BookEnds Literary Agency Welcome to BookEnds, Mary Angela!
BookEnds Literary Agency Welcome to BookEnds, Xiran Jay!
BookEnds Literary Agency James McGowan’s #MSWLMadness
BookEnds Literary Agency Tracy Marchini’s #MSWL Madness

Kim’s marking many milestones with the #BookEnds20

I have a lot to celebrate this year!

  • 15 years at BookEnds (as of today!)
  • 20 years since BookEnds was founded
  • 25 years since I first met Jessica Faust

In 1994, I was an intern at Berkley Publishing and met a young, ambitious, go-getting editorial assistant named Jessica Faust. We still joke about it, but well… we weren’t best friends back then. Truthfully, I think my 20-year-old rural-Pennsylvania-girl-plopped-in-the-big-city self was a bit intimidated by her assertiveness. These days, I just roll my eyes at her a lot, and she rolls hers right back.

After spending over eight years as an editor there (Jessica had left a few years earlier), I started to get the itch for something different. I was settling down with my husband, moving to the suburbs and wanted a flexible schedule that would be more conducive to starting a family. That wasn’t all though. I wanted more freedom to work on the books I was most passionate about, and I wanted the motivation of being directly compensated for how well those books did.

Jessica likes to say I conned her into hiring me. Call it what you want, but it worked!

I had lunch with a former colleague who’d recently seen Jessica. He said BookEnds was looking to expand. At the time, I just nodded with interest and chomped on my salad, but the wheels were already turning.

I invited Jessica out for an agent-editor lunch, ostensibly to connect on more submissions with her, but I definitely had a different agenda. I mentioned I heard they were looking to add another agent and wanted to throw my hat in the ring. The rest is history.

BookEnds has come a long way in the last twenty years, but there’s some things that remain the same, and those are the things that I love most.

  • I work with people that feel like family, but that I also respect as my industry peers.
  • They afford me the same respect and show me I’m valued for my contributions.
  • I’m given the freedom and support to pursue the goals and projects that I find most rewarding.
  • I get to work with the authors of my choosing, which means they’re all perfect! I’m very, very lucky!
  • I work for someone who oftentimes knows me better than myself.

So I’m lifting a glass to Jessica Faust and BookEnds (and yes, it’s probably a Frescarita that Jessica made for me, herself, because I’m always mooching her tequila) for 20 years of inspiration. Thanks for having me these last 15. Looking forward to many, many more!

Category: BlogLionetti

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10 comments

  1. I love this post. I love reading about careers and friendships related to the book world, because I have such a huuuge book fetish, LOL. Raising my tumbler for you smart, elegant ladies!

  2. This is a fun story! It’s like a rom-com, when the main characters don’t like each other at first, but then fall in love. Congratulations on your anniversary, Kim, and congrats to you both on a great collaboration.

  3. Congratulations to you both. I can’t imagine staying in a job for that long – but I guess I’ve yet to be in a job I love with the passion you have for yours (I know when I have “author” as a job title I’ll have found it).

  4. Love the backstory, Kim! Jessica used to intimidate me, too, until I realized she was about the same age as our daughter. At that point my blinders were off, but I still think she’s tough as nails and exactly who I want on my side.

    And you, m’dear, are exactly what it is that makes BookEnds so special. You really are like a family, and each of you is so individually special. Congratulation on your fifteen years, and here’s to many more. Hope to see you in NY this summer for RWA!

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