The Power of Teams

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Feb 10 2022

I believe strongly in the power of teams. I’m an athlete and love sports, and I know firsthand what it looks like and accomplishes when a team plays together versus a team filled with selfish players.

In a team sport, no one wins alone. You can score all the goals in the world, but if you don’t have a defense to support your goalie, so will the other team. You can save all the goals, but if you don’t have anyone scoring, you won’t win the game.

The same is true in publishing–as an agent and a writer.

The Agent’s Team

BookEnds works very closely as a team and we are better for it. Together we discuss submission strategy, negotiation tactics, and contract terms. Our knowledge, and memories, collectively, are so much better than when BookEnds was one agent alone.

I benefit every day as an agent not just from the knowledge my team brings, but from their support, encouragement, and sometimes kicks in the pants. It’s because of their reminders that I’ll push a little harder in a negotiation or even a submission. It’s because of them, that I’m better every day at my job.

The Author’s Team

The author often thinks their team consists of an agent and editor and while it does, the teamwork should start well before that with a critique group and fellow writers.

A good writing team is supportive, honest, shares their knowledge, and gives a kick in the pants when needed. Not unlike the agent’s team.

While writing can often be seen as a solitary sport, it really isn’t or doesn’t have to be. Even a singles tennis player has a team. They have their coaches, their fellow tennis players, trainers, and everyone else who supports them in their journey. Heck, singles players can’t be successful if they don’t have teammates they’re practicing against. Writers are the same way. Truly successful writers have their own teammates, authors willing to read and evaluate their work, and give advice and support when needed.

And yes, good teammates are always there to give those kicks in the pants…even if it hurts.

5 responses to “The Power of Teams”

  1. Avatar Clare Venner says:

    Timely and inspirational, as always, Jessica!

    I am in the early years (in later life) of learning the craft of writing . I followed the battle cry “Find Your People!” on YouTube from you and James. Thank you (SCWBI), thank you (12×12), thank you (critique group).

    I have just written my first critiques for my team in our newly formed PB critique group and I’m readying myself for a kick in the pants.

  2. Avatar Kim Beall says:

    It is so true that writers need a good team! It seems like a solitary pursuit, and in a lot of ways it is, but my beloved critique partner group has kept me honest AND working hard at writing. When the pandemic started I saw a lot of writers and other creative people lose their mojo, but though it was a struggle, my writing group and I kept going anyway, thanks almost entirely to our support for one another. I am thankful for them every day!

  3. Avatar Maria says:

    Thanks as always for such great information here and on the vlog.

    I am interested in information about 10-minute in-person pitch sessions with agents.
    If you are pitching a PB would you only do one in the 10 minutes?
    Is the session like a verbal query letter?
    Who leads the session the agent or you?
    So many questions! : )

  4. Avatar Maria K. Lahman says:

    Thanks so much! I thought I had watched all of these but see I need to go back through the list. Awesome resources.