Sunday, July 9, 2017

Jennifer Laughran: Best Practices to Maximize Your Book's Success

Jennifer Laughran joined Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2007 after a long career as a bookseller, buyer and event coordinator. Always on the lookout for sparkling YA and middle grade fiction with unusual and unforgettable characters and vivid settings, she loves funny books, thrilling books, romantic books, books that make her cry, and all-around un-put-downable books… and her true favorites are all of the above. Some clients include author-illustrators like Giselle Potter, Don Brown, Raul the Third and Phoebe Wahl; middle grade authors like Daniel Pinkwater, Kate Messner, Alex Gino and Linda Urban; YA authors like Erin Jade Lange, Paula Stokes, Karen Rivers and Ellen Emerson White, among others. Visit

Prolific agent extraordinaire Jennifer Laughran, an actively acquiring agent at Andrea Brown Literary, has an awesome, engaging presence, online and off. And you can, too. Here are some of her kickass tips about how to prime your book for success. 

1) Be easy to find. If you're not published, have a simple site with social media links, a bio, and contact information for yourself (and your agent when you have one). When you are published, add relevant book information -- including your buy links (don't forget an indie!), ISBN, pull quotes from reviews, blurbs, a press kit and publicist information. If you're an illustrator, include an easy-to-navigate portfolio with a variety of samples. 

2) Social Media! You don't have to be everywhere. "Don't do it if you hate it." If you don't enjoy it, no one else will either. Figure out what you enjoy and focus on that. Use it chat and interact, not to promote yourself all the time. 90 percent of your social should not be about your books. Boost and promote others, join conversations. And be positive and professional. "Nobody like an Eeyore."

3) (And most other reviews/blogs.) As an author, do not engage. In fact, "treat Good Reads like a porn site." Do not go there. Block if necessary.

4) Find Community. Go to your local bookstore or library, ask for advice. Buy and read books. Engage as a reader. While you're chatting, tell them you're an author, too. If you are already friends, they will be happy to support you and your books. 

5) Be gracious. Publishing is a small world. These people are your colleagues, they know each other -- and they talk. A little kindness goes a really long way. 

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