Molly O’Neill On The Roles Of A Literary Agent Part 1


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Curious about the different roles of an editor? How they help authors transform their stories and make them come alive? How about the ways to break into the publishing industry as an editor or literary agent? We talk about it all and more with Molly O’Neill.

Molly is a literary agent with Root Literary. Books that Molly has worked on have gone on to become #1 New York Times Bestsellers, have been made into major motion pictures, and received countless awards, honors, and accolades. Most recently, her clients’ books have been honored to receive National Book Awards longlist nomination, the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, the Schneider Family Book Award, and as ALA Odyssey Honors for Audiobooks and Goodreads Choice Awards nominees, among many others.

Molly shared so much wisdom, industry-knowledge, and publishing advice that we had to make her episode a two-parter!

In the first part of our conversation, Molly talks about the power of story and how it helped created bonds between her and her loved ones. She talks about her love for children’s books, how the publishing industry helps establish relationships between stories and humans, and the steps she took to break into the publishing industry. Further in, she discusses how she became the editor for the Divergent Series and the importance of editing or representing books you love versus books that are on-trend. She gives us an in-depth look at the many roles editors hold like helping authors’ stories come alive on the page, acting as the book’s advocate to sales reps, and being an advocate for the readers so they have a great reading experience. And later, Molly begins to tell us how she moved from editor to literary agent!

Please say 'Hi' to Molly on Twitter!

Head over to her shownotes page at to find the resources and books mentioned in her episode, tweetable quotes, and the timestamps of highlights throughout the entire conversation.

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