, go to Our Services and check out Dead Reckoning to find out what more we can tell you, and how much it costs.

View our BESTSELLER ARCHIVE and check out the best-selling fiction and non-fiction titles of the past, the authors and their agents.

Click on Bestseller Archive to step back in time.