I've experienced the creative and publishing process from many different angles. I'm British and studied English at Oxford but moved to Canada in my early twenties and that was where I started working with books. I joined a literary agency in Toronto, learning the ropes by doing general admin and selling rights until I was an agent myself in the North American market.
Seven years later, needing a break, I left to travel in Asia and when I returned, I wanted more creativity in my work. I co-edited a collection of travel writing that was published by Vintage, then spent two years in France becoming a freelance editor with international clients, while starting to write my first book. Eventually I moved back to England and took on the role of editorial and rights director for a British independent publisher.
Having published my first book and started on my second, ten years ago I decided to move to a Greek island and soon went freelance again. I now have the great pleasure of working from home with authors and helping to shape stories - advising on book ideas, coaching, editing from start to finish, helping with publicity, and sometimes finding publishers for authors.
It's always fun to receive a new pitch. I love reading a new story.
I acquired a broad range of commercial non-fiction, overseeing a list of 80 books a year. In 2008 we were for the first time shortlisted for both the IPG and BBIA independent publisher of the year awards and our turnover grew threefold in three years. My role involved overseeing the rights department, contract negotiation and editorial strategy. I acquired Commando Dad and An Apple a Day, both extensively covered across national media with rights sold in several countries; other successful projects included Are We Nearly There Yet? by Ben Hatch, Cocaine Wars by Mick McCaffrey, A Year in the Scheisse by Roger Boyes, Twenty Wagging Tales by Barrie Hawkins, Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard and Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler. I also helped develop the 50 Things health series and best-selling humour book concepts such as The Deranged Book for Old-Timers and Older, Wiser, Sexier.
Westwood Creative Artists
I worked my way up from administrative assistant, learning about negotiation, rights and choosing saleable projects. As assistant agent and foreign rights coordinator for Bruce Westwood I worked with such authors as: Naomi Klein (No Logo), Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance), Alberto Manguel (A History of Reading). From 1996 I built my own client list, offering authors guidance and support at every stage of their career, seeking out the best publishing opportunities and negotiating contracts. My award-winning, best-selling clients included Michael Redhill, Rabindranath Maharaj, Michael Turner and Jack Todd; I arranged 12 rights deals for What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel.
Jennifer has 32 reviews