Here’s How to Request Review Copies of Books by Rebecca Phillips, Samira Ahmed, & Dave Connis

three books

So, over the next few months, a few of the first books I’ve sold as an agent will be rolling out, and I’m so very proud of each and every one of them.

And guess what? You can request free review copies! NetGalley! Edelweiss! Physical copies that I want to re-home! Here’s how.

THESE THINGS I’VE DONE by Rebecca Phillips: This beautifully devastating book will be out with HarperTeen in… gasp, two weeks! And you can still request free review copies via Edelweiss, here. https://www.edelweiss.plus/#sku=0062570900

Word on the street my agent copies are on their way, and I will want to re-home a few of them to bloggers who will post about and review them. Want a physical hardcover copy of the book? You are more than welcome to email me with details about your blog. I’ve only got ten though, so supplies are limited. I’ll cross this out when they are all claimed.

THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM by Dave Connis: Fun fact, Dave’s debut was actually the very first book I got to sell in my first months as a Baby Agent™ in 2015, and now it’s here!  You can request a copy on Edelweiss, here. https://www.edelweiss.plus/#sku=1510707301.

For those of you who prefer NetGalley, you can request it here. https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/118159

I’ll be getting a few agent copies in August, but don’t have any agent ARCs to send out. If you want to request a physical ARC, you can email the rockstar publicity team at Sky Horse via their website.

LOVE HATE AND OTHER FILTERS by Samira Ahmed: You can currently request Samira’s debut on NetGalley and Edelweiss, here.

Now, if you’re interested in a physical review copy of any of these, feel free to email me (ericsmithrocks@gmail.com), and I’ll forward you on to the respective publicity team. Can’t make any promises, but I’m happy to send your request forward.

Deals: Making Friends With Giants by Bassey Ikpi Acquired by Harper Perennial

bassey harper

Sometimes, books start in the quirkiest of places.

Like in a Facebook conversation with a friend from back home.

Steve Clark, a storyteller from back in Philadelphia who I’ve seen numerous time at various First Person Arts events, sent me a message one fateful day. He’s one incredibly gifted guy, and my goodness, I look forward to seeing his book in stores one day. And when he brought up his friend, I was happy to take a look at the project, and recommend other agents for it, in the event it wasn’t for me.

Turns out, it was definitely for me.

Some of you might recognize Bassey Ikpi. And you should. Here’s her Twitter. Her Wikipedia. You probably saw her on Def Poetry Jam, or read one of her many essays or articles around the Internet. I highly suggest checking out her gorgeous, recent essays on Catapult. She’s a rockstar, and I’m so happy Steve connected us.

Bassey and I exchanged really long emails discussing her work. The essays she’d written. Her poetry and time with Def Poetry Jam. The articles for places like The Root, Essence, XO Jane, and more. She wanted to put together a book that would help push her mission… erasing the stigma around mental health for women of color.

My wife often writes about mental health, on her blog Down to Utopia, so this was something really close to me. I absolutely had to be the agent who worked on this project with Bassey.

We spent a lot of time pouring over this project together. And the resulting book, Making Friends With Giants, is a memoir about living with mental illness, and my goodness, I can’t wait for it to be out there in the world, making a difference. It’s my hope people will pick up Bassey’s story, and feel less alone.

And I’m thrilled to say Making Friends With Giants will be published by Harper Perennial in 2018. Here are the details, from Publisher’s Marketplace:

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Go ahead and follow Bassey, her editrix Erin Wicks, and Harper Perennial on Twitter, and wish them all the congrats. And here’s to making books that help make the world a better place.

How to Nail an In-Person Pitch: Some Questions You Should Be Ready For

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I love taking in-person pitches at publishing conferences.

It’s how I found Lindsey Smith (her book, Eat Your Feelings, comes out with St. Martin’s Press next year!), and I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to talk with numerous writers around the country. About their books, about their platforms, all kinds of good stuff, sharing advice as well as dishing out suggestions for their projects.

But without fail, at every conference I attend, there are certain questions I ask that seem to trip writers up. And sometimes, not having answers to those questions sends up serious red flags.

So I thought I’d do a little post, to dish out some tips for those of you pitching agents and editors in-person. Because while you may have polished that pitch to perfection, you’re going to need to answer these kind of questions. Read more

The Best of #CorgiYA, And The Benefits of Social Media Silliness

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Back in August, my wife jokingly suggested that we make a Twitter account for our dog, Augustus. I’d been occasionally tweeting about him being my “assistant” at P.S. Literary, and she thought it might be funny to make a profile of him doing just that.

And now he has over 1,200 Twitter followers. For a corgi tweeting his life goal of being a literary agent. The Internet is a wonderful place.

One of the quirky things I’ve been doing with Auggie’s Twitter account, is Photoshopping corgis into YA books. Poorly for the most part, and sometimes spending WAY more time than I should on others. #CorgiYA was born, and it’s a fun way to distract myself.

To celebrate his 1,000 follower landmark, I offered up a query critique contest. The best #CorgiYA would win a query critique from me and Augustus. Mine will be real, Auggie’s will be silly. And much to my surprise, a bundle of people jumped in to play along! Authors, editors, agents, publishers… it was a very fun few days on Twitter.

And I can’t talk about doing a social media game without pointing at the analytics of the fun.

corgi ya analytics

 

With over one million impressions and the reach to over 600,000 people, over 250 folks participating in favoriting, retweeting, talking about and creating their own images… a lot of people were engaged in having fun with this thing. It pulled in about 100 new followers for Auggie’s account and my own.

Remember, writers in the social media world. It doesn’t all have to be “BUY MY BOOK” to get people paying attention to you and sharing your stuff. In fact, it shouldn’t be. No one is on social media to be promoted at. They are here to have fun.

Do things like this. Have fun.

I also have to call out Ashley Ruggirello in particular here. She made some of my favorites in this game. I know she does freelance cover designs, and my goodness, her Photoshops during this were gorgeous. If you’re looking for a designer, please drop her a line.

As for winners, my three winners were from Lyndsay Ely, Ari Faye, Ashley Ruggirello, and The Book Voyagers. “Eric wait that’s four.” I know. I may have seen a query from one of these folks and given them notes already. So one is an honorary winner.

Here are the best of the best, starting with my four winners. Enjoy!

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WINNER: From Ash Ruggirello

CORGKEEPER

WINNER: From Lyndsay Ely

WHEN THE MEAT WAS OURS

WINNER: From The Book Voyagers

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WINNER: From Ari Faye Read more

My First Full Year as a Literary Agent: Six Lessons I Learned

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So last year was my first full year working as a literary agent.

I had a lot of awesome victories that I shouted to the social media winds and posted about here. I signed a number of rockstar authors, from well-established authors to debuts. You can check out my team in this handy Twitter list. They are all wonderful. I went to a bundle of conferences all around the country, so many that I can’t remember all the places. I even sold some books I can’t quite announce just yet.

And the ones I did announce? I’m so proud of them.

And while all of that sounds awesome, there were some big hurdles in the mix, and some major lessons I took away. Because for every author I picked up, there was another I didn’t get to work with. There were conferences that were, sadly, not a good use of my time. And I’m going to try to get better at handling all of these things.

Here are some of the lessons I learned, that I hope you can learn from too. Read more