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BookEnds Celebrates 20 Years

It’s hard to believe but 20 years ago was when it all began. It was May 1999 when I first had the flash of an idea that I could do something different. That working for someone else, and on books that met someone else’s requirements, wasn’t for me.

At the time I was working as a senior editor for Pearson and acquiring solely for The Complete Idiot’s Guide (CIG) series. It had been a good career move and a valuable learning experience, but after only a year I was burned out and tired. I wanted more, but I also didn’t want what I had previously at Berkley Publishing (although I loved every minute of that job).

I liked the freedom I had at CIG to come up with ideas and find the authors to write them. I loved the search. But I missed fiction and reading queries and the more complicated negotiations that came with commercial publishing. So in the 45 minutes it took me to get home I had an answer. I was going to do exactly what I wanted. I was going to come up with ideas and find authors and I was going to do fiction. I was going to become a book packager and, later, an agent.

I was going to start my own company and BookEnds was born.

In 1999 I had grandiose visions of working on fiction in all genres, children’s books, and nonfiction. I had dreams of working with a team I loved. Twenty years later I’m there. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not done, but I’m there.

To celebrate the success of 20 years we will spend the year sharing our favorite stories and successes.

I’m thrilled and honored. BookEnds wouldn’t have made it even one year if it weren’t for the authors and illustrators who entrusted us with their careers or for the agents I so joyfully call my team. Thank you all.

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8 comments

  1. Wow! I didn’t realize how new you were as an agent when you signed me in April, 2001. I am so glad that you were the one who took me on, and I owe my query to you to a very dear friend of mine who passed away from cancer before she got her own much wanted agent contract, Patricia White. She wrote the most amazing stories, and she’s the one who told me about you. While you didn’t sell the book I submitted, you certainly managed to jumpstart my career. After 20 years of submissions and a career limited to small ebook publishers, my first contract with Kensington changed my life.

    For that I will always be grateful. And, fwiw, I have loved watching BookEnds grow! Congratulations on your success! (and yes, I know that comes entirely from working your tail off to make it happen) Here’s to many, many more years helping so many writers make their dreams come true.

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