Today, Pam from Bookalicious is stopping by to talk about how she went from a fan to a blogger to a literary agent - without ever really meaning to!
Interested in going into the literary agency world? Take a look at what Pam has to say.
[EDIT] Since this interview, Pam has moved forward and helped found the new Foreword Literary agency!
Tell us a little about you and your blog, for those who don't know who you are.
I started Bookalicio.us five years ago. I was all over the place and my 'reviews' were basically spoilery point by point what happened in the book. Seriously, if you don't want to read Inkheart but want to know what it is about just check out my review. Later, after I learned to write a bit better I settled into YA and MG as my focus and later created Bookalicious.org as a place for my reviews and reviews from friends. It is a collaboration. I also have a kick ass romance blog now.
Why did you start blogging?
We had just moved to America and I was bored. My husband doesn't read and I wanted to talk about books. I found a great community on Twitter after I started my book blog.
Tell us about your life as a supah-glamourous lit agent! Are you part of a bigger agency or an individual or what?
Oh it is so super glamorous. Just last night as I was on the phone with Johnny Depp (he has a new imprint at Harper and I have just the book for him) I told him I was feeling super glamourous. He laughed in that I'm an intellectual sexy man way and...
Okay, so that was my dream. I was dead tired after a day of contract reading, negotiations, and manuscript editing. I also have two kids. The Johnny dream came after I fell into bed at 1am with macaroni in my hair. But I wouldn't change my job for ANYTHING. Being an agent is a natural extension from being a blogger. I'm just advocating books in a different way now.
I am part of the Larsen Pomada Literary Agents which is the oldest agency on the West Coast. Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada are New York City transplants and have 40 years of experience that help me do my job every day. I am forever grateful to them for taking a chance on an upstart book blogger.
Did you ever intend to become a literary agent when you started your blog?
No, I wanted to talk about books with friends. Later I had the idea that I wanted to be a publicist, I love books so much and I wanted to promote them. But not living in NYC puts a damper on things. I was surprised when Julie Kagawa's agent asked me if I wanted to apprentice to her.
Some of Julie Kagawa's books.
Did your blog help shape your literary agency experience?
Yes! I knew editors already. I already know the market in my areas of expertise And I know how to pitch after five years of being pitched to by my publicity friends. Without my blog I wouldn't have been able to catch on so fast.
Does blogging change your perception of certain books?
I am still able to MOSTLY keep my inner editor out of my blog reading. Bookalicious has always been about less critical reviewing and more recommendation. Did I enjoy the book? For what reasons? Was it worth my entertainment dollars which are hard to come by?
How did blogging help learn the market, if it did?
Absolutely. I truly believe that bloggers have a firmer grasp of the market than people working in the industry even. I've lost some of that touch. We get ARCs, we are scouring catalogs for new reads, and we are voracious for years in advance. We are the market.
Have you had any opportunities that you wouldn't have had without your blog?
Yes! Partnering with my local independent bookstore for one. Going to dinners with fancy authors and helping organize my local IBA conference. I mean, going to BEA even! I would have never done that as just-your-average-reader.
What's your favorite part about blogging?
The books, the friends, the feeling that my in my supreme nerdiness I am never alone.
What's your least favorite part about blogging?
The drama, the book whoring, and plagiarism.
What advice do you have to new bloggers?
Find your voice. Do what you love. Never let your blog become a chore, you DON'T have to be on a schedule or blog every day. I never have. Have fun!
What advice do you have to bloggers who want to use their blog in 'real people' stuff?
Go to book signings, your local independent bookstores, conferences for professionals. Join networks like the ones I joined early on: Northern California Book Marketing and Professionals. Take online internships with agents and publishers like Entangled.
Don't forget, if you have a question for Blogging In Real Life, there's still time to submit!