Are you ready for an agent?

Welcome back for the final episode of How to Know You are Ready for an Agent.  Live on location at the West Coast Writer’s Conference, Kathi and Michele are joined by Janet Grant and Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency. 

Today Kathi and Michele dive into the final two ways to know if you are ready for an agent.  Platform and critiques are the topics for today as we wrap up this series.  Learn how an agent looks at platform.  What does constructive criticism look like in the process of publishing for an author? 

Are you someone who engages?  Your platform is more about your engagement than your numbers.

Here is a recap of our eight ways on How to Know You Are Ready for an Agent: 

  1. Finish your manuscript (fiction) or proposal with first 3 chapters (non-fiction)
  2. Know what genre/category 
  3. Already done a title / topic search on Amazon
  4. Be able to tell about your book in 2-3 sentences
  5. The idea or thought should not have been published previously
  6. Study the craft of writing
  7. You have received constructive criticism on your work
  8. Need for a platform

Finally, pick up your copy of Janet and Wendy’s book today!

The Inside Scoop by Janet & Wendy

In today’s episode, you will know: 

  • The importance of finding that trusted person to read your writing
  • How to critique while not losing the writer’s voice. 
  • The definition of the word “platform”

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A big Communicator Academy thank you to today’s podcast sponsor, Tonya Kubo’s Secret to Thriving Online Communities. 

Meet Our Guests

Wendy Lawton

Wendy Lawton

Vice President Books & Such, Acquires: Adult Fiction & Nonfiction Books

Wendy Lawton feels equally comfortable at a computer, a writer’s conference or with a cool lump of clay in her hand. She’s been an artist, a writer and a literary agent. In her first career, as a sculptor and designer of porcelain dolls, she amassed more than 300 original editions. Lawton dolls were nominated for more than seventy industry awards, winning the coveted DOTY nine times, the Dolls Award of Excellence three times and receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

“Running a collectible business provided the perfect foundation for being a literary agent,” she says. “I’ve spent years developing product, analyzing market trends, and being involved in every aspect of the product supply chain.” And she believes that product development is the perfect parallel to book development. “Speaking as an author, I know we cringe to admit it, but creating books is largely about creating product.”

Wendy joined Books & Such in 2005 and was named vice president of the firm in 2011. She represents a number of successful, best-selling authors. She enjoys helping her clients to develop their ideas and chart their careers. She’s adept at working with authors to discover the core of their writing style, leading to a brand recognition for each author in the marketplace of books.

No stranger to the literary market, she has served on the faculty of several major writers conferences and has written eight books in her young adult Daughters of the Faith series. These books were followed by a series of four teen books and a nonfiction adult book. She won the 1999 Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She also won the famous Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for the intentional worst first line of a novel in the Children’s Literature category. In 2004 she received an honorary doctorate from Wilmington University, Delaware. American Christian Fiction Writers named her Agent of the Year in 2007.

Wendy acquires adult fiction & nonfiction books.

Janet Grant

Janet Grant

President & Founder Books & Such, Acquires: Adult Fiction & Nonfiction Books

Janet Kobobel Grant had two goals as a grade-schooler: to read all the books in the library and to write a novel each summer. Her dream was to win the Pulitzer Prize. Well, she never did read all those books, she seldom completed her summer writing project, and she certainly never won a Pulitzer Prize. But those unusual aspirations were indicative of her love of books.

She personally knows the pressures, uncertainties, and joys of writing because she’s written the following books: But Can She Type? with InterVarsity; Where Is God When I Need Him Most? with NavPress; Growing in Prayer; Experiencing God’s Presence; Every Child Needs a Praying Mom (with Fern Nichols and a Silver Medallion winner); The Breast Cancer Care Book (with Sally M. Knox, M.D. and a Retailers Choice finalist); and collaborated on several Women of Faith books (all with Zondervan).

But she understands the inside scoop on publishing as well, having helped to launch Here’s Life Publisher, managed her own imprint with Zondervan, and served as managing editor of books for Focus on the Family. Working in these capacities provided her with a strong publishing network, experience in negotiating contracts, and comprehension of each production stage a book must move through, from acquisition to printed matter.

Her desire to help authors create the most marketable, carefully-crafted manuscripts and to see those authors succeed in their careers was probably born in the library she frequented as a child. And while her long-ago goals weren’t met, her love of books has endured.

Janet acquires adult fiction & nonfiction books.

Meet Your Hosts

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp

Author, Speaker, Communicator Academy Creator and CEO

Communicator Academy founder, Leverage: The Speaker Conference creator and master instructor Kathi Lipp, is a national speaker and author of 17 books including “Clutter Free,” “Overwhelmed,” and “The Husband Project.”

She is a frequent guest on radio and TV, and has been named Focus on the Family radio’s “Best of Broadcast.”

She is the host of the popular podcast “Clutter Free Academy with Kathi Lipp.”

Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’ s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.

Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence and be the person God made them to be, inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure, is The Red House where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at

Michele Cushatt

Michele Cushatt

Author, Speaker, Mastermind Coach

As an experiened keynote speaker and emcee, Michele Cushatt’s speaking experience includes Women of Faith, Compassion International, and various retreats, conferences and events held across the country. She has also led radio, video and audio recording projects.

She co-hosted with Michael Hyatt on the popular This Is Your Life podcast. In addition, Michele serves as part of the Dynamic Communicators International leadership team, led by best-selling author and sought-after speaker Ken Davis.

Michele coaches multiple large-platform speakers in how to craft and deliver powerful presentations.
Michele authored Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life with Zondervan Publishers and I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is. Her third book will be launched in Fall of 2019. She launched her first Mastermind group in January 2017 and is currently taking applications for her 2020 Mastermind.

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