Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
What distinguishes Books & Such from the other literary agencies that abound in the publishing world? I’d say that staying connected is foundational to our agency. Oh, Books & Such is like every literary agency in that we vigorously work to place our clients’ projects with the best publishers, negotiate contracts in a way that’s fair but tough, and oversee payments of royalties and advances. Some agencies disconnect with their clients at this point and move onto other projects.
But in addition to these services, we believe in being troubleshooters once a project gets underway and overseeing the book for the rest of its publishing life. Plus we are committed to brainstorming with our clients. Sometimes that involves creating a three-year writing plan for an author; other times it’s deciding which of two topics to write about next; or coming up with the perfect title; or making suggestions for refining a book cover design; or choosing what newfangled marketing idea an author should pursue to promote his or her latest title.
We see ourselves as part of a publishing team for each client, and teamwork is what we’re all about. That’s why, in October ’08, we held the first Books & Such Retreat for our clients. (See a few of the event’s photos in the photo album in the right-hand column of the blog.)
Now, it’s true we were all eager to gather in California’s wine country for the retreeat, but the synergy that occurred between the 72 clients who attended was marvelous to watch. They gave each other book ideas, ran titles by each other, talked about what publicity activities had worked and which ones had bombed. They discovered each other’s books. But best of all, they developed relationships. New best friends and strong colleagues were found. We anticipate benefits for all involved to unfold through the years to come. That’s why we’re planning another retreat for 2010!
Our agency’s motto, “Discerning Literature,” signifies that we work to discern what projects will add to the panoply of rich offerings for readers. We have never been about just what’s hot; we want to help bring to the world books that touch hearts and souls.
So, in reading between the lines of who we are, I’d describe us as an integral, plugged-in, not-on-standby, part of the publishing team for each of our clients. And as an agency that works hard to partner with authors, editors, marketers, and publicists to deliver discerning literature to an eager readership. That’s Books & Such.