My journey began at Yale and took me to Emerson College, where I received a master's degree in Publishing & Writing. I focused on workshopping novels, the editor-writer relationship, and book publishing—everything from copy-editing to design and publicity.
During my education, I fell in love with a man named Maxwell Perkins … and not just because we share a name. I loved everything about his work ethic and envied the relationship he had with his authors. Known as the first “authors’ editor,” he gave close and detailed attention to each manuscript and often acted as a coach, friend, and promoter. His personal approach and editing style inspired me to follow in his footsteps.
I’ve had the honor of working as an authors’ editor for the past fifteen years, helping writers such as K. Bromberg, Jewel E. Ann, Kate McCarthy, Kennedy Ryan, L.J. Shen, Terri Anne Browning, and Tara Sivec hit USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Amazon, and the New York Times best-seller lists with my perfectionist nature and keen sense for marketability.
While working with so many talented people, something Maxwell Perkins had said never left the back of my mind: “A publisher’s first allegiance is to talent. And if we aren’t going to publish a talent like this, it is a very serious thing.”
As an agent, my goal is to deliver the very best talent into the publisher's hands.
I am currently seeking literary fiction, women's fiction, true crime, mystery-suspense, cozy mysteries, horror, gothic romance, historical fiction, speculative fiction, upmarket romance, new adult, young adult/middle-grade fiction, and select non-fiction pop culture projects.
In the fourth grade, my teacher sent a note home asking if my parents knew I was writing a book report on John Grisham’s A Time to Kill. While it might not have been age-appropriate, the story sucked me in and I wanted to tell everyone how much I loved it! That was when I realized my love of books was stronger than most other kids. As an adult, my passion for great storytelling has led me to Maximus Literary.
My first venture in publishing was working as a contributor for a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper. After seeing the power of the written word, I always knew my dream career would involve writing and pursued a degree in that field. Spending 10 years in corporate America, where I worked with Fortune 500 companies, I developed an eye for detail and thrived in the fast-paced, creative environment. I learned the value of nurturing client relationships, especially for their celebrity customers. Now, I’m able to utilize my skillset to foster lasting relationships with authors and publishers, alike.
As an associate agent at Maximus Literary, I’ll be working with authors in a variety of genres. I am always on the hunt for talented writers with unique voices. Some of my favorite books include Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. My preferred genres are science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, dystopian futures, and contemporary LGBTQ+ stories. My full manuscript wish list can be found here.
As Rights Manager at Maximus Literary, I work closely with international coagents, scouts, and film agents to help our clients achieve the best possible presence in the foreign market, Hollywood, and beyond.
Corto Literary (Eastern Europe)
Tuttle-Mori Agency (Japan)
Nurcihan Kesim (Turkey)
Nova Littera (Russia)
Big Apple Agency (China)
Sandra Bruna Literary Agency (Spain)
Maria B Campbell & Associates (Netflix)
Hotchkiss, Daily & Associates (Film & Television)
FOREIGN RIGHTS INQUIRIES:
FIlM / AUDIO / SUBSIDIARY RIGHTS INQUIRIES:
THE MAXIMUS DIFFERENCE
Maximus Literary is dedicated to discovering talent, nurturing careers, and championing authors.
Each client receives individual attention and hands-on support.
Regular communication cultivates personal relationships.
Every manuscript is looked over with an editorial eye.
Feedback and suggestions are made to ensure the very best product is presented to publishers.
Representing the client's best interests, from signing the very first contract to a best-selling career.
Every detail is covered from royalties to subsidiary rights, including film, television, and foreign rights.
Format subject line: Query_Your Last Name_Title_Genre_Word Count
Include a full synopsis and the first two chapters of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email. Attachments will not be opened.
Query letter must state whether you have been represented by a literary agent in the past and if the manuscript has been self-published or been sent out on submission to publishers.
Any queries that do not adhere to the instructions will be discarded without consideration.
Please note: Max Dobson is closed to new queries and is not accepting unsolicited material. Any submissions directed to Max will be deleted and will not be reviewed.
If you wish to submit a query to Ian Shea, please click the submit button below.