Today’s guest is Katie Shea Boutillier who has been a literary agent with the Donald Maass Literary Agency since 2011. She is the Rights Director handling the agency’s translation and audio rights, and selected film/TV and electronic rights. In addition, Katie focuses on her own client list of smart contemporary women’s fiction/book club; edgy/dark realistic YA; commercial-scale literary fiction; and celebrity memoir. She looks for projects with the perfect balance of plot and emotion. Katie loves novels that seek big truths, touch on important social issues, and explore unique family dynamics and unlikely friendships. She is a cum laude graduate of Marist College.
Connect with Katie on Twitter.
What I’ve Learned in the Last 4 years as an Agent
Last week marked my 4-year-anniversary with the Donald Maass Literary Agency . . . and a lot has happened. First, I’ve become the agency’s Rights Director, closing over 70 deals to-date. I’ve hit two agent milestones: held my first book auction and closed my first six-figure deal. While all along, I’ve become a wife and a mom.
With each passing year there have been beautiful moments, hardships, celebrations, and frustrations. Being an agent is challenging. I think we can all agree. We are advocates. We are set out to show the industry what we believe will work in today’s competitive market. We want others to hop on board with us, put a price tag on it, and give the author a chance to gain an audience. And it’s not easy. Our industry is constantly changing. But that’s no excuse. We must catch the wave of change and continue to ride. We must learn how to maneuver challenges. Learn what works and what doesn’t. Because at the end of the day, this is a business. And in every business, success is achievable. Focus on your strengths and defeat your weaknesses. Continue to be inspired.
The material I send out to editors must speak for itself. I must push my clients to the furthest limit when it comes to editorial. The stronger the material, the larger the advance. The bigger the buzz. The more copies sold. The more chance of longevity in a publishing career. The concept must attract a major audience, and it must feel different. [Read more…]