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!

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: Sangu Mandanna’s Spark of White Fire Trilogy Acquired By Sky Pony Press

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When Sangu Mandanna first pitched me her novel, I shared the query with some of my colleagues at P.S. Literary. I even told a few book nerd friends. I was absolutely freaking out. I’d loved Sangu’s debut novel, The Lost Girl, which came out with Balzer + Bray a few years ago. I was such a fan. I’d even blogged about her before.

No, seriously, see this blog post from early 2015 over on Barnes & Noble’s YA blog.

The response from friends? “Calm down go read the book.” On the agency side of things? My coworker and pal Maria told me to “drop everything and read it.”

So I did.

I mean, of course I did. Not only did I adore Sangu as an author already, but her new book sounded incredible. A YA sci-fi / fantasy mashup space opera inspired by the Mahabharata?! WHAT?! And as I dove in, the prose was gorgeous. The story was heartbreaking. The characters and the world were diverse and lush. And it felt so very important.

Sangu pitched me on December 14th. I requested the full manuscript that day. I sent her a very professional Twitter DM six days later to tell her how much I loved the book. No, really. I did. I am a professional. Read more

Deals: When the Beat Drops by Anna Hecker Acquired by Sky Pony Press

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Anna Hecker queried me on my birthday last year, with one wonderful gift.

Her next novel.

It was wild to me, to discover that there weren’t any YA novels about EDM… Electronic Dance Music. Considering the current popularity of The Chainsmokers, the easy listening joy that is Owl City, and my absolute favorites, Daft Punk, how hasn’t this been explored?

Well. Enter Anna with When the Beat Drops.

In Anna’s latest novel, she introduces readers to Mira Alden, a teen girl who wants nothing more than to ace her audition to the prestigious Fulton Jazz Conservatory. See, she’s essentially a teen jazz prodigy, writing beautiful music with her best friends as a somewhat band-geek outcast. And then she falls into the EDM scene when her sister comes home… and discovers a surprise gift for DJing. 

The book is Pitch Perfect and Save the Last Dance meets This Song Will Save Your Life, with a heavy splash of Daft Punk, as a teen girl has to choose between what she thought was always her passion, and the exciting new world she’s getting swept up in. There’s drugs, toxic relationships, and oh my, so much music. 

I fell in love with this book hard, and loved pitching it around while listening to dance music. Some of my favorite YA contemporary reads are music-filled, like Ashley Poston’s The Sound of Us and We Own the Night, Charlotte Huang’s For the Record, Nina LaCour’s The Disenchantments, and Morgan Matson’s Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. I can’t wait to see Anna’s book on shelves and lists with these.

And I’m so pleased to say it’ll be in bookstores everywhere in the Spring of 2018 with Sky Pony Press, having been acquired by Becky Herrick. Here are the details, found on Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf:

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You’ve likely heard me ramble about Sky Pony before, here and on the ol’ social media. That’s because they are putting out the very first book I got to sell, Dave Connis’ The Temptation of Adam and thus, will always have a special place in my heart.

Please head to Twitter and wish Anna and Sky Pony all the congrats.

Preferably while listening to the Tron Legacy soundtrack.

And Anna, thank you for that wonderful birthday present.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis

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So, The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis is always going to hold a special place in my literary-agent-shaped-heart-

Doctor: Why do you keep joking about this? This is serious. Hearts aren’t shaped like that.

Me: Shh, not now. I’m blogging.

It’s the very first book I ever got to sell as an agent (you can see that whole story here), and I’m so thankful that Dave had me along for that ride. And watching him continue to grow as an author has just been a joy. I can’t wait for Suggested Reading, which will be out with Katherine Tegen in 2019. Be sure to add it on Goodreads!

And now, the cover for The Temptation of Adam has been revealed, thanks to C.J. Redwine and Young Adult Book Central. Head over to the site to check it out.

To celebrate, I’m hosting a lil’ giveaway of three of Dave’s favorite YA contemporary reads. The winner will get all three books, as well as a pre-order of his debut!

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  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  • How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
  • The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

You can enter by following Dave on social media, tweeting about the contest, or simply adding his book to your Goodreads!

Good luck!

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