Any author who wants to be published is basically stunned when a query letter is answered at all. Imagine this:
I queried 40 agents and The Feldstein Agency happened to be the first on my list. Paul Feldstein responded within 5 minutes and requested a full manuscript (across the ocean, no less). Wow, I thought. Susan Feldstein emailed me 2 months later (a 2 pager, no less) explaining why they very much wanted to represent me. I cannot believe this, I screamed. Then I signed. Three months later Susan Feldstein agented a deal to sell my memoir to Little, Brown and Company. This has to be a dream, I dreamed. But this was not a dream or some fluke or even an act of God.
The Feldstein Agency represents the very best for an author, combining old world nurturing of the artist with a vast knowledge of current trends in the ever-changing publishing scene. Whether one is new to the profession or a seasoned writer, they are exceptionally kind and generous to their authors, and work incredibly hard on their behalf. I am the luckiest duck in the universe.
Marcia Butler, author of The Skin Above My Knee (Little Brown)
Most journalists can research and write 2000 word articles to meet demanding and challenging deadlines, a skill which can take years to develop and finesse. It’s generally a penalty kick to make the features pages, but writing a book is a completely different ball game.
Susan Feldstein confirmed her reputation as an experienced and outstanding editor. She proved to be a brilliant guide who helped me negotiate a hugely daunting process. Her sureness of touch and attention to detail was absolutely critical since Let This Be Our Secret was my first foray into the world of books. Her judgement was 100 per cent in navigating that unfamiliar landscape which faces nervous and anxious first time authors, who sometimes think they know it all. They don’t.
I shared the company of a true professional. Without her, and I would have been hopelessly lost. I could not recommend her highly enough.
In the same way I placed my faith and trust in Paul Feldstein, a publishing agent with loads of experience, who quickly identified and maximised all the commercial opportunities while also pinpointing the potential pitfalls. I score them 10 out of 10.
Deric Henderson, author of Let This Be Our Secret (Gill & Macmillan and Penguin UK)
"One thing that I've learned since Paul Feldstein became my literary agent and brokered a publishing deal for my debut novel with one of the top crime fiction editors in the US is that writers generally don't have a clue as to how the publishing world really works. That strange and ever-changing territory is full of pitfalls and false promises for aspiring authors who believe they have written something exceptionally good that will be bought and read by others. This is why they should stick to dedicated, good people like Paul Feldstein. Not only has he a lifetime of experience in the publishing industry, and a wealth of contacts in the US and UK, he also has the quickest response time of anyone I know when it comes to answering emails, and will quickly dispel a lot of the uncertainty and anxiety that besets writers when they attempt to get their work published. In fact, I remember nearly falling off my seat, when my first tentative email contact with him was replied very favorably within a minute or two, and this was just after 5 o'clock on a Friday evening! No wonder then, that I know at least one internationally successful crime fiction writer has wished Paul were his agent, after witnessing his support and enthusiasm for my book."
Anthony Quinn, author of the Disappeared and Border Angels (MysteriousPress.com)
“Paul and Susan’s professionalism, attention and personal care continues to astonish me. Their dedication to not only the written work, but also the welfare of their writers are truly remarkable. They are simply any author’s dream. “
Melanie Verwoerd, author of When We Dance (Liberties Press)
The Feldstein Agency got me a book contract with a big international publisher - so naturally I'm a fan! I have found Susan and Paul to be friendly and supportive and I enjoy working with them
Padraig O’Morain, author of the forthcoming Mindfulness for Busy People (Hodder & Stoughton)
We all expect agents to have strong and long relationships with key players in the publishing industry, but if your agent also has the kind of judgment, experience and commitment that Susan and Paul Feldstein have, you can count yourself very lucky indeed. They stuck by me through creative drought, because they believed I would be productive again. They sent Poets Are Eaten as a Delicacy in Japan to publisher after publisher, because they never doubted it would find a home. As a writer, there is nothing like an agent who believes in you. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
Tara West, author of Fodder (Blackstaff, 2002) and Poets Are Eaten as a Delicacy in Japan (Liberties Press, 2013)
The Feldstein Agency has represented me for the last five years. Throughout that time, both Paul and Susan have encouraged and supported me whole heartedly. They always celebrate my achievements as though they were their own, answer my never ending questions and diplomatically tell me the truth whilst offering constructive advice. They have taught me (amongst other things) how to build confidence in my writing by showing me how to tackle my weak areas, improve the stronger ones and develop my creativity. Their professional knowledge, positivity and inspiration leaves me with no doubt that I am extremely lucky to have such wonderful people represent my work.
Gayle Curtis, author of Memory Scents, Shell House and co-author of Wilfred, Fanny and Floyd and The Letters and Journals of Mr Wilfred Ginge.
Being a very famous literary cat, I have fandangoed with many literary geniuses like myself such as Shakespeare, the Brontes, that funny little man from Pond District and Barbara Cartland, so I have a vast knowledge of the literary world. As literally agents, Mr. Paul and Mrs. Susan have dealt with representing someone of my literary magnitude with extreme professional illiteracy. At no point have they ever dared to steal my lemon light, criticise my work, or tell me that pink accessories don't match my ginger fur...
Wilfred Ginge, co author of Wilfred, Fanny and Floyd and The Letters and Journals of Mr Wilfred Ginge.
"It’s simple, if you're a writer, you need Paul and Susan in your corner"
William Sheehan, author of many books including The Western Front,
"Working with the Feldstein Agency over the past year has been a pleasure. Paul is a focused, professional and driven individual. He's a guy who doesnt switch off and is always at the end of an email. If he had been a chef he would have been a great one and an efficient one at that. Paul I like your style." Stephen Jeffers, author of Jeffers: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner (published by the Feldstein Agency, 2009)
''Susan Dalzell could sell me Brooklyn Bridge on a rainy day . . .''
Philip J. Cercone, Executive Director and Senior Editor, McGill Queens University Press, Canada
"I have worked closely with Paul Feldstein for more than two decades as both customer and client. His intelligence, efficiency, and competence have set a standard that, in my book, no one else has met. His knowledge of books and their marketplace is both smart and seasoned, and his approach to publishing, sales, and distribution issues is informed by his experienced grasp of large trends and his relentless attention to small details. I can't imagine having a more effective advocate or partner. "
James Mustich, Jr..Founder and Publisher, A Common Reader Catalog and The Akadine Press, and author of 1000 Books to Read Before You Die (forthcoming from Workman Publishing).
"The writer's friend? No, not drugs - Susan Feldstein . . . An inspiration when you struggle, a friend when you wobble, and a guide when you lose the plot, Susan combines publishing acumen with belief in (and compassion for) the writers she works with. Her insight, counsel and metaphorical hand-holding were absolutely invaluable to me."
Tara West, advertising copywriter and author of Fodder (published by Blackstaff Press, 2002).
"Paul Feldstein has a unique knowledge of the book trade in both the U.S. and the U.K. He has many years of sales experience working in the U.S., latterly as Managing Director of Trafalgar, which brought him into close contact with U.K. publishers. Aurum moved their U.S. distribution to Trafalgar in 2001. Thanks to Paul's attention to detail and work ethic, Aurum sales in the U.S. increased steadily until Trafalgar was sold in 2006. His speed of response to all concerns and questions was immediate and I have no doubt that the success Trafalgar enjoyed during this period was down to Paul."
Bill McCreadie, Managing Director, Aurum Press
"I first met Susan Feldstein (née Dalzell) in 2004, when an investigative journalist from the BBC slipped me her business card and advised me to contact her. She was working at that time with Gill & MacMillan, a leading Irish publisher based in Dublin. Susan had heard that I was thinking of writing a book on my service as a detective in the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s CID, and had asked my friend in the BBC to refer me to her. I met Susan shortly after that and we quickly got down to business. With her professionalism and wit, she had me signing a contract within a month. Susan did not then disappear. She was always on hand, ever ready to explain to me exactly what was required of me. Without Susan’s skill, experience and patience it is doubtful if my first book, Into the Dark, would ever have made it to publication. I often refer to Susan as my “teacher”, and in many respects that is very true. Susan afforded me not just her valuable time, but her expertise in the often fraught field of publishing, and her personal encouragement at times when she realised it was most required. Susan had faith in me and in my version of events. She never faltered at times when others, who should have known better, quickly fled the scene. For that faith alone, I will be forever grateful to her.I am currently working on other projects and I am thrilled to say that Susan and her husband Paul will be representing me as my agents. I consider them both friends and valued professional advocates. I would recommend the new Feldstein Agency to anyone contemplating writing or publishing a book."
Johnston Brown (author of Into The Dark, published by Gill & Macmillan)
"I’ve known Paul Feldstein since the late 1990s when we were both combing the halls of the Frankfurt and London Book Fairs searching for exciting intellectual properties and often entire publishing programs that had not yet made it the U.S. market. Rather than work at cross purposes in this shared mission, we both had the wisdom to understand that collaboration on an efficient trading relationship between Barnes & Noble and Trafalgar Square would get each organization farther faster. Relying on clean data transmitted in a timely way, electronic transmissions of transaction data, a cost-effective, efficient supply chain and good old-fashioned sales, marketing and bookselling savvy, we had a sustained run of double digit net sales increases for our two companies over many years. We also dramatically increased the numbers of titles we were able to offer to our customers and raised the profile of a number of new authors and publishing entities in a market they had not been able to reach before. Paul is a consummate professional and I look forward to continuing my working relationship with him in his new role!"
Joseph Gonnella, Vice President Inventory Management and Vendor Relations, Barnes & Noble
"Susan Dalzell combines rigorous editorial skills with an instinctively positive and encouraging perspective. She was the difference between an aspiration and a published book. I'll always be grateful for her contribution."
Darragh MacIntyre, Producer and Reporter, BBC Northern Ireland, and author of Conversations (published by Gill & Macmillan, 2005).
"While Paul Feldstein was with Trafalgar, he sponsored me, an unknown author in the U.S. market, on three separate signing tours. It was largely because of Paul’s input, his knowledge of the market, and experience dealing with U.K. authors in the U.S., that I became one of Headline's best selling authors in the U.S. I am enormously grateful to Paul for his advice and efforts on my behalf."
Michael Jecks, Author, The Knights Templar Medieval Mysteries (published by Headline)
"Susan Dalzell has had an outstanding track record as a commissioning editor and rights executive. She knows the book trade, especially in Northern Ireland, inside out. She was Gill & Macmillan's first dedicated acquisitions person in Northern Ireland, and established that aspect of our publishing on a solid foundation."
Fergal Tobin, Publishing Director, Gill & Macmillan Publishers, Dublin
“Paul came to work for me in 1986 when Trafalgar Square was a small company in Vermont marketing and distributing the books of eight British publishers into the U.S. market. Twenty years later after moving from Sales & Marketing to Managing Director (in 1996), he was responsible for a company distributing fifty-five British publishers, together with a healthy co-edition and original publishing program. Despite enormous changes in the American book trade, thanks to Paul's intelligent management, the growth of the company over this period was ten fold. I have no doubt that his extensive knowledge of both the U.S. publishing market and the British publishing scene puts him in a unique position to be of enormous help and value to any client.
Paul's attention to detail and response speed is legendary!”
Caroline Robbins, Founder, Trafalgar Square Publishing; President and Publisher, Trafalgar Square Books
"In all three categories of her job - acquisitions, contracts, and rights, Susan Dalzell was an exceptionally able and trustworthy colleague. She performed all these tasks with skill, intelligence, and sensitivity, working hard to achieve tight deadlines and maintaining excellent relationships with authors, agents and Blackstaff colleagues. Susan had a very good grasp of contract law, and, as a fair but firm negotiator with authors, agents and other publishers, was greatly respected by them. Her fluent German and French, together with her aptitude, training and focus, meant that Blackstaff sold far more rights during her time with us than during all the previous years from our foundation in 1971. All in all, she made an enormous contribution to Blackstaff Press."
Ann Tannahill, former Managing Director, Blackstaff Press
"As Managing Director of Trafalgar Square, Paul Feldstein offered an unrivalled working knowledge of both the U.K. and U.S. trade and specialty markets. On top of that, he has always been extremely easy to work with, detailed, results driven, attentive and commercially-minded. Under his management, our divisions that sold books in America via Trafalgar saw sales flourish and a large part of this success was down to Paul."
Richard Kitson, Group Commercial Director, Hachette Livre UK
"Susan Dalzell was a key factor in signing me up for Gill & Macmillan for my book on the Northern Bank robbery in Belfast, Ripe for the Picking. Not only was she an exceptionally good editor who quietly and calmly kept me on the right track, but she was also very willing to share her experience of publishing in order to allow me to make informed decisions, editorial and otherwise. I certainly benefited from Susan's involvement in the publication of my book and look forward to working with her again some time in the future."
Chris Moore, UTV Journalist and Reporter, and author of Ripe for the Picking (published by Gill & Macmillan, 2006)
"Paul Feldstein has great instincts for what books will sell. His work for IPG and Trafalgar Square Publishing has been of high value and I am delighted with the results achieved and changes we made due to his insight and experience. Paul is also wonderful to work with, incredibly responsive, and highly professional. I am happy to recommend him and will definitely consider working with him again."
Mark Suchomel, President, Independent Publishers Group
"Within days of negotiating a publishing deal I received a contract, thanks to the efficiency and professionalism of Susan Dalzell. She has an impressive track record, an eye for detail and a real understanding of the needs of both publishers and writers. Susan made the task of writing and delivering a manuscript so much easier."
Stephen Walker, Author of Forgotten Soldiers: The Irishmen Shot At Dawn (To be published by Gill and MacMillan, October 2007)
"There is no one who blends long experience of British publishing with a profound knowledge of the American book market in the way Paul does. That combination, together with his wisdom, promptness and clear vision, have made him a supremely effective ally throughout the years we've worked together."
Simon Littlewood, International Director, The Random House Group
"Publishing The Portadown News was a surprisingly complicated process, not just because of the contracts and negotiations but also due to the technical nature of producing a full-colour book with photographs, graphics (and potential libels) on every page.
Susan sorted it out seamlessly from start to finish. The prospect of working with her again made it easy to agree to doing a sequel."
Newton Emerson, Journalist and author of The Portadown News (published by Gill & Macmillan,2005)
"My novels, already published in the U.K., came to Trafalgar Square after being rejected by several major U.S. publishers as 'too British.' Paul Feldstein and his team rapidly proved that this was a problem for publishers rather than American readers, placing judicious ads, getting some excellent reviews in the trade press and virtually doubling sales every year. Soon, I was getting enthusiastic e-mails from booksellers all over the States who'd never previously heard of me or my novels. Throughout the period, Paul was always available to discuss ideas and never took longer than a day to answer any of my queries... (far more accessible, in fact, than my British publisher at the time.) "
Phil Rickman, author of the Merrily Watkins Mystery Series ( published by Quercus)
"Susan Dalzell brings a sense of fun to the nitty-gritty of bookmaking. She has an infectious good humour which is a useful tool in the often stressful journey that starts with an author’s synopsis, and ends with a printed book. She has the broadest possible knowledge of, and a superb instinct for, book publishing. She has a rare sensitivity to the written word, both to the content and the presentation of that word, and manages to combine integrity, loyalty to her authors, and a pragmatic approach to the editorial process. Her communication skills are exemplary."
Deirdre Rennison Kunz, Managing Editor, Gill & Macmillan