Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Day in the Life of Adams Literary PLUS a Giveaway!


Writers often wonder what agents really do all day long.

Here is your opportunity to find out.

Several months ago I picked up several books from Adams Literary that they were donating for giveaways to Talking Story. I was intrigued with the painted chalkboard wall where Josh, Tracey, Quinlan Lee; their assistant, Sam; and their intern, Ann; keep track of editors, publishers and imprints. I immediately wanted to blog about the board and asked Tracey that along with a picture of the board, if she'd share a "typical" day in the life of Adams Literary. I hope you'll enjoy this peek into their agency and a chance to win a copy of one of their clients' books.

Josh and Tracey, co-founders of Adams Literary
 7 AM: Check email while getting kids to schools. Korea has a publisher interested in a middle-grade series, would we please mail a bunch of books overseas? Forward this to Assistant Extraordinaire Samantha, while crossing fingers we have enough copies in our supply closet. Our UK co-agent wonders if signed contracts have been received yet. A client suggests a time we can have a catch-up chat later today. And in the Adams Literary submissions box, there are 200 new subs to consider. 

The Editor Chalkboard Wall in the Adams Literary loft
9 AM: Upstairs to Adams Literary (downstairs is the house).  Josh, Quinlan and Tracey start replying to emails, checking Facebook/Twitter, posting updates. This afternoon, we have a project going to an Acquisition Meeting, so we're hopeful for good news. Work keeps our minds off waiting. We remind editors of a deadline to hear from them on a submission. We plan a new manuscript submission: write the pitch, decide on the sub list with help from our Editor Chalkboard Wall. Run it all by the group for opinions/ideas. Hit send along with good vibes. A few passes come in: disagree with them, forward to clients, and move on to find the right match. Chat via email or phone with several clients about plans. 
Agent Quinlan Lee and colleague Kamikaze

12:30: aLit heads downstairs for lunch, checks progress on our neighborhood-in-process while dog walking and avoiding bulldozers and cement trucks. 

1 PM: Daily run by Josh to our business address (a UPS Store) for mail. There are unsolicited submissions (including one for Tracey from an inmate with a 57-page picture book.) There's a box of really cool German editions of a YA! The advance we've been expecting for a new project has finally arrived, so there's a stop at the bank before heading back to work. 
Sam taking a break at the Star Wars pinball machine
3 PM: One of us always has travel plans and conference details to work out. SCBWI, BEA, ALA... Assistant Sam and Intern Ann are busily reading manuscripts and emailing reports to Tracey, Quinlan and Josh. Suddenly, a contract pops into an in-box, and either Sam or Ann will read over carefully to compare it to the deal memo and the last contract with that publisher before Josh or Tracey dive in. We go over changes needed, and work with the publisher until we have a version we're happy to send the client to sign. 
Intern Ann working on a contract. With support from Kamikaze and Samurai.
3:40 PM: Middle-schooler is home and starts homework. Elementary-school kid is having fun at her after-school program until we can grab her. 

4 PM: Call we recognize as Publisher comes in...and we know that their Acquisition Meeting has probably just ended... "There was tons of enthusiasm all around, so I'm thrilled to say that I'm emailing you an offer shortly." Hooray! Tell client to stand by. The offer comes in and we begin negotiations. This will be continued tomorrow, and hopefully we'll announce a new deal soon.

5:15 PM: Gather uniforms, etc, pick up little kid - we have black belt class tonight. HIYA!

7 PM and on: This is when we hear from the other side of the world: Dear Client in Australia, co-agents in Asia... We'll answer a few things, but it's family time, manuscript-reading time, and time to binge-watch Haven on Netflix. Before bed, an email comes in from China - an offer on a picture book published years ago. Surprise! We love our work. There is never a dull moment, and there is never a typical day. 

11:30: Good night!


*********************************************
Thanks, Tracey, for providing this insight into an agent's life!

Courtesy of Adams Literary, I'm giving away a copy of Chris Woodworth's lovely middle grade book, Ivy in the Shadows. Here are the giveaway rules:

1. Please leave me a comment. If I don't have your email address, make sure you leave that also.
2. Subscribe to my blog for an additional chance--but make sure you tell me that you have done that!
3. Post on your social media of choice for another chance and let me know what you do  (or tag me on Facebook. Sorry, I haven't joined the twitter world.)
4. Do this by Saturday morning, April 5. Winner's name will be drawn by noon.  





29 comments:

Aileen Stewart said...

This was a really interesting look into the lives of agents; thanks for sharing. I never thought about it before, but the rejections an agent receives must be almost as disappointing to them as they are to the authors.

Barbara Younger said...

Gosh that was fun to read! (And a good reminder not to pest my agent with too many emails.)

Would love to win the book!

Carol Baldwin said...

You are both in! AIleen, that is a very thoughtful comment. It certainly must be hard on agents who believe in their clients' books--just about as much as they do!

Jeri Baird said...

What a fascinating look at a day in the life! Thanks for an insightful post. I've been a fan of their agency for awhile now.

jeribaird11(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Jeri, for commenting. You're in!

CTAllen said...

What a great idea for a post! Adams Literary's Facebook posts have always given me a hint of their chaotic days and the huge amount of love they pour into their authors (and the highs and lows that thus result), but this really brought it home. I loved that they included the quotation from the publisher, too. Really gave me a sense for how the energy and excitement travels full circle in the process of giving life to a new story. Thanks Carol! :)

Rosi said...

Wow. That's an amazing look inside an agency. Thanks for posting that. Please let someone else win, though. I have read Chris's lovely book and, honestly, don't have time to read it again, although if I did have time, I probably would.

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
It was exciting to see how a day goes in the life of a Literary Agent. Fascinating to see how much they do and how it's done.

Thanks for sharing it with us. I shared it on Google Plus, Twitter, and my Facebook Author page.

Hope you are doing well.

Joan

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for dropping by, Rosi and CT ALlen! AM happy to enter you, CT--but if you win, I'm going to need your contact info! Glad you enjoyed the post.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Joan, for sharing this post. You went above and beyond the call of duty putting it on 3 social media sites! I entered your name 3 times!

Leandra Wallace said...

I loved this post! So neat to see what a day consists of for them. And that office/loft looks like an absolutely lovely place to work in. And that chalkboard wall is so cool! We were going to do one in the grandkid's room at my in-laws, but then we realized we would just be confirming to the toddlers that it's okay to write on the wall... Nix that idea! =) And thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

leandrawallaceatgmaildotcom

Linda A. said...

What an interesting day in the life of Adams Literary! Thanks for sharing with us.

Kim Van Sickler said...

I love the editor chalkboard wall. I need a writer chalkboard wall.

Carol Baldwin said...

YES! A writer chalkboard! Just what we all need! Thanks LInda A, Kim and Leandra for stopping by. I've added your names to the giveaway.

Cindy Williams Schrauben said...

Thanks for this post! It is always so nice to see the "everyday" side to agents. As writers, we need to see the struggles of this business from their vantage point!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Cindy. I totally agree. As writers we have to always consider the POV, right?

Linda Vigen Phillips said...

Loved seeing the inside scoop on Adams Literary. Thanks for a great post, Carol!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Linda. Tracey made it easy for me! Your name is now entered!

Janelle said...

Hi Carol and Tracy, great post! Will tweet it out to my followers. Thanks for sharing it! - Janelle

wordwranglernc said...

We already own a copy of Ivy... and my 6th grader loves it! So don't put our names in the hat. I just wanted to stop in and say that reading about the agency's typical day made me tired! :)

Great post, Carol!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Donna and Janelle. Agreed--Tracey's day does seem long and tiring. I gather she sleeps well at night!

Sandra Warren said...

Great post, Carol. I found it interesting to not only read but see where all the work takes place. It's far different from what I imagined.

Love your blog. Keep up the good work.

Sandra

Cindy C said...

Great post Carol! Totally intruiging. Just tweeted this:
Check out Carol Baldwin's blog http://tinyurl.com/mde2sfu for an insider look at the awesome @adamsLiterary agency. Tks Tracey, Josh, Quinlan!

Cindy

Tracey M. Cox said...

# what a whirl-wind adventure! Thanks for the peek!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Tracey, Cindy and Sandra. Glad you liked the post and you are all entered in the giveaway!

Danielle said...

Loved reading this! Thanks for the glimpse into an agent's life - I've been just talking about agents and their work with my publishing students. I'll try to pass this along!

My email is deduvick (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks again!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Danielle. Let me know if you do share it on a social media site. I'll enter your name more times if you do!

sheri levy said...

Wow! The life of an agent stays busy and it was good to hear they have time for family time. It is hard to balance writing and family.
Thanks for sharing this! I am forwarding your blog to friends and putting it on my facebook page.
Sheri Levy

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Sheri. YEs, the Adams' life is one big juggling act--except it's totally for real! Entered your name twice. Thanks for sharing.