Friday, September 28, 2012

New Agents: Congratulations Ladies!

Congratulations to Stacey DonaghyBrittany Howard, and Michelle Johnson for being promoted to Jr. Agents at the Corvisiero Literary Agency, LLC. Effective October 1st, 2012 these amazing ladies will officially become Jr. Agents. On behalf of the Agency, I congratulate you and thank you for a job well done!

Stacey, Brittany & Michelle have been with the agency for most of this year in training to become Agents. They have each surpassed my expectations beyond their respective roles. Not only have they become indispensable to me in the operations of the agency, but they have also become friends and confidants. 
Stacey Donaghy
I am confident to say that they are well on their way to becoming wonderful agents, and look forward to long rewarding relationships with each of them! 
These three ladies join me, Saritza Hernandez (Senior Agent), Jordy Albert (Jr. Agent), and Brittany Booker (Jr. Agent) in the ranks of agent-hood and will be actively looking for new talent to grow their lists. So be sure to take a look at their profiles and our submission guidelines.
Brittany Howard
We also congratulate Jamie Bodnar Drowley, on her promotion to Agent Apprentice! Jamie has been doing a wonderful job as an intern with us for a few months already. She will be Apprenticing with me until she is ready to spread her wings.  Last, but never least, please welcome our newest team member, Wayne Meyers, Intern and IT specialist. We are very exited about the latest promotions and hires. Please feel free to contact them and offer your congratulations!

Michelle Johnson
I was at the Southern California Writer's Conference this weekend, and during an interview someone pointed out that my agency has grown quite a bit since we opened our doors. He asked me, "At what point would the agency no longer be considered a Boutique Agency?" My answer to him was that the Corvisiero Literary Agency will always be a boutique agency, "We don't call ourselves a boutique because we are small. We call ourselves a boutique agency because of our quality of service and exclusivity. We treat our clients as if they are a part of our family, and we pride ourselves in the fostering their growth as professionals. Their success is our success."
I believe that our internal culture and special skills- having a lawyer, editors, PR person, a manger,  a doctor, an IT specialist, etc. sets us apart from many agencies, bigger and smaller. We hope that you think so too!

To submit your work for consideration see our submission guidelines, and e-mail your work to

Happy Welcome!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Up Close & Personal: Workshops, Events, & other Services

I am looking forward to working one on one, for a full day with authors during our upcoming Up Close and Personal workshop
If you haven't already heard, my Literary Powerhouse Partner, Jo Ann Kairys, and I are offering a full day workshop in her beautiful home on October 20th to specifically help authors ready their submissions package to Agents and Editors. 

This workshop is a one of the kind exclusive workshop, and I think that it will be a lot of fun! In a setting like this, we will not only get to know the author's work and focus on what they need, but we will also get to talk about the industry, learn how to build a platform and market books, how things work, and most importantly, we'll get to know each other! 

The setting will be intimate, so space is very limited. If you would be interested in spending the day with us talking about your work (style, plot, voice, arc, etc.), from query, synopsis, and proposal, to selling your book, and everything  in between, this workshop is for you. 
I think that Jo Ann and I are in an incredibly good position to help authors save money and time that is often misspent in this process, and improve their trajectory directly toward success. 

During my agenting years, and even before that, I have heard of too many stories of mistakes authors make that they wish they could take back. But these can be avoided with proper research when you find qualified professionals to help you. Whether it is us at Literary Powerhouse, or an editor, a consultant, or even an attorney, you need to know that your new hire is qualified to deliver what you need to help you succeed in this industry.

I have added a tab to this blog in order to start sharing the events and workshops offered at Literary Powerhouse, as well as the events that I will be hosting and attending as a Literary Agent. We have many upcoming workshops offered by instructors who are industry experts that are especially great at what they do. These will be added and updated periodically, so if you can't find what you're looking for, please visit the Events page on the LitPow site. Also be sure to sign in for announcements. 

Please note that as a literary agent, I can review your work to consider representing it. In such capacity, and through the Corvisiero Literary Agency neither I nor my agents will ever charge any fees for reviewing or considering your work, nor for advice that we share during conferences, live chats and other events. If you seek to participate in workshops, have work edited or critiqued, etc. you may find these services at Literary Powerhouse Consulting. For legal services and contract reviews, take a look at Corvisiero Law

This separability of services is carefully crafted to ensure that all services offered by me and my staffs are clearly delineated and ethically offered to clients. The goal is to maintain proper guidelines as to how work is submitted, accepted, and only when appropriate- billed. An agent should never charge you fees for reading, and they can not require a payment from you to hire an editor to fix your work. It's okay for them to tell you that you need to edit your manuscript before it goes out, but they shouldn't be charging clients fees for such editing after they've agreed to represent it as an agent. 

On the other hand, there is a persistent trend whereby many agents are now finally offering their expertise for hire. In other words, you can hire an agent as a consultant, or for specific services such as coaching, editing or critiques for a fee. This has become increasingly acceptable as long as the fee is not a prerequisite for getting your work reviewed and considered by them. So take advantage of these opportunities, because no one knows the industry better than agents and editors. 

Happy Learning!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Submissions: Package Yourself!

People often ask me why I still attend a number of conferences every year, and how I find the time to do it. Finding the time is the difficult part for me, every time I leave the office and home for a number of days it feels like it all goes to hell in a hand-basket. The why part of this question, however, is the easy part.
I attend conferences for the same many reasons why I offer workshops and do live chats on a regular basis, and why I founded the LitPow Writer's Network Group... its because I enjoy it. I find meeting authors to be very fruitful. These types of interactions give me the unique opportunity to help and and nurture authors, many of whom later become wiser, more knowledgeable and skilled clients. It also allows me to develop relationships with writers that I enjoy working with, and it gives me a chance to get to know them before they actually become clients.
I often say that taking on a client in this business is a lot like choosing a winner on American Idol. Each meeting, interaction and step in the submission process is an episode in the competition. When we find someone who writes well, most agents will also look for the whole package. Can the person write? Are they creative? Do they have more books in them? Are they articulate and presentable? Are they industry and technology savvy? Will they work hard to build a platform or following and push their sales? Are they a good fit for the agency and good to work with? Etc. 
And yes, even though the work always speaks for itself,  to be very successful in the publishing business seasoned agents and publishers will often look for authors that offer the whole package.  It is therefore imperative that as an author you work on all of these things that would make you more marketable, while you continue to hone your craft and prepare yourself to present it all in that neat little package all wrapped up with a bright red ribbon.
This is in no way intended to discourage any author who may be insecure about any of their attributes. I am not sharing these words with you to tell you that you will not succeed if you are not hot stuff. I'm posting this to tell authors what to be prepared for, and to reiterate the importance of paying special attention to how you present, or 'Package,' yourself when you submit your work to be considered for representation or for acquisition by a publisher. 
What I'm saying is that with the proper presentation of yourself and your work, your chances of getting the call and a publishing contract will increase exponentially. 
The proverbial package is comprised of you and your work. These are the things that you are 'selling' when you pitch to an agent or editor. The literal package, however, is made up of the things that you will submit in paper (or electronically) for consideration- query letter, synopsis or proposal, and your manuscript.
Query letters, as short as they are, are considered to be the key to the doorway. Your letter must always be professional, concise, catchy, contain all of the information that is needed by the reviewer to assess your work, and present you in the best light as the foundation of that project. If the foundation is week, anything that is added on top will be more likely to crumble. So when you're preparing your Query, be sure to think about the things mentioned above that agents and editors are looking for, and try to give them what they are looking for. 
Once you've done your best with your letter (and manuscript), I strongly recommend that you have your peers or a consultant critique it and give you constructive criticism. It's always a good idea to participate in workshops, do your research, and to go to conferences to help you prepare. 
A literary consultant or coach will also help you prepare your package - or should we say to package yourself, before you are ready to send things out. A good consultant will also be able to help you with the actual novel, from editing to classifying it, to telling you whom to pitch it to and how. Be sure to research anyone you find before you hire them and ask for recommendations when applicable. 

Next month, my Literary Powerhouse Consulting (LitPow) partner, Jo Ann Kairys and I are offering a full day workshop called UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. During this exclusive workshop we will be helping a handful of authors with their submission packages, pitch preparation, marketing know-how, etc. LitPow, Writer's Digest and other great companies offer many terrific workshops that are awesomely helpful and usually fun. 
These types of workshops and attending conferences are instrumental to helping authors prepare themselves and their work for success, and often facilitate introductions to agents and publishers that you would otherwise not have access to. So find a conference or a workshop near you (or online) to help you get ready for submissions and on your way to success.
Happy Packaging! And Happy Autumn!