Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Everyone at Books & Such is bubbling over with excitement. We have the joy of beginning 2012 with a major boost to our agent roster. Rachelle Gardner joins our agency, bringing with her a significant client base as well as her reputation among publishers as an able agent.
Our press release, which was sent out today, in part reads,
Gardner has been involved in publishing since 1995, joining WordServe Literary Group in 2007. Before becoming an agent, she was senior editor at NavPress, where she developed and launched the NavPress fiction line that included three Christy Award finalists and an ECPA Award finalist in its first year. She acquired and edited numerous nonfiction books as well.
Prior to that, Gardner worked at General Publishing Group in Santa Monica, California, where she was director of rights and marketing, managing departments of special sales, subsidiary rights, international rights, international sales and domestic marketing. Among other things, she built and managed a team of international sales agents and represented the company in Frankfurt, London, Tokyo, Chicago and New York.
Gardner is recognized as one of the important online publishing voices. Her blog, RachelleGardner.com, has been named a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Sites every year that her site has been in existence. Last year she logged more than half a million visits to the blog. Both writers and industry professionals follow her. She has become known for her encouragement and grace in an all-too-often merciless industry….
Founder and president Janet Kobobel Grant said, “I’ve long thought that Rachelle’s style of agenting is the same sort of collegial approach that I’ve espoused since the beginning days of Books & Such. When she mentioned her interest in joining our agency, I knew immediately that this was going to be a proverbial match made in heaven. To say I’m pleased is an understatement of the first order.”
With that background, I’d now like to introduce our blog readers to Rachelle by posting her entry for today from her blog. Feel free to welcome Rachelle to Books & Such in the comments section below.
Here’s Rachelle’s blog post:
Good morning and happy new year! I hope everyone had a good holiday season and I trust you’re ready for good things in 2012. (Either that, or preparing for the end of the world on December 21st.)
This new year brings a change for me. I’m continuing as a literary agent, and continuing my blog, but I’m switching agencies. Effective today, I’m an agent with Books & Such Literary Agency. Books & Such was founded by Janet Kobobel Grant, who continues as president of the company and represents a full roster of clients. Literary agent Wendy Lawton is vice president, and there are two other agents, Rachel Kent and Mary Keeley, so as I join the company, there are now five agents.
People may wonder why I decided to switch agencies. As you can imagine, the change involved intense thought and prayer, and wasn’t easy. My four years with WordServe Literary have been terrific. Greg Johnson is an amazing and successful agent, and has mentored me well. He’s taught me so much and I’m incredibly grateful. We’ve always had a great working relationship (and we still do). So the choice to move has been bittersweet.
Much of my decision grew out of my long-time friendship with Janet Grant and Wendy Lawton. I’ve been blessed to have these two women as treasured friends during my years working in CBA publishing, and we all knew I’d be a perfect fit for their agency. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work alongside these friends and colleagues long-term.
Another reason for the change is the fact that I work solo in my home office, but it’s challenging for me—I’m by nature a social and collaborative person. I sensed God leading me to acknowledge that I work best when I have plenty of conversation with colleagues on a regular basis. I began praying about how I could find a situation that would fill my need for daily interaction, helping me serve and honor my authors while also keeping a flexible schedule for my family. Being with Books & Such will connect me with four other agents plus an assistant, and even though we won’t all be in the same office, we’ll regularly be brainstorming, planning and giving feedback on each other’s projects. I’m confident the synergy created by working in a collaborative atmosphere with these five dynamic women will suit my disposition and help me to even more effectively serve my clients and advance their careers.
Some of you may be curious about what happens to my clients in this situation. Whenever there’s a change in an agency, the original Author-Agent Agreement determines what the client’s options are. They may be obligated to stay with the agency for a certain specified term, or they may be free to leave the agency and, if they want, follow their agent. In my case, each of my clients has full ability to choose what they’d like to do.
Transitions are always challenging, but I’m excited for this new year.
What’s NEW for you this year?