From the magazine business, I went to the book publishing business in the spring of 1979. First with Word in Waco, Texas then with Thomas Nelson in Nashville. In 1987, Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers was launched with capital from investors.
On March 2, 1992 Mike Hyatt and I hung a shingle as literary agents. Until that moment, as a publisher, I knew enough about the agenting craft to deeply dislike it and the stereotype of those I suspected of trafficking in it.
But in no time at all, I had found another passion…as an agent. Having the chance to share and shape the dreams of gifted authors and then work alongside their publishers as an ally, in one of the most difficult and challenging industries known to man, was a thrill. Sitting on the front row of a screaming rollercoaster did not compare.
In the years since, the literary agency has grown. From a small handful of authors whom Mike and I had published ourselves and working with one or two houses to our current list of clients and “customers”, I have experienced the tremendous joy of this peculiar calling.
A SOBER REMINDER
In the mid-nineties, a publisher asked Mike which authors our firm represented. Mike gave him a quick rundown. The publisher seemed remarkably unimpressed. Even bothered by the list.
“What’s the matter?” Mike asked.
“Well,” the publisher responded after an extended pause. “Sounds like you and Robert are in a terrific position to mess up a lot of Kingdom work.”
As Mike told me the story of his troubling conversation, we both found little cause for levity. What our publisher friend had said was sobering. Maybe true.
We were stewards, a word that rolls off the tongue…a concept that runs counter to conventional wisdom in manifold dimensions.
Our names were on the letterhead but we didn’t own anything at all.
In 1998, Mike decided that he wanted to get back into a leadership and management setting inside a publishing house, which he very quickly did. I agreed to purchase his share of the agency.
In the fall of 2005, concerned about succession for my business and after a few conversations with prospective buyers of the firm, I decided to hire two young and gifted men.
They were inexperienced in the ways of book publishing, but quick studies (both were summa cum laude graduates from Taylor University) and hard workers. These men, my nephews, Andrew and Erik Wolgemuth, changed almost everything about how I spent my time. Managing the day-to-day details, keeping in constant contact with clients and publishers, and learning the twists and turns of publishing contracts has moved our firm to a new level of efficiency and productivity.
In January, 2009, we hired Mrs. Susan Kreider as our Administrative Assistant. Having spent many years in this role with another company, she very quickly took charge of the myriad details that swirl around a busy firm like ours.
Then in May, 2011, we invited Austin Wilson, a recent graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Communications/Publishing, to be my Executive Associate.
Robert Wolgemuth has been in the media business for thrity-nine years. A former president of Thomas Nelson Publishers, he is the owner of Wolgemuth & Associates, Inc., a literary agency exclusively representing the writing work of more than one hundred authors.
Dr. Wolgemuth is a speaker and best-selling author of over twenty books. His books include, She Calls Me Daddy, the notes to the Dad’s Devotional Bible, The Most Important Place on Earth, and What’s in the Bible: The Story of God through Time and Eternity, co-written with R.C. Sproul. His other collaborative works include Men of the Bible, The Most Important Year in a Man’s Life, and She Still Calls Me Daddy.
Robert is known as a champion for the family, effective communication, leadership, listening skills, relationship building, and biblical truth.
Among his professional accomplishments, he has served two terms as the Chairman of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
A 1969 graduate of Taylor University, from where he received an honorary doctorate in May, 2005, Dr. Wolgemuth is the father of two grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. He lives in Central Florida where he’s an elder and Sunday school teacher at the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando.
Andrew has been surrounded, challenged, taught, and blessed by books and great authors for his entire life, and he’s had the privilege of working with them as a literary agent since 2005. His first official paycheck came from Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers a couple of decades ago. His second employer was Can-Do Trash and Recycling Service. That was a good gig (though likely his only venture into waste disposal services), but it’s significantly less relevant to his present occupation.
The humbling joy of agenting calls him to serve our clients by stewarding their work with wisdom and diligence, and working to see that it’s delivered to readers with excellence. This takes many forms including advising clients throughout the process; serving as their advocate, sounding board, and representative; and doing his best to ensure that there’s follow-through and timeliness on all fronts.
Andrew is a reader, a jogger, a sports fan, the lucky husband of Chrissy, a dad of girls, a foster care and adoption advocate, a gardener, and a suburban rabbit hunter. He and his family have lived in Colorado for over four years.
Regularly amazed at the power of the written word in books, Erik has had the immense privilege of playing a part in their creation since 2005. He finds a unique joy in each stage of the publishing process – from ideation to holding the bound pages to seeing a book release and take off in the marketplace. Throughout the process, Erik is both sobered and energized by the privilege of stewarding a God-honoring message.
Erik is blessed to call Kendal his wife and fills his hours away from work playing with their three kids. Living in Colorado is wonderful if you love the outdoors, which he does. He’s always ready (unless the Jayhawks are playing basketball) for some cycling, hiking, camping, skiing, etc. Perhaps the one thing that would pull him away from representation is a cycling career, but – at this point – the odds aren’t good. In the meantime, he rides the rural roads to the east and the mountain passes to the west. And he loves to read. He’s never without a stack in his “to-read” pile… his literary eyes are bigger than his stomach.
Susan has worked at Wolgemuth and Associates for four years.
When the economy took a downturn in 2008, Susan was let go from her 20-year job as the pastor’s assistant of an Orlando church. Thinking that her work career was at an end and retirement was her future, she received a call from Robert Wolgemuth, a long-time friend from Youth for Christ days, inviting her to assume the role of administrative assistant and she accepted. She handles all of the logistics of the office and team travel arrangements.
As an avid reader, publishing is a wonderful industry to be connected to. Susan is married to Larry Kreider, the president of The Gathering, a ministry mainly to men located in Orlando, the mother of a son and daughter and the grandmother to six grandsons. Although she has lived in Orlando for 25 plus years, prior to that they served with Youth for Christ in Beirut, Lebanon and in three different US locations. She is serving her second term as a deacon at the church she attends.
Austin is the newest member of the Wolgemuth & Associates Team. Hired right after his graduation from Moody Bible Institute in the Spring of 2011, Austin and his wife, Kendall, moved to Orlando.
Austin started his publishing career working part time at Moody Publishers while he was a student. He has always been a passionate reader but his time with Wolgemuth & Associates has further enhanced his love of words and the entire publishing process. Austin works closely with Robert to serve clients, review proposals, and move the publishing process along.
Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Austin and Kendall met when he was in the fifth grade. Austin is a pastor’s kid, rides a motorcycle to work, and is an avid backpacker. Austin and Kendall live with their chocolate lab, Otis, in Orlando, Florida.
We accept submissions from authors who have at least one book commercially published, and/or are referred to Wolgemuth & Associates by one of our clients or a close contact. If you meet the above criteria please send a query letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
(we do not accept hardcopy submissions, and we are not responsible for unsolicited material mailed to our offices).
Please include a brief biography, the premise of your book, and a writing sample.
Unsolicited submissions that do not meet the above criteria will not be considered.