Jim Donovan is the founder and president of Jim Donovan Literary. Since starting the agency in 1993, he has sold hundreds of books, negotiating publishing contracts with the Big Five NYC publishers and many others. Previously, he was a book editor and bookstore-chain buyer.
The agency handles both fiction (chiefly mystery/thriller, mainstream, and literary) and nonfiction (American history, biography, military, popular culture, and general narrative nonfiction). We also sell film, foreign, and all subsidiary rights. Many of the books Jim has represented have been optioned or sold for film/TV. The Junction Boys, by Jim Dent, was made into an HBO movie, and the same author's Twelve Mighty Orphans will begin production in the fall of 2019. Jeff Guinn's The Road to Jonestown was adapted by the Sundance Channel for a two-night documentary special, Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle, which first aired in November 2018. American Brutus, by Michael Kauffman, was optioned by David Simon, the producer of the award-winning series The Wire. In 2013, the New York Times bestseller Manson by Jeff Guinn was optioned by Sony Entertainment for a limited TV series, as was Shot All to Hell by Mark Lee Gardner. Other books recently optioned for film/TV include The Last Gunfight and Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn, Going Long by Jeff Miller, When She Was Bad by Ron Faust, and dozens of others.
Jim is also the author of several books, including Custer and the Little Bighorn (Voyageur Press, 2001); the New York Times bestseller A Terrible Glory (Little, Brown, 2008); The Blood of Heroes (Little, Brown, 2012); and Shoot for the Moon (Little, Brown), which was published in March 2019 and has been optioned for a limited TV series. Jim regularly speaks on these subjects, and he has guest-lectured and taught seminars on the craft of writing and the business of publishing (and getting published) at universities and writers’ conferences.
Melissa T. Shultz has been the acquisitions/editor for Jim Donovan Literary since 2006. She's written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Dallas Morning News, AARP’s The Girlfriend, and many other publications. Her memoir/self-help book From Mom to Me Again was published by Sourcebooks in 2016 and named one of “3 Inspiring Reads” by Parade.com. Melissa teaches essay writing and speaks frequently about finding your voice and making the transition to a freelance writing career. She is the co-founder of Card Sisters, a greeting card line for women. Prior to her work as a writer and editor she was the Director of Creative Services for a trade association in Washington, DC.