I was in Florida in August to present at the Black Writers’ Reunion and Conference and to do my own professional development. It was the first opportunity I’d been afforded to sit and talk with, and do pitches to US agents, including the dynamic Dawn Michelle Hardy. Aside for our love of books we shared the value of being ‘grateful’ for the lives we lead. And so today I am thrilled that Michelle has offered up her list of gratefuls in terms of her life in the publishing industry.
Michelle says: As a book publicist who took on the challenge of adding literary agent to my resume in 2011 in the midst of the changing publishing climate I can truly say “I LOVE HAVING DUAL CAREERS!” I am truly grateful for that. Many people wake up begrudgingly 5-days a week and commute to jobs where they are unsatisfied. I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur for the past 8-years and although the ride has been nerve wracking at times, the challenges and accomplishments, keep my blood pumping and my brain sharp. The entire experience is something I would not change for the world. I am building relationships and projects with the media as well as publishers who put books on shelves. There is something about making these influential connections that just intoxicates me.
Here are 5 reasons I am grateful to be an entrepreneur in the publishing industry:
1. As both agent and publicist I have 100% control over who I get to represent. I am working on projects that I genuinely find interesting. Nothing is assigned to me and therefore I give 110% every time because there is a true connection. My authors are so diverse: a professor, a screenwriter, a single mom, fitness trainer, music journalist, construction contractor, meditation coach and coming soon professional athletes.
2. Why shoot for the sky, when man has walked on the moon. I am grateful that there are endless opportunities awaiting me. The number of awards, deals, writers I rep, books I sell… there is no limit.
3. Books, Books and Magazine. I get an insane amount of complimentary books including journals, bibles, and memoirs to novels, coffee table and self-help books. I also get complimentary subscriptions to national and international publications. I love it!!! There truly is so much great stuff to read.
4. I am grateful that working in publishing allows me to step outside of my comfort zone. As an agent I took on a project on race and identity and another on paranormal activities. I am excited about both of these projects, but I had to expand beyond my personal points of interest to find these great gems.
5. Jet setting. I am traveling the country attending writing conferences and workshops. I am meeting some really amazing authors. I am grateful to have the opportunity to help shape and mold the writing paths of so many while seeing the great USA.
This summer I attended Black Writers Reunion Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and had a chance to meet the wonderful Anita Heiss. Thanks Anita for the guest blog opportunity. [Anita says: THANK YOU Michelle - fabulous to have you here!]
@dawnmichellepr on Twitter