Top Children’s Literary Agents 2016-2017: Picture Books, Middle Grade and YA

Top Children’s Literary Agents 2016-2017: Picture Books, Middle Grade and YA

Each year or so, I do a post about the top literary agents and compare how many titles were sold. I use the Publishers Marketplace database to discover which agents are selling the best. However, their information comes with an important caveat: all information is self-reported. Many agents only report their top sales. That means some agents may be under-valued and some over-valued in this report. This should only be the first step in investigating the agents.

Upward Trend in Sales: 258% Increase in Picture Book Sales Reported

The total number of reported sales of picture books has grown to an all-time high. As mentioned, we have no way to know if this is truly an increase in the number of sales, or simply more sales reported on Publisher’s Marketplace. Still, it’s encouraging to see that the numbers have increased by 258%.
2010 – 119 sales
2013 – 171
2015 – 234
2016 – 308

Middle Grade Sales – Up and Down

Middle grade sales, however, have been up and down. The current rate is up 43% over 2012, but down 8% from last year.
2012 – 83 sales
2015 – 129
2016 – 119

YA Sales – Up and down

YA sales are also up and down. The current sales are up 59% from 2013, but down 14% from last year.
2013 – 72 sales
2015 – 142 sales
2016 – 122 sales
Which literary agents sold the most projects in 2016? Get the 3 lists for top picture book agenty, middle grade agents, and young adult agents. |

Top 5 Children’s Book Literary Agents

These rankings are based on sales reported to Publisher’s Marketplace within the past 12 months.

Picture Book

  1. Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency
  2. Steven Malk, Writer’s House
  3. Ann Moore Armstrong, The Bright Group
  4. Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary
  5. Lori Nowicki, Painted Words

Middle Grade

  1. Daniel Lazar, Writer’s House
  2. Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
  3. Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency
  4. The next three were tied:

Young Adult

  1. Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties
  2. Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
  3. Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media
  4. Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary
  5. Mandy Hubbard, Emerald City Literary Agency

Also read: An interview with Literary Agent, Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media.

Get the full list of 20 agents in each category, along with the number of sales they made in the last 12 months. (pdf)

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