Sunday, August 4, 2013

Agents Panel: Joanna Volpe

Joanna Volpe
Joanna Vople of New Leaf Literary & Media represents everything from picture books to adult. She likes stories that have a darker, grittier element to them, whether they be horror, drama or comedy. Recent publications include The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams (Ace), Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books), Sway by Amber McRee Turner (Disney*Hyperion), and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Henry Holt).
 On self-publishing as a way to break into the business:

"If your goal is to be traditionally published... that can work against you to self-publish."

It's a lot of work to self publish. Amanda Hocking spent 8 hours a day doing marketing and sales and promotion.

On bringing out-of-print titles back: 

It's a lot of work. They have a department for this that clients can work through. 

On New Adult:
Her agency had a supremely talented midlist author.  She was writing contemporary romantic YAs that were great but weren't "hookish" enough. She shifted to New Adult and has done well, and they're repackaging her older books.

On making money:

"I don't think any of us got into this to make a lot of money." She does this work because she loves it. 

On creating a world beyond books in apps
There isn't a strong relationship yet that apps lead to book sales, she said. It could be good for brand building. But with the most successful app-book combos, the app came first, like Angry Birds.

More Joanna: 

Joanna on Twitter:
Her agency website: New Leaf Literary and Media, Inc.

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