Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.
I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled Social Media Critiques to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.
I’ve been an agent for about two and a half years now, but I’ve only been full time for one of those years. So today, I’m reflecting on how blessed I am to have been doing this “book thing” full time for a full year.
I met Chip about four years ago at an author book signing. I was working as an Admissions Counselor at a university where he was a visiting professor. My friend, who happened to be a student there, kept telling me about this big time agent who was on campus and how I needed to meet him. But despite it being a very small school, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who he was.
So the only way to meet him was to trap him at an author book signing. At the time, I (ashamedly) didn’t know who the author was (Chip tells me it was Lisa Samson), and I honestly didn’t know very much about Chip other than the fact that my friend told me he was epic. So, we winged it. We walked in to the store, found Chip, and then I took a breath, walked up, and introduced myself.
He said something sarcastic.
I said something sarcastic.
The rest is history.
I started doing odd jobs for him (basically all the stuff he didn’t want to do himself), and in 2009 I was hired on as a part time assistant. In 2010, I was promoted to agent (though I maintained a full time job at a marketing agency). And last November, I quit my marketing job to pursue agenting full time.
When people see me and think that I’m like 22 years old (I’ll be 29 in December), they always ask me “How do you become an agent?” as if there’s some application you can fill out or secret fast track to success. The truth (as this story shows) is that it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time with the right skill set. Oh, and then you have to make the right impression.
And that’s what so much of this business is about, whether you’re on this side of the desk or not. It’s about relationships and proving yourself knowledgeable, skilled and likable.
I’m so very thankful to have me Chip those years ago. And I’m thankful that he saw something in me that told him I could make a go of this.
So what’s your industry story? How did you get connected and who saw that special something in YOU that made all the difference?