Interview

Episode 91 – Book-lover Stacey Kondla on Becoming a Literary Agent

In this episode, Mark interviews Stacey Kondla about her life as a book lover and about the recent transition into the role of literary agent.

Prior to the interview, Mark announces the winners of David Wind’s book The Indie Writer’s Handbook via a random draw for comments on Episode 88.

He also reads and reacts to comments from Episode 90 with Craig Martelle and reminds listeners they can win one of 4 copies of Craig’s new book Successful Indie Author Release Strategies. Listeners can leave a comment or reflection on Episode 90 of the podcast at starkreflections.ca for a chance to win one of 2 copies. And all patrons will also be entered in a chance to win one of 2 other copies of the book.

Mark then welcomes new patron Linda Hill to the podcast, and reminds folks that for $1, $3, or $5 a month, they can become a patron and get access to additional content and audio via patreon.com/starkreflections.

After a personal update, where Mark talk about his new standing desk and office layout as well as being a recent guest on Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Show Podcast, he then shares a word from this episode’s sponsor…

Learn more about Findaway Voices

In their chat, Mark and Stacy talk about:

  • The love of books that has been a major part of Stacey’s entire life
  • The veterinarian path she had been on, which didn’t work out
  • The “magical time” of a school book fair, and how much Stacey loved her work organizing Scholastic Book Fairs in the Calgary region
  • Managing the kids departments for Chapters/Indigo and the thrill of working closely with kids books
  • Meeting Sam Hiyate (President and CEO of The Rights Factory literary agency) at When Words Collide and how that led to discussions about Stacey’s desire to learn more about agenting, and the path towards becoming an Associate Agent with the firm
  • How, in the first year and a half, Stacey has aquired 30 clients and already sold 5 books, the first of which was to Scholastic US
  • Stacey’s experience attending Book Expo America for the first time and how that led to selling a book to Dottir Press in New York
  • The best part about being an agent, which is being an author’s champion and cheerleeder and the special thrill that comes with informing an author that a deal with an aquiring editor has been struck
  • The joy of being a matchmaker between different people in the book industry
  • Some of the definite “do not do’s” when trying to pitch your book to an agent and one of Stacey’s pet peeves
  • What Stacey looks for in a face to face pitch from an author
  • The typical day in Stacey’s life as an agent, and how she has to compensate for being 2 hours behind New York’s time zone
  • The fact that Stacey still reads for pleasure, but in different ways now that she is an agent
  • Some of the best things that a writer can do to prepare for submission their manuscript
  • How an agent’s job isn’t just reading queries and submissions, but that it involves so much more downstream in the process
  • The priceless value of networking at a literary conference

After the interview, Mark reflects on the way Stacey divides reading for work VS reading for pleasure and explores ways that writers can use similar divisions between writing and editing or even different physical spaces as cues for a way to break through or get over “walls” they face in their own writing.

Links of Interest:

Stacey Kondla has worked in the book business for 16 years. Her experience includes being a Field Representative for Scholastic Book Fairs, managing the IndigoKids department at two different Chapters/Indigo (Canada’s largest book retailer) stores, freelance editing, and serving on the organizing committee of When Words Collide (A Festival for Readers and Writers). Stacey is an associate agent with The Rights Factory and specializes in children’s books – picture books through to young adult and graphic novels, fiction and non-fiction.

The music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of www.incompetech.com and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

1 thought on “Episode 91 – Book-lover Stacey Kondla on Becoming a Literary Agent”

  1. When Stacey said that she expects the manuscript to be as perfect as possible…I wonder why the author then doesn’t just self publish? What does traditional publishing get you if you already have a well polished book? Is it just there is an even higher barrier to entry so you then know if you get Trad Published you are an elite few? Because it seems like a hard path to tread to get a lower percentage of the pie.

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