Survive and Thrive: Langtons International Agency
How Linda Langton successfully led her boutique literary agency through the COVID minefield.
Linda Langton, CEO of Langtons International Agency, is a survivor. Her entire career has been about taking chances, surviving obstacles in her path, and thriving. Although she was born in Manchester, England (her father was the Lord Mayor), she married and moved to Australia. She eventually became a highly successful award-winning businesswoman. After creating and operating The Ink Group, an award winning $50 million international greeting card and calendar company, she packed up and moved to New York, where she began her agency.
“Having left Australia behind, I followed my dream to live here. I knew no one in New York and had no idea what I was going to do. A client from my previous company asked me to agent his photography book. Being a very can-do person, I said, ‘Of course, I will!’ I hadn’t a clue about being an agent in the publishing industry and knew no one in New York at that time.”- Linda Langton
This “can-do” attitude that Linda has in abundance led her to create Langtons International Agency. She has successfully made over 100 writers into published authors from every genre over the past twenty-two years, from well-known women’s fiction to commercial fiction and almost all nonfiction categories. Recent successes include a women’s business book sold to Atria Publishing for a 6-figure deal, a memoir by one of the lead voice actors of major anime, sold to Running Press in a 5 figure deal, and a six-book Sherlock Holmes series in an international deal to HarperCollins UK, each book a 5-figure deal. Several more books are in the pipeline for publication later this year. They range from two new true-crime books by an award-winning journalist and a thriller by a NY Times best-selling author. In addition, some of Langtons International Agency’s books have been turned into films, such as Trumbo, and four true-crime books, including “Dancing on Her Grave,” published by Berkley.
“Linda is tough, committed, and knowledgeable, all key traits for a successful agent. She believed in ART IN THE BLOOD, my first novel, and persisted past many rejections to land me a sale and then a three and then a five-book deal at HarperCollins. Now that is persistence, I’m so grateful.” — Bonnie MacBird, International Best Selling Author
Langtons International Agency did not slow down during the pandemic. Instead, the company transferred to an online work-from-home paradigm, as many did during this period of quarantine and uncertainty. As a result, Linda found that the market grew with more people reading books and more writers reaching out to be published. Because of social isolation, writers and would-be authors had time to concentrate on their books and submit them to agencies like Langtons International. Using zoom and video chat to connect to publishers and clients has become a basic method of communication, and Linda doesn’t see this changing anytime soon.
“Our reputation online and word-of-mouth has been a driving force in finding potential clients. We have been incredibly busy in the past years of the pandemic, and post-COVID.” — Linda Langton
Over the past few years, the company has been focusing on the global market. In the next two years, the agency will be concentrating as well as the US and Canada, on the UK, and European markets.
Publishing has changed over several years and not because of COVID, but that didn’t help. The five remaining large publishing companies swallowed up many of the smaller publishers. With the pandemic, agents and the industry have been inundated with new writers and submissions, causing agents and publishers to be more selective. Langtons International Agency invites authors to submit manuscripts in the Mysteries/Thrillers, True Crime, Women’s Fiction, Memoir, Narrative nonfiction, Business books, Historical Fiction,and Biography genres.
Linda has recently recorded and is distributing several vlogs (video blogs) about what a writer needs to do to prepare and write a manuscript, how to find an agent and what to expect next.
As a subsidary to Langtons International Agency, Linda also recently started an author-assisted publishing company for books that are outside of the commercial publishing purview. Central Park South Publishing provides a full range of services to help writers get their books polished and published and offered to the bookstores and online through Amazon and the 8 online publishers. Central Park South encourages authors to submit their work for review. Contact the agency at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. Linda Langton and her staff are always happy to speak with potential writers.