Looking back, starting forward…

I have had opportunity in the last week while wrapping up the year’s business to reflect upon a few things….

This year I took on 7 1/2 new clients. A 1/2, you say? Well, we’re counting the married couple as 1.5 clients for the moment. I had been heard to say that I felt the science fiction and fantasy portion of my list was beginning to feel a bit static. And in the latter half of this year, as if in answer to my complaint, 4.5 of those new clients appeared — all writing speculative fiction. The other new clients cover both mystery and romantic fiction. New clients are both exciting and exhausting. There is passion in discovering a story that is gripping enough to have one look at the client list and find room for one more (there’s always room for one more, it seems). The learning curve tends to be steep, but worthwhile (though the emptying of the manuscript trunk can often seem initially intimidating — it’s a darned good thing I read so fast). Is 7 1/2 a high number? These days, I’d have to say yes. And I was originally anticipating taking on not a single new client this year, having judged my workload had reached a peak. Evidently, there are just some stories too good to pass up, no matter how many late nights they require. Not that I wouldn’t like a bit more manageable amount of work now and then. Heh.

For some of my clients (including two of the new ones), this was indeed a year of new beginnings. I sold 4 first novels this year. (And, yes, I’m counting the one by the author of a couple media titles since it was the first *original* novel). There is nothing quite like the rush of selling the author’s first novel, or getting to tell them the offer’s been received. Even though I’m sure they’re more excited than I am (and I’ve heard some interesting responses to that phone call), I always have to do a little dance. It feels great to beat the odds. And, of course, there’s the validation — learning you were right enough about this story and this writer to get and editor and a publisher to support the project. Everytime, it makes me remember my very first sale….

Speaking of sales…. this is not usually something I crow about, but it’s just made me giddy this year. I managed to triple my gross sales amount (that’s the measurement of what the deals closed this year are worth) by comparison to last year. It made my head spin. And involved a lot of smiling — and the aforementioned dancing. It was a lot of hard work, but it was very much worth it. And, I know that I couldn’t have done it without the talented writers that have put their faith in me (because then I’d have nothing to sell *grin*). They are an amazing group of people!

I have had a lot of opportunites this year to expand the variety of books I’ve been working on. It’s been interesting, to say the least. I’m excited about the new projects that my current clients have brewing. Some of them are already in areas that will give me the chance to flex a bit more than I already have. I’m anticipating a lot more work and a lot more fun.

I wanted to take a moment to wish every author out there, wherever they might be in the process, the best of luck. Remember when you get that umpteenth rejection or hit that writing plateau, that it’s just another step in the journey. Okay, that sounded like something of a platitude (she said wryly). Anyway, don’t forget to give yourself permission to have fun with it and keep the story alive.

Happy New Year!

6 responses to “Looking back, starting forward…

  1. *happy agent dance, happy agent dance*!
    *happy writer dance, happy writer dance*!
    *happy new year dance, happy new year dance*!
    *giggle* Ahem. Sorry, got carried away there. 🙂

  2. Congratulations on an incredibly successful year! And even better fortune in the new one. . .

  3. Indeed. 🙂
    HNY, and may 2004 be even better for us all…

  4. Congratulations! And here’s to more good stuff in 2004!

  5. Congratulations on your accomplishments this year, and congratulations to your authors as well, both those I know and those that I don’t know personally.

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