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Lusty Lady

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Happy happy happy publishing news, or yes, Fat is fucking contagious!

Want to know why this is so freaking awesome? Because when things like this happen, it makes me believe in writing, in publishing, in my own instincts. I'm not saying this book deal wouldn't have happened without me, but I'm honored to have played a tiny role in it. It makes me feel like even when my own writing is falling apart, at least I'm still a good reader, I still believe in books, and I never want to lose that.

I had a feeling agent Holly Bemiss would like the work of Kim Brittingham. How? I don't know, I just did. I like to call it agent matchmaking, and I think I'm pretty good at it (DO NOT email me though and ask me to find you an agent; I like it to be kinda spontaneous). Anyway, I just remember a while ago having dinner with Kim and discussing this and it was a little uncertain, and that's okay. Book deals don't (often) happen overnight.

Kim is a perfect example of someone who built up her brand, for lack of a better word, bit by bit, writing, yes, for (omg! the horror!) free on the best place on the Internet to write for free imo, Fresh Yarn (go look at their list of contributors and judge for yourself whether it's worth it). Her site is simple, but it has all the pertinent information at the left. She blogged and wrote and worked with The Memoirists Collective (read Kim's "Fat is Sexier Than You Think," which goes along with this recent Elastic waist post, which you'd have seen if you'd been reading my overly obsessive frequently updated tumbleblog) and remained passionate about her interests. She got media attention. She was patient. She was also open to suggestion; I don't know all the details and it's not my place to share them, but I think flexibility is hugely important when it comes to the publishing process. I meet so many people who are uptight and anal and about the preciousness of their words that no one (probably) will ever want to work with them.

Holly's list is growing and quite impressive; she is right up there on my list of agents who I want to read all their work. More on Lucy Knisley's graphic memoir French Milk soon. She also reps comedian Jeff Mac (Manslations), Alison Bechdel, (was wrong on this one - she was her publicist on Fun Home and her agency reps Bechdel), the amazing Ellen Forney (who did Lust and illustrates Lust Lab in The Stranger and other awesome stuff; click here for one of my favorites), Nicole J. Georges and Christy C. Road (Bad Habits).

So here's a tip on how to get a book deal: Be Smart. Be a Good Writer. Be Witty and Creative. Have a Great Agent. Get Gawker to Write About You. The End.

If you haven't already done so, go read Kim's essay "Fat is Contagious" at Fresh Yarn.

Popular blogger and author of the publicized essay Fat is Contagious, Kimberly Brittingham's READ MY HIPS, her unflinching, humorous and uplifting story of how she learned to ditch dieting, love her body, and live life to the fullest no matter what her jean size, to Julia Pastore at Harmony, in a very nice deal, by Holly Bemiss at the Susan Rabiner Literary Agency (World English).

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