Jeff Herman

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Jeff Herman opened his literary agency in the mid-1980s while in his mid-20s. He has made nearly one-thousand book deals, including many bestsellers.

Shortly after graduating from Syracuse University, Herman was riding the subway on a hot summer day when he spotted an ad stating: “I found my job in The New York Times.” He promptly bought a copy and answered some Help-Wanted ads. A few days later he was summoned for an interview with the Publicity Director at an independent publishing house, and was hired on the spot as her assistant for $200 a week (1981). Showering, shaving, wearing a suit, saying little and promising to show up were the clinchers.

The publicity department comprised Herman and his boss, who took her summer vacation his first week on the job. He was left “in charge” though he knew nothing about publicity, publishing or how an office functioned. But he was a quick study and soon helped make WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE a massive bestseller.

In time, Herman followed the money into corporate marketing, where he worked on various product promotion campaigns for Nabisco, AT&T, and many other large and small brands. But books were his passion and calling.

His wife and business partner, Deborah Herman, also has a passion for books. The two work in separate capacities, Deborah curating and developing titles, and Jeff spotting the gems and making the deals.