THE JLA

Established in 2021, The James Literary Agency is a full-service agency specializing in commercial and literary fiction, as well as a wide range of nonfiction. We are proud to represent a list of award winning, national and international bestselling authors. With a publishing career of 17 years, founder Nicole James launched this company with a fierce commitment to authors and books.  

 

In a wildly evolving and highly saturated publishing landscape, it’s crucial that authors are represented with gusto; James Literary approaches the business with boldness, thoughtfulness, out-of-the-box thinking, and dogged hard work. This includes in-depth editorial support, tenacious negotiating, and savvy marketing oversight to maximize every opportunity for our clients. 

The James Literary Agency seeks captivating books to nurture, and burgeoning careers to build.

Welcome.

 

NICOLE JAMES, FOUNDER

After nearly two decades in publishing, I am more determined than ever to discover wonderful stories, help craft them, and find them the perfect publisher.  Selling a book is a thrill that simply never gets old, and telling an author good news definitely doesn’t either. 

 

I began my career in 2004 at The Aaron Priest Agency, working my way up to Foreign Rights Director, where I sold and managed a 30-year backlist for the agency including megabrand authors such as David Baldacci, Robert Crais, and Greg Iles. 

 

Spending nine years at Aaron Priest taught me the business at a legacy agency where some of the industry’s biggest household names were built. I not only learned how to structure seven and eight-figure deals and strategize worldwide marketing campaigns, I learned the qualities of good storytelling, honing my editorial skills, and training my eye as a reader. 


For the next several years, I built my own list of clients (primarily novelists) while also selling world English rights to select titles for

a series of international publishers. Developing a list of works in translation quickly became - and continues to be - a passion. 

 

From there, I joined the esteemed agency Chalberg & Sussman, where for the next seven years I expanded my interests and editorial prowess into nonfiction of all stripes, including memoir, how-to, and illustrated books. 

My list is extremely eclectic. A few things are also true: I’ve always loved and have had an eye for thrillers.  I’m also not afraid of a serious literary novel, and will personally pick up commercial suspense or a domestic drama when given a choice. The truth is, I will read virtually anything if it makes me turn the page. 

 

I am honored to represent Ben Coes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Dewey Andreas series and Rob Tacoma novels. I also represent many Scandinavian titles in the English language including the worldwide sensations THE HISTORY OF BEES and THE END OF THE OCEAN by Maja Lunde. Other European titles include bestselling British crime writer Luca Veste’s THE BONE KEEPER and THE SILENCE.

 

On the children’s side, I’m proud to represent Nick Burd’s young adult novel, THE VAST FIELDS OF ORDINARY, winner of The ALA’s Stonewall Book Award, and Diana Harmon Asher’s 2018 ALA Notable Book SIDETRACKED, and her second and forthcoming middle grade novel, UPSTAGED, among others. 

My nonfiction projects range from pop-culture titles such as MANNY THE FRENCHIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS to serious memoir such as the Washington Post bestseller, A LIFE EVERLASTING: The Extraordinary Story of One Boy’s Gift to Medical Science by Sarah Gray.  

I am on the Artistic Council of The Moth, the live storytelling event, an organization I’ve supported with heart for many years. 

 

Now I’ve told you my story. I can’t wait to read yours. 

 
 

RECENT TITLES

cover THE ISLAND.jpg

THE ISLAND,

St. Martins Press

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THE END OF THE OCEAN,

HarperVia

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UPSTAGED,

Abrams

SUBMISSIONS

MANUSCRIPT WISHLIST:

  • Thrillers of all kinds

  • General upmarket, literary, and commercial fiction

    • To be more specific: plot driven novels with relatable characters and addictive pacing, breezy beach reads, intense family dramas, or more weighty novels with rich characters

  • For nonfiction: inspiration, how-to, self-help, pop culture, and illustrated books 

    • Some personal interests in terms of non-fiction: feminism, parenting, the environment, mindfulness, theater 

  • On the children’s side: reality based young adult fiction, and general nonfiction  

Please send a query letter in the body of an email to: query@jamesliteraryagency.com 

 

If I’d like to read your work I will respond as soon as I am able. Unfortunately, if you don’t hear from me, the project is not right for me. Due to the number of queries, I'm unable to respond to each one. Thank you for your understanding. 

RECENT TITLE: THE SILENCE, Sourcebooks Landmark 

JLA also specializes in works in translation and I would be delighted to discuss select projects

with publishers and literary agents from abroad.

RIGHTS

FOREIGN RIGHTS

JLA is proud to partner with Sandy Hodgman Literary as our Director of International Rights. Sandy Hodgman has worked in publishing for over two decades. In the course of her career, she has licensed UK and translation rights for both major US publishers and independent literary agencies.  Sandy is a fixture at the London Book Fair, and the Frankfurt Book Fair and travels overseas to maintain relationships and promote our titles throughout the year. She is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR). 

 

Sandy sells rights directly in the Netherlands and the UK, and works with the following co-agents worldwide in other territories:  

 

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To inquire about international rights, please contact sandy at hodgmanliterary.com.

Follow Sandy on Twitter.

 

FILM & TELEVISION

The James Literary Agency partners with all the major talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York City regarding film and television rights on our book projects. We focus on matching the perfect co-agent to each individual project.

 

For any general queries regarding subsidiary rights, please contact: nicole at jamesliteraryagency.com

 
 
Books

CONTACT

JLA is currently remote and we’re looking forward to meeting our friends and colleagues in New York City offices as soon as feasible. 

For general info and rights queries, please contact Nicole James at nicole at jamesliteraryagency.com or 917-678-9552.

JLABOX

A mission of The James Literary Agency is to nurture a love of reading in all different communities. With this in mind, we are introducing a “JLA Box.” Once a month we are committed to curating and sending one box of books to a community organization of our choice. 

 

We’re excited to announce that the first recipient of the JLA Box will be the school library at Julian Curtiss Elementary School (JC) in Greenwich, CT. We’re thrilled to connect with their Media Specialist, Esra Murray, about the needs and wants of JC's students. JC represents a community of 60 countries and 30 languages. We’re looking forward to curating a fantastic JLA box for those students! 


We would love to hear from authors and industry colleagues with ideas of their favorite organizations that we should reach out to. If you have suggestions please write to us at: jlabox at jamesliteraryagency.com. Thank you in advance for your ideas. 

   The James Literary Agency LLC © 2021