Protecting an Author’s Creative Space | Middle Grade Ninja: Literary Agent Molly O'Neill

Protecting an Author’s Creative Space | Middle Grade Ninja: Literary Agent Molly O'Neill



thing and so if I can particularly understanding I think it's absolutely one of my strengths as an agent is that I understand and have sat in every meeting and so I know the difference between when an editor says we're taking your book to pre-sales or we're taking your book to lunch or your book is going to ala or it's going to Seba or an eye bar you know all of these like little things that sort of sound the same to someone who hasn't lived and read them I think for me because I understand what each of those is what the audience and that's very much again a part of it is who are we talking to at this meeting and that was part of the conversation that this and I had when they were putting together a presentation for it we talked about certain parts the initial you know draft of the presentation that this client did you know if you were talking to a room full of other creators you're talking to other authors and illustrators some of this might matter you know initially gone deep into some of the creative process stuff and we decided to pull back on that a little bit because that wasn't this room that wasn't this audience this audience was professionals and so understanding some of her own professional journey was more important so I think because I speak the language of inside a publishing house and I speak the language of authors I can translate between the two and hopefully my clients you know less confused by it all because it's it's an overwhelming big process from the outside and I think as an agency you know with with literary one of the things that we all believe very much in is we want our clients to be as educated about what's going on with their books as they want to be and as they're able to be some people you know love to have all the data some people know that at a certain point it just freaks them out more so we also it's not a one-size-fits-all thing but we want our clients to have the knowledge of what's going on and and education is part of what we are bringing to the table as an agency because we believe very strongly that the more you know about what's going on in your the life of your book or your publishing career wherever you are your submission process the more you know what's going on the more confident you feel you're not spending all your time cycling on questions about what if this and I don't understand what they meant when they said that and you know should I ask this like when when there's less focus on confusion there's more confidence and when there's more confidence there's the ability to make better art because that's also something that our clients have to be doing while the publishing process is happening for one book over here they need to be working on a next project over here and so we are working to educate them enough that they feel confident about their the career hat that they can set that down and fully devote the thing that only they can do which is create the next book similarly something I tell my clients is that you know I wear a lot of different hats he has an agent like I'm negotiating your contracts I'm educating you I'm helping you develop your projects I'm you know talking you off creative ledges whatever it may be but the thing that I think is the most valuable thing I do is I help my clients protect their creative space because there's a lot that I can handle for them I you know that's why we do the negotiating and the contract stuff and you know the business piece of it like that's a large part of what agents are doing is handling the business parts of your career which doesn't mean that you should set it and forget it and never think about it but if you have the confidence that someone else is handling whatever is happening even if it's like something's happening for you know the book that's in the publishing process that it might feel like it's on fire a little bit if you if you have a confidence that my agent is handling that you're able to give yourself the space to be focused on the creative work that will potentially hopefully become your next book and help you build a career and not just the one book I think that anyone who's listening to this conversation is going to get a sense very quickly that old Molly O'Neil I if I'm fortunate enough to be able to work with her she's gonna be able to handle that she's she's got the knowledge and the skills like I can you

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