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.
- Erica Cameron’s inclusive space opera, Pax Novis, sold to Entangled Teen in a three-book deal for the entire trilogy. It’s like Across the Universe, Star Trek Voyager, and The Expanse mashed together, with teens crossing the stars to find their way home and save humanity.
- Lindsey Smith’s Eat Your Feelings, a kick-ass, body-positive cookbook, is off to St. Martin’s Press. Because cookbooks that suggest new ways to eat, shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself. This deal surprised friends, because apparently no one knew I wanted to work on cookbooks? Please send me cookbooks.
- Samira Ahmed’s incredibly needed and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about Islamophobia, Swimming Lessons, sold to Soho Teen. I met Samira on social media, and things happened really fast (more on that shortly). And I’m not surprised. Her prose is gorgeous.
- Rebecca Phillips’ These Things I’ve Done, a YA contemporary novel that made me weep, sold to HarperTeen in a two book deal. I broke down and cried in a cafe in Philadelphia when this one happened, as witnessed by some friends who were there. I recently finished reading Rebecca’s second book, and it is just so wonderful.
- Laurel Amberdine’s high-concept, thrilling fantasy YA debut, Luminator, sold to REUTS. Whenever I explain this book to people, I mime holding up shields and talk about how it’s a novel where people fight with light. I cannot physically explain this book without immediately acting like I’m in a LARP. And I love it, and Laurel’s masterful world-building, so very much.
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