Works and Days



Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency: Caroline McCulloch

As the heels of my boots clopped against the Upper West Side’s sidewalk, I couldn’t help but feel a bit glamorous. My breath fogging in the crisp New York air, my gloved hands clutching a cross-body satchel, I felt the sort of working-woman swagger I’d attribute to Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon strolling near 30 Rockefeller Plaza. True, a Sex and the City comparison might afford me a bit more elegance, but for an equally geeky, slobbish, and sandwich-loving individual such as myself, Liz Lemon is the epitome of professional sophistication. Though I wasn’t writing for a comedy sketch show, I too had navigated the streets of New York City, passing momentous buildings and crowds, to go to work.

Rita Rosezkranz’s Literary Agency is situated in a brownstone apartment building. Rita, an elegant and well-spoken woman (perhaps a new model of professional sophistication), runs it out of her home office. Representing a variety of non-fiction titles, she advocates for her authors by pitching their projects to potential publishers. Additionally, she reviews proposals that will go to publishers, making suggestions to improve the project’s salability. However, her work doesn’t end once a publisher picks up one of these proposals. I primarily aided Rita in finding avenues to promote her various projects, as well as bolstering her writers’ presences and reputes. This sort of research required a clear marketing strategy and thus a firm grasp on the platforms that would most effectively reach the targeted consumer.

When I arrived, I sat in on a call with Rita and Roxanna, the author of a newly released children’s book. I discussed with Roxanna what kind of leads would be most useful in establishing her platform. From there, it came down to scouring the Internet for pertinent articles and journalists. I continued to compile leads for Roxanna throughout my stay with Rita, but also edited multiple proposals and reviewed query letters.

MindBuck Media Book Publicity, Grace Fetterman, Winter Shadow 2016

I had the privilege of shadowing Jessica Glenn, founder of MindBuck Media Book Publicity. Jessica is dynamic, knowledgeable, and thoughtful. In her job, she devotes her boundless energy to promoting the work of creative minds.

I was so lucky that my time with Jessica coincided with the beginning stages of her dialogue with Blue Star Coloring, the leading publisher of grown-up coloring books. On an icy Tuesday afternoon, I accompanied Jessica on a meeting with Blue Star, where I observed the collaborative effort of a publicity campaign. After the meeting, Jessica had me write a sample press release for an adult coloring book titled, "It's Owl Good: An Adult Coloring Book." As a Reedie English major, I found this assignment to be quite a hoot.

 The entire experience revealed many elements of a publishing niche, and the literary world at large.