Sunday, August 24, 2014

CREATE A PLAN TO BUILD A PUBLISHING CAREER - Taking Agent Laura Rennert's Advice

At the SCBWI-LA conference earlier this month, executive agent Laura Rennert from Andrea Brown Literary Agency wowed us with her knowledge about how authors should build successful careers.

She suggested that we view ourselves as being the CEO of our own company, which would make your agent your COO. After reviewing who her authors are, she develops very systematic plans for each of her clients and says we should do the same for ourselves.

Basically, you need to think about who you are as a person, who your readers are, and what your books are about, then build your brand and marketing efforts upon those ideas. So here are my thoughts on each of those topics:

Who am I as a person?
  • teacher/ author
  • outgoing
  • always striving to be humorous
  • am intrigued by things unique and unusual 
  • laid back and easygoing

Who are my readers?
  • teens
  • smart adults who dig YA
  • librarians? reviewers? teachers?

What are my books about?
  • everyday teens on the brink of something new
  • often suspense & plot driven
  • falling in love
  • humor + heart
  • something unusual or quirky such as:
  • Bonnie & Clyde, Polish superstitions, falconry, space camp.

So based on those bullet points...what's my plan?
I'm going to try and formulate one now:

I'll focus on writing blog posts, running contests, and appearing at events hoping to showcase my sense of humor, my knowledge of suspenseful writing, and showing my love for things that are quirky.


Hmm....I think I like it. At least for now.

Laura Rennert did mention restructuring now and then as you go along. Figure out what's working and continue doing those things, while at the same time, weed out the strategies that weren't so successful. What works for one author might not work for another, so don't lose hope. It may take years to develop, but keep working and hopefully you'll see sales rise and offers increase. (*see me grinning with sparks of hope in my eyes)


Now it's your turn to be the CEO of your book company. Write down the three categories listed in bold above, along with your bulleted lists that represent you, and then come up with a one-line plan. I'd love to hear what it is, so please share in the comments....

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