Saturday, January 8, 2011

Meet literary agent Alia Hanna Habib

By Kathryn Craft

About McCormick & Williams
McCormick & Williams is an independent literary agency specializing in literary and commercial fiction and quality non-fiction, including memoir, history, narrative, biography, lifestyle, sports, self-help, and pop culture. Devoted to representing authors at every aspect of successful publishing, their agents are closely involved in each stage of a project, working in tandem with authors to develop ideas, craft proposals, and edit manuscripts to achieve the best marketplace results. Looking beyond the immediate deal, they make certain that their authors are well-served throughout the publication process, with a hands-on approach to editing, design, publicity, marketing, and sales. And as an agency built on the talents and promise of their authors, they take an active role in career management, helping their authors reach their widest possible audience through all available avenues, including magazine writing, lecturing, and the sale of foreign, film/tv, and subsidiary rights throughout the world. Check out some of the recent titles they represented.

About Alia Hanna Habib
After graduating from Barnard College, Alia Hanna Habib began her publishing career at Houghton Mifflin as a publicity assistant to the Director of Cookbook Publicity. There, she says, she "discovered two unexpected loves: cookbooks and breaking out new talent." From reading cookbooks, she learned to cook, and after reading the manuscript of Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, she volunteered to work extra hours to help with the publicity campaign. In 2002, she left Houghton to pursue a graduate degree in nineteenth-century British literature. After graduate school, she lived in Italy, where she volunteered on organic farms throughout the Italian peninsula. On returning to New York, Habib was re-hired by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as a publicity manager. Some of her most notable campaigns include How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer, Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough, Mrs. Astor Regrets by Meryl Gordon, Finding Nouf by ZoĆ« Ferraris, and Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Habib is now a literary agent at McCormick & Williams in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn and says she still loves to cook.

What she represents: Narrative non-fiction, memoir, and cookbooks, as well as the occasional novel that strikes her fancy (among them, literary fiction and mysteries).

For more about Alia:
Interview in ASJA Monthly [expanded bio information above is excerpted from this interview by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett] that includes how Alia uses her publicity background as an agent.

Have a subscription to Publisher's Marketplace? You can see Alia's most recent deals here.

1 comment :

  1. Alafia Hanna,
    Good snippets of information. I love it.

    Thank you and have a great Thursday evening.

    (writer & former research fellow, Harvard Univ.)