David Vigliano is a native New Yorker who first developed a passion for reading at the 23rd Street branch of the New York Public Library, where books provided a welcome haven from the gloom of the near-bankrupt New York of the 1970’s. A talented baseball player, the young Vigliano was hooked after reading Bernard Malamud’s The Natural in 10th grade. A brief addiction to speed-reading carried Vigliano through the collected works of Malamud, Saul Bellow, and J. D. Salinger and enabled him to get an A in his individualized reading class but also exacerbated his nearsightedness.
Graduating from Hunter College with high honors in Communications and then from Harvard Business School, Vigliano put his love for books into practice as the Director of Packaging at Warner Books. This was a new role that presented him with the unique responsibility for generating book ideas and pursuing new authors. Vigliano was on the forefront of a new trend in which publishers sought out interesting and newsworthy books rather than passively acquiring them. That change opened up a broad and exciting new literary market, as books and subjects previously ignored by the publishing industry have since been published with remarkable success. It’s hard to imagine a book like Kurt Cobain’s Journals making the New York Times bestseller list twenty years ago, never mind reaching the #1 position. More than any other agency, Vigliano Associates has a reputation for negotiating record-setting advances. Among other high-profile deals, the agency placed Kurt Cobain’s Journals with Riverhead Books for a reported $4,000,000 advance, and in 2006, Vigliano negotiated the largest non-fiction advance in publishing history.
Vigliano is perhaps the only literary agent to build his agency entirely from scratch, without apprenticing at another agency or working as a lawyer for writers. He accomplished this partly through strategic business approaches he learned at Harvard Business School and partly through sheer passion for developing and pitching ideas (with a little New York moxie sprinkled in). The Vigliano Associates business model is as a result highly personal, author-focused, and nurturing; Vigliano’s agency is extraordinarily creative, as much a crucible for projects as a seller of them.
The agency represents books across a broad spectrum of genres. Bestselling commercial fiction clients include Robert James Waller, author of The Bridges of Madison County; Jerry B. Jenkins, co-author of the Left Behind series; comic genius Kinky Friedman; and Jackie Collins. Major clients in the self-help category include #1 bestselling authors Dr. Nicholas Perricone, author of The Perricone Prescription, The Perricone Promise, and The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet; Bob Greene, author of the Get with the Program! series and Total Body Makeover; and Suzanne Somers, author of Bombshell, Sexy Forever, Knockout, Breakthrough, and Ageless.
The foremost agency in the industry at representing celebrity books, Vigliano Associates has scored major New York Times bestsellers for a vast array of marquee names, including magician David Blaine; Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn; Grammy winner Alicia Keys; rock icon Anthony Kiedis; legendary musician Prince; NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal; pop princess Britney Spears; Grammy-winning rapper and actor T.I.; NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton; country great Willie Nelson; the iconic grunge rock band Pearl Jam; the estate of Elvis Presley; legendary rock band Aerosmith and guitarist Joe Perry; actress Jenny McCarthy; and the one and only Yogi Berra.
In the culinary realm, Vigliano Associates has represented Rao’s Cookbook, the #2 bestselling cookbook in Random House history; celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito’s cookbooks including the number one bestselling Now Eat This!; country musician Trisha Yearwood’s cookbooks; and musician/restaurateur Moby’s Teany Book.
More literary projects include artist James Rosenquist’s autobiography; Eddie Little’s gritty debut novel, Another Day in Paradise; and Douglas Coupland’s cultural touchstone, Generation X, with over one million copies sold.
The scope of Vigliano Associates’ services is not limited to the book world, however. Representing so many authors whose interests and businesses extend beyond the publishing industry entails working with them to ensure that their publishing plans coincide with and support their other endeavors. Recently, Vigliano client and famed dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone opened his first freestanding store on Madison Avenue in New York City after years of carefully maximizing support of his cosmeceuticals line with his bestselling books and PBS-funded television specials. Vigliano has worked diligently to support brand Suzanne Somers, and the development of Rao’s line of restaurants, food products, and cookbooks.
Vigliano Associates has also been tremendously successful at selling its literary properties to Hollywood, some of which include MGM’s adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s Bringing Down the House, starring Academy Award® winner Kevin Spacey, and The Oldest Rookie by Jim Morris and Joel Engel, which was adapted into the hit Disney movie The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid. Mike Sager’s GQ article was also adapted into the Touchstone Pictures release Veronica Guerin, starring Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett.
Other Vigliano books to get the big screen treatment include Eddie Little’s Another Day in Paradise, directed by Larry Clark and starring James Woods and Melanie Griffith, and Chris Radant’s short story collection Home for the Holidays, directed by Jodie Foster and starring Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft and Robert Downey, Jr. Books made into critically acclaimed independent films include Blake Nelson’s Girl, Joshua Miller’s The Mao Game, and Bruce Craven’s Fast Sofa.
Many clients have been with Vigliano Associates their entire careers. Mark Kriegel, author of the widely praised New York Times bestseller Namath, Pistol, and The Good Son; Stephen Davis, author of the rock classic Hammer of the Gods; and Bill Reynolds, author of the #1 New York Times business bestseller Success Is a Choice, have all been clients since the 1980′s. The agency cultivates such long, fruitful relationships not only through a vigorous approach to deal-making, but also by providing its clients with creative input and editorial expertise.
Vigliano has practiced many forms of yoga for over fifteen years and has worked professionally as a stand-up comedian at major clubs in New York and Los Angeles and on the Las Vegas strip. While at Hunter College, he performed stand-up comedy at major clubs in New York (including The Comic Strip, The Improv, Chile’s, Catch A Rising Star) and in the Catskills. He also starred in the movie Out to Lunch as a member of a comic ensemble.