Our guest today is Barbara Poelle, a literary agent with the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Barbara began her publishing career as a freelance copywriter and editor before joining the Goodman Agency in 2007, but feels as if she truly prepared for the industry during her brief stint as a stand-up comic in Los Angeles. She has found success placing thrillers, literary suspense, historical romances, humorous/platform driven non-fiction, and upmarket fiction and is actively seeking her next great client in those genres, but is passionate about anything with a unique voice. Barbara has a very hands on approach with the craft and editorial details of the books she represents, and loves working with her clients to take their writing to the next level.
Thanks, Barbara, for stopping by the Debutante Ball!
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When my client Tracy Kiely (do you have your copy of MURDER AT LONGBOURN yet?) connected me up with Alicia to guest blog on the topic of “next books”, I got my little grey turtleneck out and adjusted my glasses and cleared my throat and got all agenty and prepared to grandly pontificate on things like branding and intent and series versus stand alone and blah blah blah. Then I stopped to check in: have you made sure before you move on to “next book” that you have taken the time to get everything you can out of the first book?
I am not talking about signings and blog tours and social media reaches and learning experiences and “hey, who knew you had zero say over your title and cover art”, and “man, I have grown as a person and a writer” and “gee, seeing the book on the shelves is a reward in itself”. Those are all important, of course, but that’s not what I am going for here. I mean did you truly, deeply, voraciously enjoy EVERY ASPECT of being a published author that first time around? Did you roll around in your accomplishment, dive into it and scoop it over your face and arms like Scrooge McDuck in his money vault? Have you applied the 100 Sacred Squeezes to your book one?
What’s that you say?
You don’t know what I am talking about?
I am talking, of course, about a legendary tome, heretofore believed to be mythological, the existence of which I will confirm for the first time ever on this blog … Barbara Poelle’s Ye Olde Manual of First Book Accomplishments. Specifically the list heretofore known as The Sacred Squeeze Addendum which, by following, ensures you got every last drop you deserve out of having your first book published. For example:
1. Did you buy yourself a present and wrap it and then tear it open on your pub date, gasping in delight at your own thoughtfulness?
2. Did you make your spouse/partner/significant other wrap themselves in saran wrap and serve you a champagne flute using the book as a tray?
3. Did you send a copy to the address of that chick who was mean to you in junior high, but enclose a note to someone with a totally different name and only by some craaaaaazy, waaaacky once-in-a-lifetime mail fluke did it fall into her hands?!?!? (Never mind the 50 bucks you spent to find her on people search and the two hours you spent Google-stalking her to make sure. That’s all a write-off.)
4. Did you lick melted dark chocolate off of the title page? (Cookie dough will do here in a pinch.)
5. Did you get out of a dreaded social engagement by calling the host and with regretful tones describe how your editor just emailed and needs you to “blueline the sellthrough to FOS and reup on the D&A in order to sustain uptrend” and you have to regretfully pull out of the evening?
6. Did you budge in the drop off line for carpool, hold your cell up to your ear and mouth “sorry, my agent” and roll your eyes?
7. Did you tear open your box of author copies, explode out onto your front steps, hold it aloft and scream “Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!!!”
Now, due to legalities including Fair Use Law and of course, the Cone of Silence Initiative, I am only able to share seven of them, like the highly effective habits, but this is the best part…you can GUESS at the rest in the comments section. GO.