A New Chapter, Turning a Page, [Insert Additional Book Metaphor Here]

pages turning At this point, most of the Bookternet seems to know. But in case you didn't hear, after five years at the fabulous Quirk Books, I'm packing up my little toy-decorated office this week.

Several New York Times bestsellers, books that won numerous awards, a dozen (mostly) viral book trailers, several bookish websites, plenty of social network profile launches, the publication of my own book, tons of conventions, and thousands upon thousands of books mailed to bloggers... it's been a really wonderful and fulfilling experience, working with all the awesome people at Quirk.

But, it's time for a new chapter, as they say. A new challenge.

This month, I'm jumping into a new career as a literary agent with P.S. Literary.

As anyone who has ever met me will tell you, I'm happiest when talking about other people. Asking me about a favorite book or a favorite author usually ends with me doing something like this.


I mean, when I was emailing friends and media about my latest book, I linked out to another person's book in my PS (again, ya'll should add More Happy Than Not to your Goodreads). Some of the best blog posts I've ever written on BookRiot and The Huffington Post have to do with me talking about other people. Hell, I started a blog and an awards show to give others a platform.

Using my voice to help others get their stories out there... it makes me happy.

So exploring a career where I get to discover new writers, boast about how amazing their undiscovered works are, help launch their careers, and be their voice? Ah, what a perfect, perfect opportunity. Thanks for giving me a shot, Curtis and David!

And while P.S. Literary is located in Toronto, I will be staying in Philadelphia, working out of my new home office / coffeeshops all over. I may even crash Indy Hall once and a while, when Adam and Alex aren't busy making websites.

So before I list the kind of books I'm looking for, here's a big ol' public thank you to Quirk Books, for an awesome five years.

feels spirited

If it wasn't for Quirk taking a chance on some local blogger with zero publishing experience, I wouldn't have had... well, any of this. Two published books (one of which was published with Quirk, thank you Jason!), dozens of lectures and talks at conferences, and now this, a new career to explore. For that, I'm not quite sure how to express my thanks. It's just so huge.

But I think about that fact often, how I got from Point A to Point B(ook). Thanks for giving me a shot after my awkward, nervous interview, Brett, and giving me the chance to grow over the years. I won't ever forget it.

Ah, and the Quirk authors and the many, many book bloggers. I've come to know so many of you outside the walls of our publishing house, and I'm happy to call many of you my friends. Thank you for your awesome words, whether it was a book you wrote or a book you reviewed.

Quirks, it has been an absolute pleasure. I'll see you at all the conventions. And you'll certainly see me in the area. Blair and I have new comic book day every Wednesday, and I don't plan on breaking that tradition.

I also have to thank my awesome future-wife Nena. Without her support to move forward with this, it wouldn't be happening.

And as for the books, here's what I'm looking for. You can scope me out on the agency website here. I'll update this site soon with all of this. But for now, here you go.


Note: To my friends that I've listed here as comps... well, I'm not sorry. I admire each of you so very much, and I want more writing like yours in the world.

Young & New Adult: I'm eager to find bright, diverse new voices in YA. Send me your sci-fi, your fantasy, your contemporary, your pretty-much-any-genre in YA. I write and read YA frequently, so this is a genre I'm fiercely passionate about. If you're curious about my tastes, I adore authors like Susan Dennard, Lauren Morrill, E.C. Myers, Rainbow Rowell, Chuck Wendig, Andrew Smith, Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, and new kids on the YA block like Aisha Saeed, Sabaa Tahir, Brandy Colbert, and Adam Silvera.

To quote Andrew Smith, "keep YA weird." Give me your weird, give me your quirky!

With NA, send me your awkward romances and your bold new ideas. It's a growing genre, I'd love to find something that surprises me and makes me swoon. Steamy kissing scenes are awesome... but I'd love to see some NA jump into new genres. Are those kissing scenes in... oh, I don't know, SPACE? Would it make Kirk and Uhura blush? Awesome. Send it to me.

Science Fiction & Fantasy: Looking for high fantasy and exciting sci-fi, new worlds that simply can't be put down. I would love books in the vein of titles by authors like Brandon Sanderson, Lev Grossman, Cory Doctorow, John Scazli, Jeff Vandermeer, Cherie Priest, or Andy Weir.

Cookbooks: I'm particularly interested in cookbook ideas from bloggers. Do you have an awesome food blog with a growing audience? Can you take amazing photos? Are you an active part of the food blogger community? Let's talk. I'm very open to helping develop ideas here, even if the book isn't quite there yet.

Non-Fiction: When it comes to non-fiction, I'm interested in books that focus on pop culture, geekery, and/or teach readers about the odd and the unique. If you've ever picked up a book by Mary Roach, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Non-fiction that explains big ideas and large concepts in ways that are accessible, fun, and humorous.

I'm also interested in essay collections, particularly humor though I'm open to anything that's really compelling. Think Davy Rothbart, David Sedaris, or Anna Goldfarb. Give me your awkward confessions. Make me laugh.

Blog to Book Ideas: I would love to work with bloggers kicking around ideas for developing their blog into a book. Think your massively popular Tumblr deserves a fun hardcover gift book? Let's discuss.

Literary Fiction: Very open to and excited to read some adult literary fiction, especially anything contemporary with a rom-com twist (think Nick Hornby) or mystery / thrillers that touch on current affairs (think Jon McGoran).

I'm also very interested in literary fiction that does a bit of genre mashing. Think Station Eleven, The Last Policeman (one of my favorite books ever), or The Night Circus.

And there we have it. The adventure starts. Send me your books. Have a pitch? Email me. And I'll see you all at BEA. This time around though, it'll say "agent" on my tag.

Agent... Smith?

agent smith

Oh dear.