How long have you been agent and how did you get your start Wendi?
I am no longer an agent. I left agenting in 1997 to start my own Management firm which allowed me to work more closely with my clients in terms of their career development and growth rather than focusing solely on their next job and paycheck.
What makes your agency different than any others?
My Management firm is different from others in several respects.
1. We do not hold ourselves out as producers which other Managers tend to do with their clients.
2. We have a small exclusive client list and do not wish to grow any larger.
3. The desire to grow comes from growing our clients' careers, not our staff and our positions.
4. We are accessible.
What are you looking for specifically that you wish you would see more of?
Hard workers and writers who write! The writer who is willing to go the extra mile. Those are the ones who get the jobs.
Wendi what are you tired of receiving?
First drafts! Unresearched, poorly structured, laden with typos!
How can a new writer get your attention in a good way?
Write a well written letter! If you're a writer, you should be able to write a decent letter: from the basics of spelling my name correctly, using proper grammar appropriately and proofreading to having and getting across your unique voice and tone.
How can a signed writer stay in your radar without driving you insane?
Keep writing and coming up with new ideas. One script/book does not make you a writer. A writer writes...and writes and writes some more. A writer should constantly be giving me new material all the time.
What do you wish more writers understood about you as an agent Wendi that they don't seem to?
I wish clients would understand that I make 10-15% because that's how much work I should have to do. The 85-90% left over should be done by the client. That does not mean handing over your written work and your finished. That should be just the beginning. I have seen many a great writer NOT have a career because they had horrible or negative or no personalities. You need to win people over. Network. Get people to want to hire you for more things, buy your next thing before you even write it. Be available to take the meetings that I set up for you. Have things to pitch to the executives in these meetings. Make sure the pitch is pitch ready! These people that I send your work out to may not buy your work (only one person can buy it if it even gets bought) but if they are fans of your writing, there will be an open door for a different sale. It is only up to you to whether you walk through it or not. I will set the general meeting. But YOU need to make the sale in the room. That is YOUR job. To WOW the executive. I need to get that phone call after your meeting from the executive who says, "I MUST be in business with your client." Only you can accomplish that. My only job is to open the doors for you. Your job is to walk through them and to sell yourself and your work.
In 2004 I was broke, I was depressed and I was confused about my life. I had this crazy idea that I could write a novel, self-publish it and somehow win a million to one odds to have it picked up by a major publisher. I was down to my last few coins, my last packet of Ramen Noodles and trying to choose between riding the bus or buying another packet of Ramen Noodles. But I decided to go for it anyway.
I wrote the novel, based on a screenplay that had already been rejected numerous times by Hollywood, called Forever My Lady. I took my last few bucks printed off as many copies as I could and set out to promote the book the only way I could afford, online.
Trial and error, I was going to succeed even if that meant "failing my way to the top". It worked. Soon, I had over 8000 people that had read Forever My Lady either online or in print, I landed an agent and within 7 days I had an offer from Warner Books/Grand Central Publishing.
This is my story. This is my way of giving back. If you're struggling wondering what to do next, how to promote your book, whether to publish or self-publish, wondering how to land an agent, this website is for you.
It is filled with writing tips, blog articles, interviews with editors and agents and tons of tips on how to promote your book using low cost and zero cost techniques that actually work.
We also offer a way to get our assistance either as a personal coach to you or to hire Gumbo Marketing to do your entire promotional campaign for an affordable monthly fee. Why pay $5000-20,000 on a campaign when you're trying t figure out how to pay rent. We're here to help people like that as well.
Take a look, explore and enjoy the website. If there's anything we can do to help you, contact us at: GumboMarketing@Gmail.com