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.
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!
WINNER: From Ash Ruggirello
WINNER: From Lyndsay Ely
WINNER: From The Book Voyagers
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