Happy First-Book-Deal Anniversary to Me (Sandra)
July 25, 2009 | Written by admin
'Twas a year ago this coming week that I did my first book deal as an agent. I've learned A LOT since then. Here are a few things that come to mind …
At first, nearly every project I looked at had potential. Now, generally, I recognize potential for what it is — something which requires an investment of time. And time, like never before, looks like a precious resource I have only so much of to invest.
A year ago, digging in and helping authors shape and mold their projects seemed fun and exciting. Now, I understand that in order to serve all of my authors, I do need to guide authors as much as I can, but I can't do as much as I'd like. Though performing some editorial work is certainly part of the job and one I enjoy, my role as an agent requires that though I may help an author figure out what needs work, actually doing the work is not the best use of my time.
Negotiating my first contract was exciting, and it's still a thrill to receive offers and notify the authors I represent when we land a deal. Now, though, the best part of the job for me is in looking ahead and helping authors plan their futures.
My initial desire to find and work only with literary authors whose inspired works of genius would change the world has been somewhat toned down by the reality that authors who write commercial fiction work very hard, and probably more consistently than those who are waiting around for their muse to inspire them.
In the same light, I've realized that those who write category fiction probably better understand the needs of their readers than do most authors. And that they also are those who are most willing to do what it takes to make a living in this industry.
I've come around in my somewhat nose-in-the-air attitude toward romance and realized that not only is it the the bread and butter of publishing, but a topic which meets an innate need in all women — and that by working with authors who are filling this need in a way which honors God, I am participating in an important mission.
I've also learned that I can be a bit cynical and critical at times. And that I work best with people who have a sense of humor.
And I've learned that working under the guidance of Chip MacGregor is even more the honor than I thought it would be.