The Authors Care Services Ltd was founded in 2013, based on biblical principles. As a Christian, it is important that I keep God at the centre of any business venture I am pursuing.
My clients include: Rita King Washington, daughter of blues legend BB King; bestselling author and founder of PJC Media Network, Parker J Cole; radio presenter Deborah Lassiter; public speaker and teacher, Anna M Aquino; fantasy writer Lynnette Roman, and the famous London 5 Studios. These clients were definitely divine connections, and I love working with them.
This journey of being a literary agent hasn’t been an easy one. Here, in the UK, there aren’t many agents of colour, and Christian-based – not that I want to cause division with this article, but it is the truth. I had to really push and promote just to be taken seriously. Today, I still get asked what my job role is, and have comments like: “I’ve never met anyone like you before.”. It doesn’t offend me at all; in fact, I like to educate people – and the publishing industry.
In case you’re wondering what a literary agent does, I like to call this role ‘the author’s silent business partner’. We are the gateway between the author and the publisher. We sell and review their manuscripts, and help build their career. Just like actors have agents, authors have agents, too.
Having this career wasn’t always my first choice; I wanted to become a journalist. I graduated with a degree in journalism but, after my degree, I went down the route of public relations. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I believe this was all training for my God-given destiny.
I still had a love for writing; English was one of my favourite subjects at school. I used to be what they called a ‘teacher’s pet’ at the time. When we were told to write stories, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I would be the one to get the gold stars, so my love for writing was always there.
In 2009, I wrote my first book called Don’t Look Back – The Harmful Consequences of Backsliding. This was a very interesting experience for me, as it was during this time I learnt about the whole publishing industry: what it was like to be an author; what publishers are looking for, and how to write a book proposal. I learnt the whole craft of the industry, and boy, does it require a lot of patience, as I got rejected on numerous occasions.
The book was published in 2010, and it was during this year a friend wanted to get her book published. She asked me to help her find a publisher; review her manuscript, and help with the marketing. I really, really enjoyed doing this; I loved it more than being an author myself. I always knew what a literary agent was, and I am the type of person who likes to work behind the scenes, and build others up. In my heart I knew this was my God-given destiny.
I eventually did some work experience as an assistant to a professional, well-known agent, learning more of the ropes, and then I ventured out on my own.
Whatever you do in life, challenges will come. I have faced many challenges and obstacles, such as publishers not taking my clients or me seriously. When you first start out in business, just getting your first client can be difficult, but don’t give up. There is more to you than just waking up and paying bills; you have a God-given destiny to pursue. The gift you are given could be a blessing to many; it would be a shame not to pursue it because of obstacles.
Don’t be one of those people who make excuses why this or that can’t be achieved. Be the person who will find the solution to the problem, and get it done.
Don’t sell yourself short, and don’t be afraid of the learning process. In business, every day is a learning process, and I am still learning. Learning just takes you on to the next level. Learning is good.
Keep pushing, keep pursuing. God guided me every step of the way, and He will guide you as well. Be patient, persistent; keep in mind why you do what you do. Be passionate about what you are doing, and don’t focus on the money.
You need to love what you do, because true business is not a get-rich-quick scheme. There are many sacrifices, putting in a lot of hours for little return. Eventually you will see the rewards, but it won’t happen straightaway and that is the reality. That is why you need to love what you do.
Keep your goals clear in your mind, and don’t be afraid to say No to activities you believe will be a hindrance to you. You can do this! You can win.