After a twenty-year career in senior-level editorial jobs (Atheneum, Addison-Wesley, Viking Penguin, and Basic Books) and as a publisher (Smithsonian/Harper Collins), Don Fehr joined the Trident literary agency in 2010. His industry reputation is that of an editor’s editor, intensely loyal, author-centered, and entrepreneurial in the publishing and marketing of his writers. And his experience in working with authors in many genres and subject areas, ranging from bestsellers to award winners, has given him a sense of what works in the marketplace.
Don has published over a dozen New York Times bestsellers, and his authors and books have won numerous awards, including The Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, among others. Prominent authors he has worked with over the years have included political and legal commentators Jeffrey Toobin and Alan Dershowitz, medical writers, Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, Dr. Pauline Chen and Dr. Haider Warraich, psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer, historians Niall Ferguson, Charles Maier, Sven Beckert, Jeremy Adelman, Eliga Gould, David Oshinsky, Sunil Amrith, Patricia Limerick, Christopher Andrew, W. Bruce Lincoln, Walter McDougall, Thomas Fleming, Robert Cowley, David Reynolds, Lonnie Bunch, Leslie Harris, Willard Sterne Randall, John Jeffries Martin, Robert Harms, Omer Bartov, Amir Weiner, Tara Zahra, Dagmar Herzog, Edith Sheffer, Jeffrey Veidlinger, James Loeffler, Hasia Diner, Jochen Hellbeck, Nancy Sinkoff, Peter Baldwin, Priya Satia, Jennifer Mittelstadt, Bathsheba Demuth, Nile Green, and Richard Evans, novelists Peter Handke, Charles Johnson, Ishmael Reed, Kathryn Harrison, and Kenneth Bonert, poets Patrick Phillips and Kathleen Spivack, scientists and science writers Carl Zimmer, Franz De Waal, Daniela Schiller, Ian Tattersall, Robert DeSalle, and Melvin Konner, theologians Harvey Cox, Richard John Neuhaus, Mark C. Taylor, Timothy Beal, Thomas Tweed, and Gary Dorrien, actors Simon Callow and Klaus Kinski, pianist Andras Schiff, and other authors including Christopher Hitchens, Paul Berman, Thomas Sowell, Gerald Early, Richard Rhodes, Richard Reeves, Bruce Chatwin, Kevin Philips, John Yoo, Randy Barnett, Fred Waitzkin, Maura Spiegel, Jean Pfaelzer, Tony Platt, Brent Edwards, Ted Genoways, Nathaniel Comfort, and Caroline Fraser.
“Now I am using my experience and insights as a book agent to help my authors navigate the internal and changing dynamics of the publishing processes to maximize the upside while still protecting their long-term interests,” says Don. “I roam widely in terms of subject areas and categories that interest me, but what always catches my attention first is the author’s voice. Just about everything flows from that. I must be pulled in by the author’s voice before I get interested in the story or subject.”