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My Mission to Empower Authors

A lifetime ago I started this blog as a way to empower writers even when I couldn’t attend writers conferences. Long ago when I first started in this business the internet was still in its infancy and except for a few AOL chat rooms there wasn’t much available (not even websites) to writers. Authors were relying on LMP and Writers Market which were big heavy books you could only often find in libraries, and writers conferences if they could afford them.

What I wanted to do with this blog was travel less (I was speaking at roughly 8 conferences a year) and reach more people. I also wanted to quiet the voices that felt the best way to teach authors was through shame and humiliation. I had grown tired of attending conferences with agents who loved nothing better than to lord over authors with their vast knowledge (many had only been in the business 1-2 years) and embarrass them into thinking they were less than. I wanted to empower authors by reminding them constantly that not only do they have a voice in this industry, but they are the voice of this industry and without them, their queries, their submissions (even when faulty) we as agents have no job. So I blogged.

I’ve always known that my job is to be an advocate for authors. In my role as a partner in the business of publishing for my clients, I work on their behalf to negotiate strong contracts, fight for better covers, push for more marketing, and encourage the writing of new things. Sometimes I even offer a shoulder to cry on, a place to vent, and friendship to lean on. What has recently come to light for me is that my mission in this job as a literary agent extends well beyond just my clients. When I started this blog I accepted the role of advocate for all authors–published and unpublished. With what I hope is a positive and encouraging voice my job as a literary agent is to help all of you find a way to achieve your dreams, even if it isn’t with BookEnds.

It’s why I started the blog.

It’s why I Tweet.

It’s why we have Instagram.

and it’s why I now make videos.

The more authors I can empower, the more I succeed in my role as a literary agent and author advocate for all.

 

 

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22 comments

  1. Thank you Jessica. Know that what you do is valued and appreciated very much. I come across as a very confident person but I’m really not and you have helped so much to bolster my confidence and helped me see agents as (mostly) the lovely people they are.
    Thank you again.

  2. Your mission, carved in stone is a standard (or should be) adhered to by those choosing to represent what we do. I’d hang your mission- tablet on my wall but the hook isn’t quite strong enough yet. I’m working on that and when it’s nailed, I’ll let you know.
    BTW love the YouTube stuff.

  3. Your mission should be carved in stone for all who represent what we do. As a writer I’d hang your tablets on my wall but the hook isn’t quite strong enough yet. When it’s nailed I’ll let you know.
    BTW, I love your YouTube stuff.

  4. Your blog is the first thing I read when I see a new post highlighted in my e-mail. You give great advice but at the same time you welcome writer’s to disagree. Not once do I feel you are looking down at us. You are one of us and that’s special.

    Keep doing the good work.

  5. The catalyst for your journey (at the conferences) is like a hero’s call to adventure. I imagine other agents might’ve felt similarly, but you answered the call, and carry it for us. You’re our hero, Jessica. We clamor our swords and shields together for you in praise!

  6. Quick question. I am looking for an agent for a Zodiac killer novel. Can you kindly suggest 2 or 3 of the best agents. Grew up and live in Nor Ca killing area. Have done four years of extensive studies that started with accidentally solving the Halloween Card. Promise the novel will be one of the best ever and rival Graysmith’s!

  7. It’s always insightful to read your blog. I appreciate all that you do to encourage unagented, unpublished, aspiring authors like myself! Thank you!

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