Scott Meredith: Founder [1923-1993]
With only a high school degree, Scott Meredith formed the Scott Meredith Literary Agency in 1946 with his first client, P. G. Wodehouse. In the next 50 years, the agency sold 25,000 titles of which over 1,500 remain in print today.

Scott Meredith was a pioneering literary agent. He was among the first agents to develop and sell movie tie-in books for films including “West Side Story” and “Last Tango in Paris.” The agency dominated the genres of science fiction, mystery and horror. The agency also managed prominent authors such as Norman Mailer, Arthur C. Clarke, Ed McBain, Philip K. Dick and Carl Sagan.

The agency ran a “reading program” which evaluated whether unpublished manuscripts were commercial enough to sell and offered to represent those which were. The program became one of the most successful self-help direct response programs of the 20th century and the forerunner of self-publishing programs of today. Scott Meredith’s biography, “Writing to Sell”, is widely acknowledged as one of the best primers on commercial fiction writing.

Scott Meredith’s journey started in 1946 with a one-room office and the renowned British humorist, P.G. Wodehouse as his first major client. It wasn’t long before Scott was quickly built and maintained one of the largest literary agencies in the world.

In his lifetime, Scott launched and/or guided important parts of the writing careers of celebrated authors Marion Zimmer Bradley, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Abba Eban, Ernest K. Gann, Ed McBain/Evan Hunter, Norman Mailer, Don Pendleton, Ellery Queen, Elliott Roosevelt, Carl Sagan, Robert Silverberg, Art Spiegelman, and Margaret Truman.

If all this wasn’t enough, Scott Meredith even pioneered the use of auctions for selling book rights, the development of translation markets for major American authors (through Norman Mailer), and mystery Roman a clef series partnered with celebrities.

After Scott Meredith’s death in 1993, Arthur Klebanoff bought the agency and brought with him his list of stellar clients. The list included prominent authors such as Bill Bradley (former Senator and Presidential candidate), Sheila Lukins (the goddess of “The Silver Palate”), Linda Goodman (who popularized astrology with “Sun Signs and Love Signs”), “naturalist Roger Tory Peterson (who popularized birding” and Michael Bloomberg (Mayor of New York).

In addition, Klebanoff brought with him a set of corporate clients including Mayo Clinic and Easton Press, the leading leather-bound book publisher.

As co-founder and partner in the literary agency Morton L. Janklow Associates Inc, Klebanoff worked over a 10-year period on more than 30 seven-figure book deals, most involving commercial fiction. As founder of RosettaBooks in 2000, Klebanoff became one of the first agents to enter the eBook publishing business and today is CEO of the leading independent eBook publisher.

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