About Our Literary Agency...
Founded in 1991, our agency's purpose has remained steadfast—to work creatively and honestly with writers to maximize the potential value of their book ideas and aspiring careers. We work primarily with research-based and narrative non-fiction authors. Being "of service" also recognizes our responsibility to editors and publishers to represent high-quality writers and help them create best-selling books and valuable relationships with our clients.
To achieve significant results for our clients, we work closely with them in shaping their ideas into impactful proposals and books. We work with many award-winning authors and leading content experts including: Rich Sheridan, Lynn Robinson, Jeff Thull, Jeanne Meister, Rod Pyle, Ashley Davis Bush, Molly Fletcher, Tom Koulopoulos, Alice Korngold, et. al.
Beginning in 2022 we will be offering a Content Coaching and Literary Advisory Service for first-time, aspiring authors. We will continue to represent our current, published clients. Let's be clear: this is not a "reading fee" but a consulting service for unpublished authors. In addition to reviewing your work, making content recommendations and discussing strategic publishing options, we will provide references to other agents and possible publishers based on our 45 years of publishing experience.
Our agency's services include:
John Willig, Literary Agent and Content Coach
Celebrating 45 years working in publishing, John often says to friends that his career actually began as a Newsday paperboy growing up on Long Island, New York.
After graduating from Brown University, his first job was as a sales representative in academic publishing. He soon began work as a marketing manager and then editor for HarperCollins where he published in 1984 one of the first books on AI — Artificial Intelligence: Tools, Techniques and Applications by Tim O'Shea and Marc Eisenstadt. As his interests moved to trade publishing, he became an executive editor at Prentice Hall for business books. While at P-Hall, John enjoyed working with such authors as Henry Mintzberg, Philip Kotler and Jim Collins. He acquired and edited Jim's first book Beyond Entrepreneurship which now has a new edition B.E. 2.0.
In 1991 he decided to become a literary agent to work more closely with writers. Throughout his career as an editor and agent, John has successfully negotiated over 750 publishing agreements. John participates at many industry events including the Writer's Digest and American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conferences.
In the Media:
Listen to John's recent podcast interview with with Tanya Hall, CEO of Greenleaf Publishers on 'How to Get a Literary Agent for Your Book', Part I
Listen to John's recent podcast interview with Tanya Hall, CEO of Greenleaf Publishers on 'How Agents Find the Best Publisher for You With John Willig', Part II
John's Upcoming 2021 Event Schedule:
- No events are scheduled at this time. Please check back for future announcements.
"During the years from first concept to completion, my stalwart agent, John Willig of Literary Services Inc., was encouraging and helpful throughout the process. Finding a partner in the publishing business who will work so hard and diligently, both with publishers and the author, is not easy. John has been that partner with unceasing good cheer, optimism and words of support. He is a rare individual."
—From Space 2.0: How Private Spaceflight, a Resurgent NASA, and International Partners Are Creating a New Space Age by Rod Pyle,
"I probably would not have secured a deal for Rebuilding Empires in such a short period of time without attending the Pitch Slam. Of the eight agents I met, all wanted a full book proposal. Three eventually wanted to represent me. The agent I selected, John Willig, not only won me a contract with Palgrave Macmillan, but proved to be an indispensable ally and advisor."
—Thomas Lee, Writers Digest Conference Pitch Slam Attendee
Our Regional and Global Book Scouts and Clients
We work worldwide with a great group of publishing professionals. Our scouts and clients are now based across the U.S. and around the world. Our clients work in many countries including Japan, Singapore, Canada, Germany, U.K., New Zealand, France, Guatemala, and China.
Sylvia Tooker, Web Manager
Based in Dallas, Texas, Sylvia Tooker provides WordPress web design and site maintenance services to solo professionals and small businesses nationwide. Her work includes two website redesign projects for author Edward E. Gordon.
Shane Bowlin, Administrative Director
Shane Bowlin, administrative director, provides support from her office in Gainesville, Florida. She has been assisting authors/small business owners virtually since 1997. Shane, a leader in the VA industry, has published articles and ebooks on a variety of topics, and has been interviewed for radio, print, and electronic media.
"The greats weren't great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great cause they painted a lot. I will not be a statistic, just let me be, no child left behind, that's the American scheme. I make my living off of words, and do what I love for work. Ten Thousand. Put those hours in and look what you get."
—Macklemore, "Ten Thousand Hours"
"It's a complex, messy time. But there's reason to hope the future of news is bright. That's because
today's world resembles nothing so much as the world 300 years ago — when Americans began experimenting with a strange new media format: the newspaper."
—Olive Thompson,, Tweet All About It, Smithsonian Magazine, May 2016