In episode 4, Jeni and Melissa talk to Kaitlyn Johnson about author-agent expectations.
To watch the video, click the image below:
Or listen to the audio podcast here: EPISODE 4 - Author-Editor Expectations
Welcome to the Indie Chicks show! I’m Melissa Koberlein, an author and professor of publishing and she’s Jeni Chappelle, a freelance novel editor.
Indie Chicks celebrates and supports independent women in publishing. We’re a place for writers at all stages of the publishing process. So, whether you’re on the traditional route to publication or self-publishing, you’ve come to the right place for advice.
On this episode:
We’re talking about author-agent expectations
End with an author tip of the week
This week we’re joined by Kaitlyn Johnson. After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. As well as being an associate agent for Corvisiero Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, K. Johnson Editorial, and has worked as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, and a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston. She has written various articles for Writer's Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed.
Here's the Q&A
How did you get your start as a literary agent?
I actually started as an intern and worked my way up in the agency. I was at Emerson for writing and publishing, originally wanting to be an editor, but agenting seemed like the best of both worlds.
Walk us through acquiring your first client. What were your expectations?
Oh Lord, I was terrified. I LOVED her book and we went through two revisions before I offered her representation. I got on a video chat with her (she’s in Japan! So the time difference was intense) and we just really hit it off. I was so worried I wasn’t experienced enough or she wouldn’t like my edits, but we clicked.
What should an author’s expectations be in working with a literary agent?
They should expect an agent to have clear communication but to also be able to work with how you need things done. If you prefer not having blunt feedback, but rather compliment sandwich, they should know to do that. In reverse, the writer needs to understand how slow publishing is and not expect immediate results. It just doesn’t work that way.
Do you have any advice for new writers that are looking for a literary agent?
Make a website, be present on social media, and do TONS of research. Be sure you know what kind of agent they are and have questions ready so you feel comfortable about it.
Tip of the week: Just like you need to research agents, learn about the publishing industry before you start querying or selling your book. There's a steep learning curve to working in any industry that's new to you, and publishing is no exception. Knowing more about how the industry works with help you be a better advocate for yourself and your writing.
On our next podcast, Jeni and Melissa are talking with author, Whitney Hill, about creating rich settings in the real world. We will also have another Tip of the Week.
And don’t forget where to find us! Find our podcast at indiechicks.net or follow us on Spotify or subscribe to Indie Chicks on Apple Podcasts. We also have the Indie Chicks channel on YouTube where you can subscribe. You can follow us on Twitter @Indie_Chicks or Facebook.com/TheIndieChicks.
So, remember, we’re all part of a publishing community, be kind and review your fellow authors’ books! Thanks for joining us!
Indie Chicks out.