Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
When you go on a cruise, you are introduced to the crew members who wait on your table, clean your room, and make sure all is going smoothly. It’s a personal approach to the business of moving the ship through the waters, whether they be calm or choppy.
During our “maiden” week of blogging, I want to introduce each “crew member” at Books & Such to you because they’re the ones who make sure our clients’ publishing travels are as trouble-free and pleasure-filled as possible.
Agent Wendy Lawton joined Books & Such after enjoying success as a premiere maker of collectible dolls and as owner of Lawton Dolls. She brings to the agency a marketing mindset and business acumen as well as knowledge of the publishing industry from the perspective of an author, having written the popular middle-grade series Daughters of the Faith, a teen series, and an adult nonfiction book. Her creative ideas, artistic touch, and quick wit keep the rest of us on our tippy-toes.
Etta Wilson became a part of Books & Such in 2007 after running her own agency, March Media, for 18 years. A former children’s book author and children’s book editor, Etta majors in agenting children’s projects, although her reach extends into adult fiction and nonficion. Hailing from Tennessee, she has a gentle southern charm that gives way to a steely resolve when it comes to negotiating contracts.
Kathleen Y’Barbo earned a marketing degree from Texas A&M and worked as a publicist for Glass Road Public Relations before joining Books & Such in 2007 where she assists the agency’s clients exclusively. Kathleen’s job is to help our authors to create publicity plans and to provide media opportunities for them. She brings a gracious competency to the job and is an important asset to our agency, rounding out the services we offer our clients.
Rachel Zurakowski came to Books & Such to work as an intern in 2005, while still a student at UC Davis. After graduating with a degree in English and minors in religious studies and psychology, she joined the agency full-time. At first she worked as an assistant, but her ability to spot a publishable manuscript, figure out royalty statements, and grasp the meanings of clauses in contracts, earned her the spot as associate agent. Her clients write mostly for the 20- to 30-something audience as well as the teen market.
Michelle Ule’s title is “assistant,” but I think “linchpin” would be more accurate. Our office swirls around Michelle, who acts as the grounding force for us all. Not only does she keep our office in order despite my chaotic habit of “filing” all paper in stacks and mounds, but she also manages our accounting and oversees the reading of queries, proposals and manuscripts. Where would I be without her? Um, lost.
So that’s our crew. You’ll be hearing from each of them tomorrow, when they unveil to us their resolutions for 2009.