Author Archive

10 February, 2014

The Paris Bookshop

I just returned from Paris (vacation!).  One of the joys of my trip, while wandering around neighborhoods, was to visit bookstores.  While I can’t comment on the overall health of publishing in France, some observations:

*There seem to be bookstores everywhere.  Small bookstores, large bookstores, neighborhood bookstores, chain bookstores, specialized bookstores.  It appears at least based on my informal survey that reading the physical book is alive and well in this culturally sophiindexsticated capital.  The French have a flair for fashion and display, and this is evident in the way the attractive bookstore windows.

*The French love translation, especially from English.  So many well known American and English authors are in evidence.  What fun to see the beautiful editions of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, the works of Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and so many others.

*What a serious people!  At the Flammarion bookshop opposite the charming church of St. Germain de Pres, the philosophy section was packed with fascinating, I mean incredibly serious titles.  Similarly, psychology got a lot of play. How skimpy the comparable sections at Barnes & Noble appear. This is a culture of ideas where philosophical debate is a cafe sport.

*Fiction about relationships abounds. Menage a trois. Sexual experimentation. Perversions.  In this land that spawned the Marquis de Sade, Colette, and Francoise Sagan, where scandal abounds at the highest levels of government, the appetite for w#3orks of literature that explore the nature and boundaries of love and lust are evident everywhere.

*A healthy love of detective fiction.  The mysteries and thriller sections reflect a truly international interest, with titles from so many cultures, including Asian and Scandinavian writers, and of course, many well known American and British authors.

*The trade paperback and livre de poche is alive and well.  The French (like many of their other European compatriots) have long published books in trade paperback editions, many of them without cover art, but somehow incredibly elegant and alluring in their simplicity.  By contrast, the livre de poche (what we call mass market paperbacks) usually sports colorful, commercial art, but unlike most of our rack-size paperbacks, the type is actually readable.

For whatever reason, there has always been much more interest in France in American authors, than the reverse.  Americans, who generally are not well schooled in languages, and certainly not in French, are not interested in French authors or the subjects that arouse passion in the French.  I’m sure we are missing out.

You might want to consider, the next time you are abroad, spending time in bookstores, not just visiting the sites.  It is somehow both curious and invigorating, regardless of whether you understand the language.

–Joelle Delbourgo


16 July, 2013

THREE MORE WORDS, Ashley Rhodes-Courter

The remarkable follow-up to the New York Times bestselling memoir about growing up in the foster care system, about becoming a foster parent as well as mother to a biological child, the continuing challenges of dealing with one’s family of origin into adulthood, learning to trust, accept and give love. Rhodes-Courter is a motivational speaker and advocate for the rights of children.  Publication to coincide with release of a feature film based on her first book.  (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, Fall 2014)

16 July, 2013


How Mid-Size Companies Can Become Nimble and Grow.   A guide to the particular challenges faced by companies with revenues between $10M and $1B to overcoming the hurdles that prevent them from achieving significant growth. (Bibliomotion, Fall 2014)

16 July, 2013


Revolutionizing Compensation for Fairness and Profit. “The problem with pay is that we do not use compensation and incentives to motivate and reward the majority of workers for making the company more successful.”  One of the world’s leading compensation experts argues that what is needed is quite literally a revolutionary new model.  Not only is this the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do, with significant impact on the bottom line. (Palgrave Macmillan, Fall 2014)

16 July, 2013


Millennials at Work.  How millennials–a generation raised for success–are positively transforming work so that it provides greater flexibility, more transparency, and puts in place the systems needed to help employees grow and develop as future leaders.  The author is Executive-in-Residence at Boston College Center for Work and Family, and a thought leader on generational issues and leadership development in the workplace. (Wild Birch Books, Fall 2014)

16 July, 2013


book_party_1Debut novelist Elaine Neil Orr has been very busy promoting her gorgeous novel about a missionary in the pre-Civil War South who goes to Africa.  Inspired by the diary of an actual missionary, A DIFFERENT SUN has been getting rave reviews. Elaine, who teaches literature at North Carolina State University, sent in  this wonderful photo of one book club that has embraced this wonderful and complex novel.

16 July, 2013


Part natural history and part ecological call-to-arms, the narrative interweaves the history of the ancient papyrus plant with the modern day story and a bunch more text to make sure I have the character maximum set just right ya know…

12 July, 2013

Joëlle Delbourgo, President and Founder

Joëlle Delbourgo is President and Founder. She represents a broad range of adult nonfiction and fiction.

Her authors include New York Times bestselling fiction writer Ben H. Winters, winner of both the Edgar Award and the Philip K. Dick Award; Jim Obergefell, named plaintiff in the Supreme Court marriage equality case (Obergefell v. Hodges), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Debbie Cenziper and Dale Russakoff; Dr. Michele Borba, award-winning educator and parenting contributor to The Today Show; the late Dr. Susan Forward, memoirists Ariel Burger, Ashley Rhodes-Courter, and Israel Meir Lau (former Chief Rabbi of Israel);  historians Philip Freeman and Elizabeth White; true crime writer James Renner;  novelists Marilyn Simon Rothstein, Julie Valerie, Marj Charlier and Lindsey J. Palmer, among many others.

What Joelle would like to see more of right now:  history and science (especially neuroscience) that tells a great story or is cutting edge, nonfiction and fiction with a strong voice or point of view, lifestyle books with an innovative twist, out of the box thinkers, diverse and own voices, literature in translation.

Prior to founding  the agency, Delbourgo was a senior editorial executive at HarperCollins and Ballantine Books, a division of Random House for more than two decades. Among the authors she worked with are Ken Davis, Abraham Verghese, Lee Smith, Barbara Tuchman, Carl Sagan, Robert Massie, James P. McPherson, Jim Davis, Sophy  Burnham, Delia Ephron and Margaret George.  She began her editorial career at Bantam Books, where she discovered and launched the Choose Your Own Adventure series for kids, which sold millions of copies worldwide.

Joëlle is a member of AALA (Association of American Literary Agents), an industry organization that upholds ethical standards.

She holds a Master of the Arts in English and Comparative Literature with Honors from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of the Arts from Williams College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a double concentration in History and English Literature.  Joëlle is as sought-after speaker, panelist, workshop leader and instructor at writing conferences.  She has taught publishing and editing at Rutgers University to graduate students.  She has lived on three continents, is fluent in French, and considers herself to be a citizen of the world.  The proud mother of two, she is an ardent student of Latin and ballroom dance and a dedicated home baker.

To reach Joëlle, email her:

You can also follow her @jldelbourgo on Twitter and and Facebook,, and see her latest sales on her Publishers Marketplace page



12 July, 2013

John Paine – Editorial Services

John Paine has been a manuscript editor, also known as a book doctor, in New York trade publishing for over 25 years. During that time he has edited more than 600 titles in numerous fields, both fiction and nonfiction. When he was working for Penguin USA, he edited numerous New York Times bestselling authors such as John Jakes, Barbara Parker, Greg Iles, Sylvia Browne, Peter Straub, Leslie Glass, Dave Pelzer, and Catherine Anderson, to name just a few. He also has worked with many first-time authors, guiding them to write books that satisfy a wide variety of readers, from literary to popular.

Since becoming an independent editor, he has continued his strong track record of editing books that sell, averaging more than 20 titles per year. Recently edited fiction titles include New York Times bestsellers Eric Jerome Dickey Resurrecting Midnight (Dutton) and E. Lynn Harris Mama Dearest (Pocket), Patti Callahan Henry Driftwood Summer (St. Martin’s), and Kaza Kingsley Erec Rex: The Three Furies (Simon & Schuster). Recently published nonfiction titles include: Lewis Maltby Jr., Can They Do That? (Portfolio), Jo Maeder, When I Married My Mother (DaCapo), William Eamon, The Professor of Secrets (National Geographic), and Christopher Nichols From Empire to Isolation (Harvard Univ. Press).

For further information, please visit his website:

11 July, 2013


The Lost Songs and World of the First Woman Poet, Philip Freeman. A full-length investigation of the life and work of the female poet Plato called “the tenth muse,” using Sappho as a representation of a classical woman of antiquity. Freeman, a Harvard-trained classicist holds the endowed Qualley Chair in Classical Languages at Luther College and the author of JULIUS CAESAR and ALEXANDER THE GREAT (W.W. Norton, 2016)