Located in the Bay Area, Present Perfect is a full-service literary agency serving clients across the globe. With a distinctive West Coast sensibility, Present Perfect scouts emerging trends and talent to represent the best in innovative, thoughtful, and design-driven publishing.
Our agents Kate Woodrow and Laura Lee Mattingly have a combined 20 years of editorial experience at major trade publishers. This means they know what editors want and how to pitch them, as well as what goes on behind the scenes. They use this insider’s perspective to help clients hone their book vision, develop a pitch-perfect proposal, identify their most ideal publisher, and successfully navigate the twists and turns of the publishing process.
The agency works in tandem with a dedicated foreign rights agent and contracts manager to ensure the best deals for their clients. Kate and Laura Lee take care with every aspect of their clients' needs and position them to enjoy long, successful author careers.
Present Perfect is ranked among the top 3 agencies for the lifestyle, art/illustrated, and advice/relationships categories by Publishers Marketplace, and has been featured on numerous podcasts.
Kate Woodrow, Founder, Agent
I started this agency in 2015 with the goal of advocating for artists in publishing, and I continue to be an industry leader in design-driven nonfiction. I'm looking for books that offer a unique visual perspective across a wide range of topics, especially art and design, travel, work, nature, science, activism, feminism, popular culture, and anything with an instructive or practical bent. I’m also obsessed with paper products, and have expertise developing ancillary rights programs.
Before becoming an agent, I was an editor at Chronicle Books, where my publishing experience spanned 10 years and hundreds of books and gift products. Bringing that many projects from brainstorm to bookshelf gave me a keen sense of what makes a book commercially successful and how to be a professional collaborator. I have an open mind that appreciates wildly creative ideas, plus a realistic sense of what will fly in the marketplace. I also copyedited the lifestyle magazine Anthology for its 21-issue run and am passionate about art and design.
Listen to Kate talk about the pitch process on The Jealous Curator podcast here.
Laura Lee Mattingly, Partner, Agent
I’m looking for books that get to the heart of living well, whether the topic is work, health, mindfulness, nature, spirituality, healing, activism, or relationships. Personal transformation is the first step in global transformation, and my passion is developing titles that help readers discover more purpose, joy, and fulfillment in life.
Through my work at Hyperion Books, Random House, HarperCollins, and most recently as a senior editor at Chronicle Books, I’ve had the privilege of editing hundreds of books—including numerous national and New York Times bestsellers—that reflect my passions. I’ve collaborated with wellness experts, podcasters, artists, entrepreneurs, and life coaches to turn their book visions into printed reality (see “clients” for a complete list). I also serve on the board of the Publishing Professionals Network in the Bay Area.
Listen to Laura Lee talk about working with an agent on the Being Boss podcast here.