Maria Ribas and Jarrett Dieterle

The short bio

I’m a literary agent, home cook, moderate minimalist, obsessive organizer, and hopelessly bad baker. If you’re looking for a great blueberry muffin recipe, I probably can’t help you. (Edit: try these pancake muffins!) But if you love books, writing, food, and an occasional cocktail, then hello!

I help writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs share their talent with the world through books. I specialize in nonfiction, so I’m all about books that help people live better lives. You can read my official-sounding agent bio on the Stonesong website here, or you can read a longer description of the types of books I sign up below.

The long bio, for people who really like to read bios

I’m a Literary Agent at Stonesong, and I specialize in nonfiction, particularly cookbooks, wellness, home, personal development, business, creativity, spirituality, and similar topics. I started my publishing career on the editorial side, first at Atria/Simon & Schuster and Harlequin Nonfiction, then at Adams Media. I loved being an editor, but a big part of me always wanted to work more closely with authors–to work with them on their entire careers, not just their current book. Now I work with a small but mighty list of bloggers, chefs, business owners, and brands who are creating beautiful print books that inspire and encourage the world.

What gets me excited

I very intentionally focus my list on the topics that I’m passionate about in my personal life–food, health, design, personal development, business, creativity, and more. I’m open to practical and narrative nonfiction of all types and stripes–if an idea can improve a reader’s life in real and tangible ways, then I’m interested. I’m always on the lookout for a book idea that takes a new approach to a common problem, or that has a strong hook that promises the reader something extraordinary and worthwhile.

A strong, quantifiable platform is essential for practical nonfiction. The metrics I typically look at are: page views/unique visitors, social media reach, media hits (online and in print, as well as TV and radio), speaking engagements, awards, connections within the field, sales of other products/ebooks, and anything else that establishes an author as an expert in his or her field.

Please note that I like to handle my literary agenting work a bit differently–I keep my list very small and sign only a handful of new clients per year. This makes me happy because I get to build real relationships with my authors, and it makes them happy because we get to push farther into the realm of what’s possible for them. And while I may not be able to work one-on-one with as many writers as I’d like, I hope you’ll find The Library helpful for learning more about the world of traditional publishing. You might also find The Bookshelf helpful to get a sense of the sorts of books I work on and enjoy.


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