Sunday, August 3, 2014

Laura Rennert: The Building Blocks of a Successful Career - How To Start And Position Yourself Successfully

Executive Agent Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency has clients who write books that are best-sellers, books that win awards.

She represents literary stars like Ellen Hopkins, Jay Asher, Lauren Kate, Maggie Stiefvater, Kathleen Duey and Catherine Ryan Hyde,

And Laura also represents first-time authors.

Laura Rennert conducts her breakout session

With separate handouts for picture book authors and fiction writers, Laura suggests we

"reverse-engineer our approach by thinking like an agent or editor."

Laura walks us through her formula to create a pitch.

Just as we writers need to pitch agents to get them excited to read our book (towards getting representation), agents pitch editors to get them excited to read our book (towards selling it!)

And then, once our book is sold and published, consider that book sellers, publicity people, marketing people and you, the author (once again!) will pitch gatekeepers and readers to get them excited to buy and read your book!

So a pitch for your book is really important.

It should include:

What - what sets story in motion irrevocably 
Where - the world it's in
and Why Should I Care? - that's the stakes
and the bonus,
What is The Special Ingredient that makes this story stand out from all other works in that category?

And Comps help give a context, saying that your work is in the same space as X...

She shares with us her full pitch (that she used to sell the book to its editor) for her client Maggie Steifvater's "Shiver." It's impressive.

Laura answers attendee questions, giving us loads of additional advice on next-steps-in-our-career strategies, speaks of some of her authors pursuing hybrid careers (pursuing both traditional and self-publishing), and much, much more.

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