Most agents out there became an agent in one of two ways: A.) they started as an assistant to another agent or agency and learned the business from the ground up, or B.) they made the move to an agency after working for many years as an editor at a publishing house.
As some of you may know, I came into agenting via a less-traditional route: my background is in book publicity, marketing and sales. And if you think about it, agenting is just another kind of marketing. The end result is the same; get the book into the hands of people who will talk about it, buy it, and then talk about it some more.
Having a background in publicity and marketing can be an extremely effective tool when it comes to evaluating the commercial potential of a new project. (It also pretty much guarantees that I don't know how to use my indoor voice. Ever.) And it's becoming more and more common in agenting. My FinePrint colleague Janet Reid was one of the best book publicists in the business before she made the transition, and my friend Holly Bemiss over at the Susan Rabiner Agency made the leap to agent after working her way up to Associate Director of Publicity at Houghton-Mifflin several years ago.
I haven't talked much about book publicity or marketing on this blog but maybe I should.
So I'm opening this up to y'all: what would you like to know about book publicity, promotion and marketing? Leave your questions in the comments field. Ask me anything. I may not have the answer to your question but I'll try to answer as many as I can this week before I fall dead from exhaustion or am forced to go clean the litterbox yet again.