Valentine to the Publishing Life

valentineIn honor of Valentine’s Day coming up this Sunday, I thought I’d wax poetic about what I love in this industry… and in my job.

♥ First of all, I love the way writers, editors, and yes, even agents, are a true community. Competition exists, but it doesn’t get in the way of real relationships. That’s what this business is about, relationships, and the people I’ve met in this business are simply the best.

I love working with authors. Your passion impresses me; your bravery amazes me. The commitment authors must maintain in order to be successful is nothing short of monumental, and for that, I salute every one of you. It is my pleasure and privilege to support you in the small ways that I do.

I love the new submissions that I get to see all the time. They show me the incredible diversity of ideas out there. They show me the courage of those who have convictions. They tell me that no matter what anybody says, people will always want to write books, and people will always want to read them.

I love the thrill of the hunt for great books. The anticipation that underlies the reading of every query and proposal. The “aha” feeling when you think you’ve found one.

I love calling writers and offering them representation. It can be the beginning of a wonderful partnership that can enrich both of our lives.

I love the moment when an author realizes they are actually going to have a book published. The offer’s on the table… the contract is signed… their dream is coming true. There is nothing better!

Happy Valentine’s Day 


Image copyright: ha4ipuri / 123RF Stock Photo

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. […] thanks to Rachelle Gardner of Books and Such Literary Agency for inspiring this post (and sharing those darling little hearts), here are the reasons I love […]

  2. J.Willis Sanders on February 15, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Happy Valentines Day to you too. I enjoyed the post, and I’m grateful to have seen your passion in action during our coaching session. I can only hope that one one day I’ll have that author having a book published moment. But having the realization that an author actually has the hope of getting there, that the talent is real, is quite exhilarating. So, thank you for that Valentine also.

  3. L.G. Keltner on February 13, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    Happy Valentine’s Day! A person needs to have passion to make it in this business, whether you’re the agent seeking out new talent or the writer hoping to make their big dreams come true. Your passion for your work shines through with every word you’ve written here.

  4. Doris Swift on February 13, 2016 at 6:32 AM

    Beautiful! Love how your heart shines through in this post, Rachelle. Exciting stuff! Love the heart bullet points, nice touch. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  5. John Wells on February 13, 2016 at 4:04 AM

    Hap-peee Valentine’s Day to you, Rachelle. The card you’ve sent us is testimony to why you’re a wonderful LA. Your blog is superb.
    I admit to being naïve when I started this journey of becoming a writer. I suffered the allusion that writing the “great American novel” was the final goal as I launched what I perceived to be a writing career. It was going to be a series of improvements as I developed the skill to write superior novels. Getting published would tax perseverance, but it could be accomplished in good time. Was I ever wrong! Times were changing in the publishing world. Today I am convinced that many superior manuscripts rest unread in file cabinets around the globe. I believe if I had gone to New York and enrolled in the Columbia University Publishing Course, maybe I could have avoided my mistake.
    To this end, I’ve learned much by following your blog, which drives home the point that becoming a professional fictionist consists of three related, but different endeavors: Let me call them writing, authorship, and conferencing. Because each endeavor has no discrete stopping point, they overlap.
    Writing includes creating, editing, polishing, and proofreading along with Beta reader input. Creating includes research, plotting, and character development with dialog patterns according to realistic psychological models, such as Enneagram types, for example. The end product is a completed manuscript, suitable for presenting to readers.
    The second endeavor of authorship begins when the manuscript is ready for publishing, which means that we writers absolutely require a literary agent who’s convinced that the manuscript is worthy of submission to a ready, willing, and able publisher. The writing endeavor continues, because we have to create a query, a synopsis, and a proposal. The query includes agent and agency research, a bio, and a snapshot of the novel’s story according to a fresh and original treatment. The proposal’s starting point begins with a synopsis, and includes a marketing concept in which the author plays a meaningful role by creating a “platform.”
    The third endeavor is attending writing conferences, which I gather exist to bring into being suitable professional “marriages” between agents and wannabe authors. Since I’ve never attended one, I can’t speak to anything beyond perception, which is probably inaccurate. I can only cite the last line of the classic movie “Casablanca” in which Humphrey Bogart (Rick) says to Claude Rains (Captain Renault), “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
    Regardless, I persevere! Good wine requires aging, but it’s done all the time. Valentine’s Day is a good time to reflect on our writing life.

  6. Shelli Littleton on February 12, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, Rachelle. I love this writing community, for certain. And hey, my daughter talked me into to seeing The 5th Wave … it was pretty good. 😉