Monday, August 25, 2014

New Week, New Goals, New Look

Although relaxing last week didn't quite turn out the way I thought it would, I'm still energized and ready to get things rolling this week, especially since I have 11 manuscripts that I need to read, and lots of submissions to follow up on!  

On top of that, I just received the first draft of Nicole's contract for GIRLS WHO TRAVEL, and am looking forward to reviewing it ASAP.  I'm going to be very Berkley-focused for awhile, since Jackie Cantor also really enjoyed a project I sent her by another one of my incredible clients, Rachel Mork!  She wanted to see some changes made and have a chat with Rachel, so fingers crossed everything goes well!

I'm hoping to squeeze in some time to watch the season finale of True Blood on HBO GO--a guilty pleasure that shall exist no more--and maybe even finish unpacking my kitchen as well?   We'll see how lucky I get :)

And if you didn't guess by seeing the new blog design, I was sucked into the world of fancy blog templates today!  I found a great web designer, Maiedae, that had beautiful design packages, and then stumbled upon Designer Blogs, a blog design studio that offers really gorgeous, inexpensive pre-made Blogger templates.  You should really check them out - I clicked on the website, then looked up and realized that two hours had gone by in a blink.  I ended up choosing the "Scout" design but was debating between that and "Hazel" for quite some time.

This is Hazel, and my blog current is repping Scout.  Which one do you like better?

These templates are only $15 each, and they are a great way to give your blog a face lift  - so I might end up trying out many more!  

I also figured out how to change my share buttons to cute, circle images thanks to the Blog Decorator.  She also offers pre-made blog templates that you can purchase, as well as more expensive custom packages, but the really great thing about her site is that she gives really handy tutorials, like the one I followed to change my share buttons.

My blog was long overdue for some freshening up, and I love the way it looks I actually know something about blogging, haha!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Taking a Break

I have been doing a lot of doubles at the restaurant lately and been finding it hard to knuckle down and focus, so not much reading was done this past week.  I've realized that I can't really push myself to do edits, because if I'm not in the right frame of mind, I just end up doing a bad job with them.  This means I basically wrote myself a free pass to relax.

So far, this has meant a trip to the Museum of Natural History with my parents, a Nicki Minaj dance party with my Assistant General Manager in the restaurant's office, organizing my lovely kitchen, and going to a future laugh fest this Friday with John (we're going to see Louis CK and a bunch of other awesome comedians perform at Nikon Theater at Jones Beach).

As much as I love my job, I also love getting away from it now again.

Because of this, I am telling all my authors who are fed up with writing at the moment to follow my lead and let themselves RELAX this week.  Or at least give yourselves five minutes to enjoy Nicki's "Super Bass."  It can't fail to make you jump up and dance.  And then hopefully jump back into work fully refreshed :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Was Grumpy, But Now I'm Not!

If you can't tell from the title of this post, I was in a bad mood earlier (sorry about that phone call, Mom).  I recently lost out on two authors whose books I was INSANELY excited about.  I offered representation, but they both ended up choosing someone else...I bet it was Michelle Brower.

I do believe that the agent/author relationship is a relationship, which means you have to fit well together, so if these authors thought that I wasn't quite for them, I understand and am genuinely happy that they found someone who is.  I still couldn't help being bummed out for a couple days.  I get so excited about projects that I feel passionate about that I tend to invest a lot of myself the second I fall in love with something.

Those are the ups and down of life, though, right?

In an effort to cheer myself up, I have made a new page featuring the pictures of all my lovely authors with links to their websites!  I hope you check them all out.  Also, Prospect Agency is going to be writing it's first annual client newsletter, where we highlight everyone's successes of the year in a state of the union.  Gathering all the wonderful news I wanted to share about my clients tipped my scale back towards happiness.  I LOVE the authors I work with - they are the best!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The 90-Day Rule

First things first: congrats to Dean Haycock on Book #2!  He will be writing a book for ABC-CLIO entitled CHARACTERS ON THE COUCH: EXPLORING PSYCHOLOGY THROUGH LITERATURE AND FILM and I am excited for him.  It sounds like it is going to be a fascinating project.  It is going to be published through their Greenwood imprint, which I interned at back when I was in high school!

And now to the world of romance...

The San Antonio RWA was such a great experience for me, not only because I got to be surrounded by women who were nutty about love stories and were giving away free books (I snagged one called THE ASHFORD AFFAIR and already finished it--suuuch a good read!), but because it was a very interesting opportunity to mix with professionals in the industry and hear authors talk about their careers.

I learned one very interesting romance marketing/publicity rule, which I shared with my author Nicole the other day.  It is known as the 90-Day Rule and pretty much means that you have to do something every three months in order to stay relevant and fresh in your readers' minds, whether that be releasing an e-novella or hosting a contest/giveaway, etc.  

I'm not sure if this is a genre-wide rule and I just happen to have heard it at a romance convention, but it makes a lot of sense for all authors in terms of maintaining a strong brand and appeal.  Romance writers are insanely prolific, though, and I can picture this being tougher for, say, a literary fiction writer to achieve.  

I think it is an admirable goal for every author, and hearing about this at RWA really pumped me up about publicity ideas.  Nicole and I had a very energized talk about things she could do to promo GIRLS WHO TRAVEL, and Susan has been a total star about getting attention for GOOD CHINESE WIFE.  I would really like to be more involved in publicity and marketing for my clients.  I've been doing some publicity stuff for the agency (book PR packet for authors, the agency website and Google+ page, posting stuff on our Facebook and Twitter), but Emily, Teresa, and I recently had a chat about doing something more for the agency.  I'm not sure if it is something I can share yet, so I will hold off for now!

In the meantime, one of my favorite authors, Michelle Moran, had some good insights and ideas about marketing and publicity that you can read here.

P.S.  I didn't realize this, but apparently Steve Harvey wrote a book and talked about a 90-day rule about waiting to have sex when first dating someone.  Just FYI, these are two different 90-day rules.  I don't think the authors at the romance convention advocate that kind of stuff in their books.  ;)