The Next Story: Introducing the Team (Agent)
I have been introducing you to the team who will help make my next book a reality. First you met Ryan the Editor and then Chris Fann the Marketing Man. Today I want to introduce you to Agent Andrew (known to some as Andrew Wolgemuth). He is, as you may have guessed, my agent. His job is to represent me before the publisher (first to help find one who would like to publish my work, then to negotiate a contract and then with anything else that happens to come up). He will stay involved with the work from beginning to end.
I’ll let Andrew introduce himself…
I'm Tim's literary representative. Or - a bit less dramatically - his agent. Though I didn't set the course of my professional life after seeing Jerry Maguire (I'm sure a movie about a literary agent would be just as compelling) and while I didn't grow up aspiring to be a member of the publishing industry, I've been surrounded, challenged, taught, and blessed by books and great authors for my entire life.
In fact, my first official paycheck came from Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers a couple of decades ago (the "Wolgemuth" in that company was Robert, the owner of the agency that I now work for; the "Hyatt" was Mike - now the CEO of Thomas Nelson; my dad, Dan, was CFO for this house. They published Orel Hershiser's Out of the Blue, Max Anders' 30 Days to Understanding the Bible, and Patrick Morley's Man in the Mirror, among many other excellent titles). I helped W&H with mailings or marketing...or something that felt pretty big time for a seven-year-old.
My second employer was Can-Do Trash and Recycling Service. That was a good gig, but it's significantly less relevant to my present occupation.
I now work for Wolgemuth & Associates with Robert Wolgemuth (my uncle), Erik Wolgemuth (my brother), and Susan Kreider (our assistant). We're intensively collaborative and cooperative, and I'm honored to be a part of the (virtual) team (Robert and Susan are based in Orlando; Erik and I are in Denver).
In my role as Tim's agent, I have the privilege of being involved at virtually every stage of the publication process. Describing the development of The Next Story (TNS) provides a pretty good overview of the work that I do. Tim and our team began discussing different book ideas about a year ago. As you can probably imagine, Tim had a number of solid concepts, but TNS rose to the surface as the best. Tim then developed proposal material, our team reviewed the documents and provided suggestions and guidance, and - within an iteration or two - we had material that was ready for publishers to review. I got Tim's work to editors who our team believed would appreciate and enjoy it; we received a few publication offers, talked through the houses' visions and proposals, evaluated the pros and cons of each, and settled on Zondervan. I then worked through contract details with Zondervan. Looking ahead, I'll help Tim as he wants on the manuscript itself, and our team will provide input and guidance on various TNS items like cover design, jacket copy, and the marketing plan when we hit those stages down the road.
In short, no work day is like the previous. Most, however, are quite enjoyable and challenging.
My goal in all of them is to act as a good steward. I believe Tim has some book-worthy, reader-challenging, God-honoring things to communicate - I want to ensure that these messages are delivered to readers with excellence. This entails advising Tim throughout the process, serving as Tim's advocate, sounding board, and representative, and doing my best to ensure that there's follow-through and timeliness on all fronts.
On the personal side, I'm married to Chrissy and we have two little girls (Malia is two and Davey is almost four months). Chrissy and I met in the suburbs of Upland, Indiana, at Taylor University. Like lots (most?) folks in the publishing industry, I didn't study English Lit. Instead I enjoyed Economics/Systems and Philosophy while excelling at intramural athletic mediocrity.
In the time since, we've lived in Kansas City (the Kansas side); Fort Wayne, Indiana; Orlando; and Denver. At each stop, we've been blessed with solid churches, good friends, wise mentors, and a bit of adventure. We love it here in Denver, and we've got parents, siblings, and a nephew close by, a wonderful church (Colorado Community), and good neighbors. The seasons are varied and enjoyable (with lots of sun all year round), the mountains are accessible and beautiful, and the professional sports teams are a pleasant change from my days in Kansas City (though Joe Montana's years with the Chiefs were nice. And I haven't really been able to shake my Royals fanhood...it's slightly weird, rather irrational, postseason-free and fairly painful. However, my favorite NCAA basketball team hasn't changed and cheering for the Jayhawks is [generally] emotionally rewarding).
In a book like TNS and with an author like Tim, the personal and professional blend for me. That is, I sit squarely in the middle of the target audience for Tim's books and blog. His writing is of the sort that I'd read even if it weren't my job. Consequently, I'm thrilled to be a part the project and I look forward to holding the final result and being challenged by the ideas it contains.