Who We Are

The ReadersSmerillo Associates, founded in 2006 by Deirdre and Gary Smerillo, is a consulting firm specializing in contract and royalty management for independent publishers, literary agencies, and other industry professionals.

We all know that the publishing industry is changing almost daily.  There is no such thing as “business as usual”.  Even large publishers are scrambling to keep up.  Today’s agents must stay on top of industry changes to provide their authors with the best possible situation for their work. A contract that was fine 6 months to a year ago may not be fine today.

At the same time, we believe that the evolution of the industry can be an opportunity for independent presses. With their greater flexibility, innovation and entrepreneurial mindsets, independent presses can experiment with new technologies, business models and marketing methods.  Their ability to exploit niche markets may provide the best opportunity for growth. And the barriers to entry have never been lower.

Our clients run the gamut from growing agencies to small and large independent publishers. We tailor each service to our client’s needs and situation, as one size does not fit all. There is no one correct solution to the problems encountered each day. Creative problem-solving and the ability to explain intellectual property and financial issues clearly and concisely are at the core of what we do.

Deirdre’s 32 years’ experience in the book publishing industry includes in-house positions as Director of Contracts for the Hyperion book division of the Walt Disney Company and Director of Contracts for Random House, Inc. Deirdre has a BA from Rutgers University and a MBA from Monmouth University.

Gary, a former educator and musician, has a BA from the University of Dayton and completed the Boston University On-line Program for Financial Planners, having successfully passed the CFP® Examination. Additionally he has completed the New York University Center for Publishing Book Publishing Program offered through their School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Melissa Moorehead, the third member of our team, has 17 years’ experience in contracts and rights management. Working in International Rights and Subsidiary rights at Bantam Doubleday Dell, Scholastic and John Wiley & Sons, she has represented trade products at the Frankfurt, London and Bologna Book Fairs. Melissa has a BA from Washington College.

Rounding out our team is Hayley Burdett.  While she is new to contracts, rights and royalties ( a mere 3 years), she is no stranger to the written word.  Hayley has a BA – English from West Virginia University, an MFA – Fiction Writing from Minnesota State University and has been a contributing writer for the “Hear It Now” radio show on Prairie Public Radio in Fargo, ND.