After nearly eleven years as a buyer, I was itching to stretch my creative horizons and left to join the publishing side. First as a sales executive at Houghton Mifflin, where I learned how the sausage is made on the back end of publishing. When the merger with Harcourt was happening an opportunity to join Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as their editorial director of paperbacks was offered and I jumped. I felt that by hook or by crook, or, okay, a lot of hard work, I made my career dream come true.
Talk about learning how the sausage was made! I was a publishing wonk and I still had a lot to learn from production – Good grief! I learned how to crash in big bestselling books within weeks as my first projects! – to the many wonderful, and labyrinthine ways of the school and library markets. During my time there I acquired New York Times bestsellers, and had a novel nominated for The National Book Award, and awarded the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.
When I left LBBYR, my son was a bit over a year old, and I had the chance to scratch this agenting itch I’ve had since I was at B&N, and I recalled what my wife said when we found out we were having a boy, “Now you’ll get to be the father you always wished you had.” It was a challenge I was looking forward to meeting, and agenting with Barry, whom I knew for years, was the perfect balance I wanted in life. It allowed me to utilize the unique sales and marketing skills and knowledge I had honed, along with the creative aspects of working with clients, while providing the flexibility to be the dad I wanted. And I’m rewarded almost daily. Plus, I now also get to work in the other field I love, fantasy and science fiction writing for adults.
As an agent, my client’s books have become New York Times bestsellers, while garnering awards and accolades.