Stephanie Perkins Blog About Stephanie Books On Writing News Extras



12.16.2009

Takk, Kate!

Takk is Icelandic for "thanks." Takk to Sigur Rós, I know what takk means.


Fellow Tenner (2010 debut author) Kody Keplinger (who is EIGHTEEN, you guys — I do not even want to think about what I was [not] doing when I was eighteen) declared last Friday the first Agent Appreciation Day. What a wonderful thing to do!

I've had some intense on and off flu action, so I haven't had the brains to post until now. But. It's important to me that I do. Because there's no way that 95% of you reading this would be here if it weren't for Kate Schafer Testerman, aka Super Agent Daphne Unfeasible.

I love my agent.

LOVE. My agent.

For those of you not in the industry, or relatively new to the industry, who don't understand the full role an agent plays, allow me to explain:

Agents do everything writers do not want to do.

Like . . . tell editors how wonderful you are. Ask those editors if they've read your manuscript yet. Ask them again. Ask them again. Ask those editors for money. Ask those editors for MORE money. Negotiate the unintelligible, horrifyingly lengthy mess that is a publishing contract. Make sure you sign the correct lines. Make sure everything is mailed on time. Make sure that it's a DONE DEAL.

Then they make sure you're paid. They wrestle with taxes. And they make sure you're paid again, later, when it's time to be paid again. And if there's a problem with your publishing house or your editor, guess what? Your agent handles it! So you, the writer, will still look like the good guy.

Then the agent tries to sell your book AGAIN. Foreign markets. Film rights. Television. And they call all of those people you wouldn't want to call — and wouldn't know how to call or where to get their numbers — and they KEEP calling them.

And when you have a new book? They do all of this for you . . . yes! . . . again.

Then there's the other half of their job, the writer hand-holding. Agents have to be good at giving bad news. They have to give a LOT of bad news, and they have to make it sound like it's not *really* that bad. And they have to mean it! Good agents are always optimistic about your future. Agents are TEAM YOU. They want you to succeed, and they guide you (as gently or as forcefully as necessary) towards the goal.

I am lucky.

Because not only does Kate do all of this for me — and with incredible gusto, enthusiasm, and style — but she's also really, really cool. Like, the kind of person I'd want to hang out with anyway. (Which is why I wanted her so badly for an agent!)

Kate loves Joss Whedon. Shoes. The Glee soundtracks and The Princess Bride. She bowls, MMORPGs, and agrees that Chuck's wardrobe on Pushing Daisies is, like, the best ever. She writes a great blog and is a fantastic tweeter. Kate once said in an interview that, "I love novels that get me (in all honesty) hot, horny, and laughing. That’s the trifecta."

YES. YES!! Me too, Kate.

She understands Anna — and she understands Anna's boy — and has done everything to ensure my novel is treated right. And she got me my not-even-in-my-dreams editor. (I am STILL not sure how you pulled that one off, Kate! You are truly magic.)

I am honored to be working with her.

And . . . I'm honored to be a part of her amazing client list. Because that's the other thing about Kate. Not only is SHE amazing, but her writers are too. The kt literary family is made up of incredibly kind, funny, and supportive people. I had no idea that when I signed with her, I would make so many instant friends.

Takk, Kate. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

And I wish everyone else a continued Happy Chanukah! I wanted to share my favorite Chanukah song, Beck's "Little Drum Machine Boy," but this non-embeddable clip was the best I could find. The song gets cooler after the clip ends. Of course. (At least you can still find it on iTunes!)


I forgot how cutie pie and well-dressed he is.


The song is from the Midnite Vultures era, perhaps my favorite of his. For those of you unfamiliar with Beck's music, that means nothing, so I will say this: IZ FUNKY.

12 comments:

  1. You are so lucky and definitely part of an amazing list and Kate is lucky to have such a cool and appreciative client-thanks for sharing!!

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  2. YAY Kate!! She is awesome! Hip hip HOORAY!!

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  3. Kate is my favorite, ya know, minus my own agent. I have so many friends at KT Literary!

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  4. I found Kate's blog through yours, back before she snatched you up. I love her shoes and her advice, but surely more than 5% of us were around before you got an agent.

    I hope you feel better already! The flu is nasty this year.

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  5. Ugh, the flu is awful. I hope you feel 100% better soon. My husband and I both got swine flu back in October and we were completely out of commission for two weeks. Luckily I came down with it a few days after he did or else I don't know how we would have cared for each other.

    Sounds like Kate is amazing. Hopefully one day soon I will have as amazing of an agent!

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  6. Flu. YUCK! I'm sorry. I hope you get to feeling better soon!

    And, Thanks Kate for making it possible for us to read Stephanie's wonderful book, because I can just tell that it's going to be fabulous!

    Happy Holidays!!!

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  7. Sing out, sister! We're with you!

    P.S. Have you heard about the KT Literary Rollergirl Team? I think we'd kick some serious bootay.

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  8. Love Kate! (And Beck) She is at the top of my list the next project I query. You are a lucky girl! ;)

    Hope you're feeling better!

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  9. I asked my agent to do something for me THIS VERY DAY that I did not want to do.

    I'm sorry you've had the flu!

    Feel better soon -

    xo

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  10. Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone! I'm much closer to better. SOON. I feel it in me bones...

    Frankie — I AM lucky. Very, very lucky.

    Sara — Sister!!

    Natalie — I must confess, your agent is my second favorite. Very crush-worthy.

    Myrna — You know, I honestly think *you* were the first regular non-real-world-acquaintance reader that I had!! :)

    Abby — The swine flu? Oh, heavens! I'm glad you're both okay now! And I have NO DOUBT you'll get a cool agent.

    Kimberley — Aw, shucks :) I hope you'll like it!

    Carrie — YES. I am *SO* on the team. Though I'm totally relying on you and Amy to be the bad-asses.

    Shelli — And yay for your awesome interview!

    Tere — Good luck querying!!

    Lisa — I love your comment. Agents are the BEST. So happy you've got a great one, too!

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  11. Kimberly — Er, sorry I just butchered your name. I'm really liking the "E" key tonight.

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