I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview:
I enjoyed Wendy’s post yesterday about how agents spend their time. She did a great job of describing how agents work on their clients’ behalf, and I wanted to add my own two cents to further explain how we organize our days.
People frequently ask me about a typical day for an agent. I think most agents will tell you — there are no typical days! With a large number of clients, working on a variety of projects, all in various stages of writing or publication, the days provide endlessly changing excitement.
While agents always have a long to-do list, our most important job is to be responsive to our clients’ needs, as Wendy explained. The email box is always full, and fires erupt and need dousing with alarming regularity. So we begin each day with a “plan” and an awareness that we could end the day having not accomplished anything we’d planned.
I try to be aware of what’s important, what’s urgent, what’s both and what’s neither. (Remember those categories when you email your agent. Your situation will be prioritized along with everything else on her desk!) Whenever possible, I organize my days according to my priority list:
1. Contracts and Payments.
Fielding offers, negotiating deals, scrutinizing contracts, discussing clauses and terms with publishers, walking clients through their contracts, making sure the contract gets executed properly. Following up on advance and royalty payments, making sure publishers pay clients in a timely manner, examining royalty statements for accuracy.
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I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: One of the recurring themes of this blog is how publishing is evolving, and you probably know that for the last few years, people have been comparing our current situation to the music industry’s revolutionary changes over the last fifteen years. If we’re smart, the wisdom goes, we’ll […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: I’m often struck by the similarities between the competition reality shows on TV these days, and life in the publishing environment. The programs bring together hopefuls in an endeavor—baking, fashion, business, movie makeup, singing—and pit them against each other. Along the way, the competitors make […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: One of the difficult things about being a writer is having those days when you’re lacking inspiration, the words aren’t flowing, and you feel stuck. Pile enough days like that on top of one another and pretty soon you have the dreaded writer’s block. Ugh. […][ Read More → ]
I spend a lot of time working with my clients to edit and revise their proposals and manuscripts. I give notes and suggestions for improvements. Sometimes I take them through draft after draft, until everything seems just right. I know it’s tiring for them, and sometimes frustrating to be pushed to go over it […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: Last week I wrote about two ways your work can be used without your permission: plagiarism and piracy. But questions have come up about another kind of problem that worries writers: What if someone steals your idea, and writes a book on the same topic […][ Read More → ]
Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a publisher, creating an effective book cover is extremely important. I’ve worked with publishers on hundreds of covers, and now I have the experience of working with designers on the cover of my own first e-book. From my perspective, the single most important thing to understand about book covers […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: If you write and publish books or blog posts (or submit to agents, editors and publishers), you may worry someone might steal your work. I have two things to say about this: 1. Yes, at some point there is a good chance somebody […][ Read More → ]
I just finished reading a self-published book on a topic I’m passionate about, by an author whose blog I occasionally read. As I’ve mentioned before, I regularly read self-pubbed books, and the fact that I work in traditional publishing doesn’t mean I’m biased against them. It does, however, mean I’m aware of the ways […][ Read More → ]
In our house, we’re getting ready for competition season in gymnastics to begin this weekend. My daughter is a USAG level 7 gymnast with some pretty ambitious goals and it takes a lot of the family’s time and focus. But recently my daughter was convinced she needed to quit gymnastics (after seven years and […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: In real life, it’s not what a person says that shows us who they are. It’s what they do. The content of a person’s character is revealed in action and behavior. Who a person says they are, or thinks they are, doesn’t necessarily reflect their […][ Read More → ]
It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing. (This blog is no exception.) But as I noted in this post at Author Media , I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work. It may be […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: I’m an optimist by nature — I usually expect things will all work out. But for the new year, I plan to maintain a more realistic mindset by “thinking negative.” What do I mean by that? When I “think negative,” I factor into my […][ Read More → ]
Happy new year! As we begin 2014, talk is everywhere about our goals, resolutions and plans. Many of you have chosen “one word” that will serve as a focal point throughout 2014. Choosing a word has become popular in the last five years or so, and I like it because it’s a concise way to distill […][ Read More → ]