Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Publishing Tale

I can’t believe I almost forgot to tell this story!

Two years ago, two and a half actually, we had an intern named Holly. Holly was (is, actually) smart, ambitious and loves publishing. We really enjoyed having Holly around. Even better for us, and hopefully for Holly, she was here at a perfect time. Near the end of Holly’s internship our assistant announced she was leaving for another job. Since Holly was here, graduating, and looking for a job, it seemed only natural to offer it to her. Unfortunately, at the time we couldn’t bring Holly in full-time and, frankly, I’m not sure she wanted to be an agent. While she enjoyed (I hope) working for BookEnds, she really had dreams of working in Manhattan as an editor for one of the bigger houses.

So we made a deal. Holly would take the job part-time while looking for a gig in Manhattan. We would work together, honestly and fairly. She knew we were looking for someone to take on the assistant role and we knew she was looking for something more permanent. And then I heard of an opening at St. Martin’s, so I sent out an email to the editor. I told the editor of Holly’s brilliance and passed along her resume. In just a few short weeks Holly had the job.

Like many interns and assistants, Holly made sure to load up on books before leaving, taking along books by one of her favorite BookEnds clients, Angie Fox. When Holly started her job she told her boss about Angie’s work. The boss read The Accidental Demon Slayer and fell in love. She called and talked about Angie and I promised that when Angie had something new I would keep her in mind. And I did.

Just this summer I finalized a deal between Angie Fox and St. Martin’s for Angie’s fabulous new series (and yes, I’m purposely keeping you in suspense). Even more exciting, we’ve actually done another deal with Holly for another client. I feel like a proud mama watching her little chick leave the nest.

Jessica

17 comments:

Lorenda said...

I'm humming Disney's It's A Small World After All for the rest of the day now.

Creepy Query Girl said...

It just goes to show how much building bridges and personal connections do matter in this business- which IMO is a really really great thing. (There are a lot of businesses where the humanity of the matter is almost null and void). Congrats Holly and Jessica- for delivering your baby bird into brilliant hands!

Angie Fox said...

This is a great example of what happens behind the scenes in publishing. Although I have to tell you that I didn't originally hear this story from Jessica or Holly (modest anyone?) but from my new editor.

And that's why, when I first started my career, I wanted an agent. All I can do as an author is write the best book I can. But an agent can take that work and help bring you to the next level.

Buffy Andrews said...

What a great story. And what I love most is that you didn't hold Holly back. You supported her even though that meant losing her. That's what true friendship is all about. I'm a big believer in giving back and helping others any way I can. Your actions speak volumes. Thanks for sharing this story and good luck to all of you.
And here's something to remember: You just never know who is watching and how you might affect them through your actions. True story. I went to the YMCA the other week and this woman came up to me and said, "I've been watching you and I have to tell you that you have inspired me to lose weight. I see you working hard and you don't care what you look like (I'm usually very sweaty and, umm, look like a wet dog) and I think 'look at her go.' I'm gonna try." And then she thanked me. I was blown away. So whenever I go to the Y and she's there, she tells me how many minutes she's been able to go on the treadmill. Maybe it was 5 minutes and I encourage her to try to add another minute. But the point is that in life, we need to encourage one another. Life's not all about you or me. Anyway, kudos for looking out for others. You made a difference in someone's life and that, my friend, is the true treasure. Have a great day.

Kate Douglas said...

Buffy, your story is just as cool as Jessica, Holly and Angie's! And I really do need a few "feel good" stories today--thanks, Jessica. It's really cool to know where Holly landed. And, since I'm a huge Angie Fox fan, I'm really looking forward to her new series! (Though I'm really going to miss her motorcycle-riding gramma witches...)

Stephanie said...

Aw...that's so cool!! Congrats to you all!

Amy Tripp said...

It almost seems like a touch of good Karma. BookEnds didn't hold Holly back, but instead gave her a platform on which to launch into the industry. And in the end, it sounds like BookEnds and one of its authors benefited.

A great look into the workings of the industry. Thanks so much for sharing!

Megan Kelly said...

Small world indeed. An excellent example for how to do business ethicially and kindly. Thanks for sharing. I, too, am a huge fan of Angie and her work. She deserves all good things.

E. Van Lowe said...

I love this story! I love Buffy's story, too. But what I like the best about your story is that everyone involved did the right thing without thinking of themselves. Unfortunately, out here in Hollywood, doing the right thing only counts when there is someone watching--especially if you're an agent. Everyone in your tale did the right thing because it was the right thing to do. No one was looking for kudos. My favorite part was reading Angie's comment. She didn't even know what you'd done. Thank you for making my day.

Heather Snow said...

Congratulations to all...I love Win/Win stories :)

Saranna DeWylde said...

That's so cool! I love to hear stories where people do things like that for one another.

And it couldn't happened to a better author. Angie is a doll! I can't wait for the new series.

Lucy said...

Thanks for sharing--I enjoyed hearing about this one so much!

wry wryter said...

Having been in management for many years I have always believed the sign of a good manager is one who is fare, loyal and helps to promote...in that order.

There is nothing more satisfying then watching someone pursue their dream with the mantle of your leadership on their resume.

And...then have that person be a part of your own success...ah the wisdom of decency !

BW said...

I love win-win situations.

Justin Holley said...

Hey, alright! I like hearing stories where hard work and networking pay off. That's the way it should always be.

Leona said...

Thank you for sharing. It's another reason I have wanted to write something you guys represent--your humanity. Thanks for blogging and anwering questions as well as sharing the good stuff with us :)

Susan Lute said...

I heard of Angie's new publishing adventure out here in writer/author-land, Not the details, of course, but reading about them now shows how small the world really is, and proves my theory that being in the right place gives us many opportunities to help others.

I'm a nurse in my other life, work for a wonderful gynecologist, and I can't tell you how many times we are able to catch something serious before it becomes the last story of our patient's lives. Too many times for it to be coincidence.

Congratulations to Holly and Angie. Can't wait for the new series to come out.