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

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

Deals: Eat Your Feelings by Lindsey Smith Acquired by St. Martin’s Press

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A few months ago, I met Lindsey Smith, The Food Mood Girl at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference.

It was my first time attending my former hometown’s writing conference as a full time literary agent, and I’d been to a number of pitch sessions like this over the past year. It’s the sort of event lots of agents go to, to potentially meet new authors, discuss publishing with people, and network.

When Lindsey sat down and handed me her 40+ page proposal, detailing her platform, biography, publications, and more… it took everything in me not to cry. And ya’ll know I love crying.

The proposal had everything I wanted in a non-fiction author and in a cookbook project, which was something I’d been looking for since I started agenting. During my time working at an actual publishing house, I absolutely adored working on cookbooks and with the passionate food blogging community.

Lindsey’s story is a fantastic one. After being hospitalized for anxiety at a young age, she focused her life on health, happiness, and eating well. Years later, she’s teaching stress management classes to her high school peers. Fast forward a bit more, and she travels the country, inspiring tens of thousands of people to live well and be healthy.

Recently, she’s written about depression for The Huffington Post, had her posts on body image featured on Elite Daily, did a fantastic TED talk, and will be on TV in her town of Pittsburgh. She’s a rockstar. I highly recommend checking out her inspirational blog. The recipes, the advice… everything is so positive and full of humor, wit, and sunshine. It’s impossible not to love.

And now, she’ll have a book out with St. Martin’s Press in the Fall of 2017.

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I am THRILLED to say that EAT YOUR FEELINGS has been acquired by St. Martin’s Press by Laura Apperson, and will be in stores everywhere next Fall.

Where most books about emotions and eating have to do with academia and diets, Lindsey’s is a cheerful take on all that. I can’t wait for people to read this, and see a positive, fun-filled way to feel good about themselves, with delicious recipes, encouraging words, and her trademark wit and humor.

You can follow Lindsey at @LindseySmithHHC, and of course, St. Martin’s Press and her new (awesome) editor Laura Apperson at @StMartinsPress and @LCatAp respectively.

Go wish them all the congrats, and then, have yourself a healthy snack to celebrate all these happy feelings. I sure will.