Meet the Agents and Editors for Pitch-O-Rama 2018! These impressive publishing professionals bring years of experience and will provide advice, direction, and next steps for your literary project!
Lisa Abellera joined Kimberley Cameron and Associates in 2013 with a background in management, marketing, and finance. Lisa responds to well-crafted prose with strong hooks and high personal stakes, to idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, to a tangible sense of place, to multicultural aspects and international settings, to page-turning twists, and to emotionally immersive fiction that explores the human condition, especially within family and close relationships. She is seeking to represent upmarket fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense/thrillers (especially if it has a dose of science or the supernatural), science fiction, fantasy, most speculative fiction except for paranormal fantasy (no demons, angels, vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.), romance if it’s an element or part of another genre, NA, YA and middle grade.
Jim Azevedo is the marketing director at Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published ebooks, serving over 130,000 independent authors, publishers, and literary agents. Since 2008, Smashwords has helped authors around the world release more than 470,000 titles and distribute their work globally to top ebook retailers, subscription services and public libraries. Prior to joining Smashwords in 2011, Jim built his career in marketing & PR for high-tech companies. Although Smashwords is a self-publishing platform, Jim loves helping authors sharpen their pitches and book descriptions. He credits his journalism education when it comes to guiding authors, and himself, to “get to the point” with messaging.
Suzy Evans is a literary agent, attorney, and author who holds a Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. In the adult market, she’s looking for narrative nonfiction, history, science, big idea books on controversial social issues, riveting, elegantly-written memoir (recent favorites include Barbarian Days and When Breath Becomes Air), self-help, parenting (bonus points for humor!) and small quirky books that make her smile and think about the world in new and surprising ways. On the children’s front, she’s seeking MG nonfiction, YA fiction that tackles difficult issues in bold, daring ways, and graphic novels that bring history, literature, and fascinating historical figures (think Socrates! Machiavelli! Hamilton!) to life. She’d also love to find a thriller that has “MOVIE!” written all over it. As an author herself, her books include Machiavelli for Moms (Simon & Schuster) and Forgotten Crimes: the Holocaust and People with Disabilities. She’s also a ghostwriter for a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 25 million copies in print and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Parade, Forbes and The London Times. Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
Georgia Hughes is editorial director at New World Library, publisher of the Joseph Campbell Library and The Power of Now. She acquires and edits nonfiction books in the areas of spirituality, sustainability, animals, business, women’s issues, and personal growth. Recent acquisitions include Spiritual Envy by Michael Krasny, Dreaming the Soul Back Home by Robert Moss, Dogs and the Women Who Love Them by Allen and Linda Anderson, Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee, and The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner.
Michael Larsen co-founded Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents in 1972. Over four decades, the agency sold hundreds of books to more than 100 publishers and imprints. The agency has stopped accepting new writers, but Mike loves helping all writers. He gives talks about writing and publishing, and does author coaching. He wrote How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent, and coauthored Guerrilla Marketing for Writers. Mike is co-director of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference. An update is at http://www.larsenpomada.com/.
Dorian Maffei began at Kimberley Cameron & Associates as an intern in 2013. She has since become a junior agent and is now actively building a client list of her own. She is interested in magical realism, fabulism, reimagined fairy tales, speculative fiction, literary science fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, unique voices, and innovative storytelling. She values work that provokes a deep-rooted connection after the last page and explores the peculiar within the mundane.
Laurie McLean, Partner, Fuse Literary, Laurie McLean spent 20 years as the CEO of a publicity agency and 8 years as an agent and senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco. Following her stint as the CEO of a successful Silicon Valley public relations agency bearing her name, Laurie was able to switch gears in 2002 to immerse herself in writing. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the State University of New York and a Master’s Degree at Syracuse University’s prestigious Newhouse School of Journalism. At Fuse Literary, Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.) plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books.
Kristen Moeller, MS, is an agent at Waterside Productions, the literary home of Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, Jean Houston and other luminaries. Previously, she was an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and the executive publisher for Persona Publishing, a self-publishing imprint. With close to 30 years of training and experience in psychology and personal growth, she craves discovering new (mostly female) authors with real and gritty memoir or literary fiction about walking through the fires of life – exploring depths and darkness while maintaining a strong psychological base. A published author and a three time TEDx speaker, she has been featured on NPR, ABC, NBC, Fox News, the New York Times, Huffington Post and Tiny House Nation.
Andy Ross opened his literary agency in January 2008. Prior to that, he was the owner for 30 years of the legendary Cody’s Books in Berkeley. The agency represents books in a wide range of subjects including: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, religion, children’s books, young adult, middle grade, literary and commercial fiction, and cooking. However, he is eager to represent projects in most genres as long as the subject or its treatment is smart, original, and will appeal to a wide readership. In non-fiction he looks for writing with a strong voice and robust narrative arc by authors with the authority to write about their subject. For literary, commercial, and children’s fiction, he has only one requirement– simple, but ineffable–that the writing reveal the terrain of that vast and unexplored country, the human heart. (AAR). www.andyrossagency.com, www.andyrossagency.wordpress.com
Jennifer March Soloway is an Associate Agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, an agency that specializes in children’s literature. She enjoys all genres and categories of children’s literature, such as laugh-out-loud picture books and middle-grade adventures, but her sweet spot is young adult. Although she mostly represents children’s literature, she is also open to adult fiction. Jennifer adores action-packed thrillers and mysteries or conspiracy plots. But her favorite novels are literary stories about ordinary people, especially those focused on family, relationships, sexuality, mental illness, or addiction. Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer worked in marketing and public relations. With an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, she was a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto in 2012. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two sons, and an English bulldog. http://www.andreabrownlit.com/
Brooke Warner is founder and publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of What’s Your Book? and How to Sell Your Memoir. She Writes Press publishes fiction and memoir for women authors and readers. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing, and she is an equal advocate for publishing with a traditional house and self-publishing. She sits on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). Her website was selected by The Write Life as one of the Top 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2014. She lives and works in Berkeley, California. http://www.shewritespress.com
Gayle Wattawa has worked at Heyday (www.heydaybooks.com), a nonprofit publisher, Berkeley, California, for fourteen years; she is currently the editorial director. Heyday has a forty-four year track record of publishing award-winning books about California. She is interested in acquiring nonfiction (including children’s books) for a general, national audience in the following subjects: social justice, nature, history, and California Indian (with a strong preference for Native authors). Recent Heyday titles include Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi, The California Field Atlas by Obi Kaufmann, and Our Dishonest President by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board. Heyday is also the publisher of the artist, writer, and naturalist John Muir Laws. For Gayle the most important considerations are passion, great writing and storytelling, wide appeal and accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and relevant expertise.
Carlisle Webber, Associate Agent, Fuse Literary, took her love of commercial, YA, and middle grade fiction to the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, where she earned a Master of Library and Information Sciences. She worked as a public librarian for years before deciding to move to the business side of publishing. She attended the Columbia Publishing Course, interned at Writers House, and worked at the Jane Rotrosen Agency in NYC. She considers herself to be an editorial agent and holds a Professional Certificate in Editing from UC -Berkeley. Carlisle is looking for high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities.
Secrets to Successful Book Marketing for Writers: A Panel
Building your platform and book promotion can sound daunting, even overwhelming. How can you do that and still have time for the creativity or writing? Turns out, marketing is a creative art as well. From achievable marketing plans, promo ideas that fit your book, and tips for ruling social media, this panel of experts will provide highly effective tools for marketing your writing, your book, and yourself.
Jim Azevedo is the marketing director at Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published ebooks, serving over 130,000 independent authors, publishers, and literary agents.
Eileen Duhné is a publicist and publishing consultant who has worked with everyone from New York Times bestselling authors to self-published books by first time authors. She knows what publicity actually sells books. Eileen has worked in or with the media since she began her career as a radio announcer in the SF Bay Area. The former Director of Publicity and Marketing at a book distributor in Northern CA, for 25 years she has worked on books from Quincy Jones, the creator of Aveda, the founder of The Shift Network, the SF Giants, award-wining photographers, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Mark Nepo, one of Oprah’s favorite writers, as well as dozens of books and projects by individual authors and indie publishers in both traditional and new publishing platforms. She specializes in mind/body/spirit, new sciences, and non-fiction titles.
Cathy Turney is the author of Get 10,000+ Twitter Followers—Easily, Quickly, Ethically. A self-described right-brain creative, technophobic Luddite, she sweated bullets to just make Twitter work and shares her simple method to build platform and amass thousands of followers in only five to ten minutes a day. Her first book, entitled Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success, won the 2015 American Business Award’s Best Business Book of the Year Award. Cathy is an award-winning humor journalist and has served on the boards of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter. She contributes to Huffington Post and blogs about Twitter at www.CathyTurneyWrites.com.
Brenda Knight worked at HarperCollins in the sales and marketing division and brings both the tried and true tactics as well as the latest secrets for success. Pitch-O-Rama 2018 participants will receive handouts including a comprehensive “Author’s Guide to Social Media” complete with a timeline for building preorders for your book so it launches as a bestseller!
Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, MS, MFT is an award-winning author, a licensed psychotherapist, and a communications trainer. She has coached the reluctant and the phobic in public speaking in Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States and abroad, helping even the most introverted to be comfortable, engaging, and inspiring to their listeners. She coaches presenters to conquer stage fears and connect to listeners. Her favorite clients are writers and artists.
Mary E. Knippel, Writer Unleashed and founder of YourWritingMentor.com, is fiercely committed to guiding you to claim your voice, and unleash your story worth writing. Mary’s clients come to her when they are paralyzed about where to begin, what to say and how to make sense of the life-changing message they know they are here to deliver. Using skills honed as a journalist for over 30 years, she supports you to polish your words until your message sparkles and shines!
Amanda McTigue enrolled in the fourth class of women at Yale University in 1973, and she intended to become a professional singer and actress. But the story of her life offered a surprise ending. Although McTigue has served as a stage director throughout her career, her true calling turned out to be writing and storytelling, for both the stage and the page. Her first novel, Going to Solace, has become a book club favorite.