Paternity Leave: Closed for Submissions Until 2018

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Hey everyone!

If you follow me on the ol’ social media, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. But just in case you stumble across this lil’ website while looking for agents, here it is. I’m closed for queries for the rest of 2017, with the exception of referrals and conference or contest requests.

Why?

I’m on paternity leave! It’s baby time in the Smith household. And with a mini book tour in October, all while the baby is around… well, I’m going to need to take a breather, and dedicate my time to my family and current roster of clients, who are also much like my family. *hearts*

Book wise, things look good for the last half of the year though.

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  • These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips is out now with HarperTeen! This is my first published book as an agent, so it’s a big deal for me. We are gearing up to announce details regarding her second HarperTeen book, The Girl You Thought I Was, very soon. I think you’re all going to love it.
  • Come the end of December, you’ll also be able to catch Lindsey Smith’s cookbook, Eat Your Feelings, due out with Wednesday Books / St. Martin’s Press. This book is going to help a lot of people, with its body-positive messaging and mental-health angle, and I’m just so proud of it.

So yes! It’s a busy last half of the year, and an awesome launch in 2018, especially with covers and release dates for Laurel Amberdine’s Luminator (REUTS), Kati Gardner’s Brave Enough (Flux), and Anna Hecker’s When the Beat Drops (Sky Pony), all due out in the Spring of 2018, relatively soon-ish.

And there are a few book babies that are just about ready to be announced, which I’ll be updating ya’ll on here in between naps.

I’ll still be looking at projects through Twitter pitch events like #PitMad #DVPit and the like when they are live, and conferences (I’m still attending these conferences through the fall!). I’m also happily taking referrals from colleagues and clients. But otherwise, I’m on a break, and won’t be digging through the query box.

You can keep up to date with all my wonderful authors via this Twitter list, as they are all going to be up to awesome things over the next year or two.

I’ll open back up to submissions in mid-January. Thanks!

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

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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.

Book Expo & Book Con 2017: First Signings, Accessible Conferences, & POC in Publishing

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I’ve been going to BEA for the past eight years, and Book Con for every year it’s existed… but this year’s Book Expo America and Book Con was extra special. I feel like a little recap is required this time around.

So. Here we go.

The great thing about conferences like these, is you’re able to sit down and talk to industry people in-real-life. Publishing is a personal business. Books and reading taste, it’s all subjective. Being able to talk about what you’re reading, what you love… that in-person experience doing that is so valuable. And I’m so thankful for all the editors who wanted to hangout while I was in town.

But the most emotional part of the entire event, was watching one of my authors do a signing at the convention, and get a copy of her book for the first time.

First up, Wednesday. Read more

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

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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