When you’re in the early stages of a book process, the role of a literary agent may feel a little mystical. What do they do? What are they looking for? How can I get their attention for my work?

For me personally, after being in the industry for 20 years, I most love to hear an agent’s origin story. What brought them to publishing? Where did their love of books begin? How do they operate in a distinctive way?

Well, lucky for us, the veil is lifted! No more mystery here!

This week on Bound + Determined, I’m chatting with Johanna Castillo, Senior Agent at Writers House Literary Agency.

A seasoned professional in the publishing industry, Johanna was formerly Vice President & Executive Editor at Atria Books/Simon and Schuster and Editorial Director of Atria Español for nearly fifteen years. In that role, she acquired and edited forty-one New York Times bestsellers.

Joanna is an incredible agent who I very much enjoy working with and I can’t wait for you to hear her insider tips.


In this episode we talk about:

  • How Johanna’s various roles in publishing make her a great agent
  • What she’s looking for in your book proposal
  • Her mission to bring more diverse content to book shelves
  • What part of the publishing process always surprises her clients

I say it every week, but it’s true–you don’t want to miss this week’s episode!



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