if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

Busy Day in kt lit Land

Hard to believe it’s already the end of the day — and what a day it’s been! For all that I can sometimes spend a day reading queries without a single interruption aside from the dog’s bladder-relief needs, today was NOT one of those days. On the contrary. So what’s involved in a kt literary busy day? Well, let me tell you:

  • Start with a missed phone call from my subagent. As I’m ringing back, read her email with a nice five-figure offer for one of my clients’ books in Spanish and Catalan languages. Get a call back from my subagent, discuss the offer, prep email to author with the good news. Hear back fromm author, answer questions, get approval, and respond to subagent with a gleeful yes. Next step: drafting foreign language agreement.
  • Go over contract manager’s memo to another kt literary author’s publisher with notes on a new agreement. Check terms, ask for clarification where necessary on legal language, respond to contract manager.
  • Finalize submission list for pop culture memoir. Since this is my first project in this genre, nearly every editor is new to me, so that means looking up their previous acquisitions, tracking down phone numbers and emails, updating my tracking programs with their contact information, making calls, waiting to hear back, confirming via conversation that the project is right for them, pitching the idea, and sending out the proposal via email, after making sure it conforms to my style sheet (i.e. title page and headers and footers look like my other submissions).
  • Finalize another submission list, this one for hysterical debut YA novel. Most of these editors are known to me, so each call is a delightful conversation with someone I enjoy catching up with, as well as a pitch for the specific project. Follow each call with material via email, using portions of author’s original query letter to me, and portions of my own creative work. Make sure all the links in the body of the email work. Notify author her book is on submission, and to which houses, and help her get ready to wait.
  • Update my database of editors after reading latest news emails with editorial moves and new hires. Try to sort out best way to share information between two programs, so I’m not entering authors more than once (this is still very much a work in progress).
  • Get email from another subagent with latest news on a four-publisher, multi-round auction going on in Germany. Make plans for the next step, which includes a hiatus for the Frankfurt Book Fair, and update the author by email.
  • Read author blogs, industry news sites, and try to stay up-to-date on the world without being overwhelmed.
  • Revise list of client projects with rights granted and status of material for my own easy reference and for my subagent.
  • Email film agents the latest information about kt literary upcoming projects that will be discussed at next week’s book fair.
  • Email exchange with another prospective author about his manuscript. He’s got an offer from another agent, so I promise to get back to him by Monday. Another manuscript gets moved up my reading queue.

And that’s just what I can remember of the day! I’m hoping tomorrow is quieter, so I can try again to get caught up on queries. No live-blog this time, if only because I can get through them a little quicker if I’m not taking notes, and the numbers are even more overwhelming this week.

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