Once again, the Lord has blessed me with much more than I deserve. My family and I are healthy and happy and He continues to provide abundantly.
I am grateful to you, my readers, and so to help you, I offer my perspective on the business:
At the start of 2014, I happily represented a robust list of Heartsong authors. As we all know, the line is poised to shut down this year. I appreciate the fact that Harlequin has shown the utmost integrity and consideration in this situation that is of course sad and tough for Heartsong authors. I look forward to working with Harlequin and other houses in hopes of placing my Heartsong authors elsewhere.
I believe that 2014 has seen a dramatic shift in attitudes regarding indie-published authors and in indie publishing as a business. Indie publishing used to be lumped in with vanity publishing, but now many indie authors have earned respect and readers. The lack of oversight here still means there is some chaff among the wheat, but I think there is much wheat to be harvested. I see the value of some authors shoring up their careers in traditional publishing with indie titles when and if appropriate. To that end. I see myself as a partner in helping those who wish to be hybrid authors manage these two parts of their careers.
As a literary agent, I see no real change regarding how I will help authors succeed. My goal is to present the finest books possible to the top tier publishers. Through the talent and hard work of my authors, we have found great success. I am privileged to represent many prominent authors with loyal readers and excellent publishers working with the best editors in the business. I see traditional publishers becoming more savvy by the day on how to market books in both hard copy and electronically. Once again, they have proven themselves adaptable to the ever-changing market. As I tell my authors, traditional publishers thrive because they are smart. I enjoy working with traditional publishers and hope to keep and increase the number of successful authors I have contracted with them.
This is a great time to be a debut author.
For fiction, the key is to take the time you need to write a fresh story. When considering your new plot, what is a twist that hasn’t been done before? Is there a way for your story to break ground without being so far out that no one knows how to market it? Disciplined authors writing with these attitudes are likely to succeed. As an agent, I see my role as identifying new and established authors with fresh ideas and presenting their stories to editors.
For nonfiction, a fresh idea is also key but so is platform. As you work on your book, take the time to develop and grow your blog and social media. As an agent, I want to assure editors that you have an audience looking for you, your topic and your book.
As you have gathered, I expect 2015 to look different from 2014 because publishing continues to change. However, I think most of these changes are positive and will ultimately bring readers more quality books. I am grateful to be a part of this business, and for my journey with so many talented authors.
How will 2015 be different for you?
What is the freshest plot you have seen this past year?
Have you recently read a new nonfiction book with a new take on a needed topic?