Hollan has a unique business model that we call “conceptual agenting,” a mash-up of a literary agency and a traditional book packager. We develop all of our book ideas in-house, then find talented, promotable authors to apply their vision and expertise to the concepts.
Hollan is a boutique shop with five full-time employees and one editor-at-large. We’ve been in business since the fall of 2006, when Holly Schmidt and Allan Penn decided their wacky imaginations and twisted senses of humor were as stable a foundation as any for a good business partnership. Allan spent 20 years as a commercial photographer prior to starting Hollan, and he shoots many of our books (see his work here.)
If you’re a publisher, you work with us the same way you would any literary agent. If you’re a prospective author, it’s a bit different. We don’t represent outside ideas, but we work to develop careers for our authors. In fact, some of our authors are on their third and fourth books with us. We act as partners with the authors, sharing the proceeds from our concepts 50/50.
We do books across a wide range of categories, from humor to health to cookbooks, and we sell books to both major trade houses and smaller indie publishers. Since we choose to focus on ideas we are confident will sell, we have a 90% success rate. Our authors include many high-profile experts, as well as substantial online properties like BuzzFeed and The Matador Network.
In spring 2014, Holly and Allan’s first cookbook - WIENERS GONE WILD: Out-of-the-Ballpark Recipes for Extraordinary Hot Dogs -will be published by Running Press!