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Interview With the NeoAgents!




You know them as Elizabeth Jote (Objective Entertainment) and Kathleen Ortiz (Lowenstein Associates). But with their combined super-agenting powers they've launched a brand new treat for writers. The NeoAgents podcast series reaches people in a fresh new forum, and promises plenty of excellent information on writing, publishing, and the industry straight from the source.





NeoAgents are defined as agents that have been in business less than five years. What kind of superpowers do NeoAgents have (or, what are some of the benefits to being a NeoAgent in the industry)?

EJ: Well, because we've all been interns for discerning agents, we can leap over bad manuscripts in a single paragraph!

KO: True story. Now if only we could get that web goo to shoot from our wrists....

EJ
: Ha! Seriously, I think NeoAgents have the real benefit of understanding how the new wave of readers want to get their stories and connect to the creators of those stories. Kathleen does a significant amount of work with publicity with her agency's clients in addition to seeking foreign and domestic sales. She knows her marketing.

KO
: I think it's important to understand how the new wave of readers will connect to books and other forms of media. While it's true that a good story will sell, I think it's also true that you need to utilize the different forms of social outlets to ensure you reach out to your audience in a way that will make you and your work easily accessible.

EJ
: Agreed. I work on developing ideas for our existing clients which translate across mediums (film, TV, products, etc.,) and am always more interested in developing a brand then just selling one book. NeoAgents know you have to do more in this market and aren't scared to roll up their sleeves and do it.

KO
: Boo on the term 'brand'. But that's ok. I still love EJ *grins* But I do agree that authors today need to invest in building their readership communities.

EJ
: Ditto on what the heckler said. *winks*See, this is why I love Kathleen, she pushes me make sense of my crazy ideas. Perhaps I should have been clearer and said ‘artistic brand’ since the term ‘brand’ alone always screams cookie-cutter. That’s not the vision; the vision is honing into what makes an author’s voice special in the market, and keeping that voice intact across media outlets. When you go see a Steven Spielberg movie, you know what you’re going to get no matter the subject. He makes films about the possibility of the impossible; that’s his brand. Same concept.

The idea for podcasts is really cool. What made you opt to reach the audience this way as opposed to only using a blog?

KO: *points* It was all her.

EJ
: Blackberry brainstorming is my weakness! Frankly, it made sense for all involved. As a NeoAgent you are always reading tons of stuff; emails, manuscripts, publishing news, etc. On top of that, both Kathleen and I try to keep connected with writers and industry folks through social networking. It's a lot, and if that's our life, then it can't be any easier for our listeners to find the time to read every insightful publishing blog out there. We wanted to lower the veil a bit and speak to people in a quick, informative, and casual way. Let them know that we do understand how hard it is to create, and be clear about what it will take to reach their dream as we work on ours.

KO
: We were interested in giving writers an opportunity to get advice via a different form of media. Blogs are great because they can be detailed, but you can't really multitask while reading them. Vlogs ---- eh, not my favorite thing in the world. It requires you to sit, watch, and listen in order to get the most out of it. EJ and I figured that a podcast would allow people to multitask -- whether you're at work and listening to it (similar to a radio segment) or out for a walk or even on the subway. You're only listening, so it doesn't tie you down as much as having to use multiple senses at once (or at least, that's our goal!)

How often can we expect podcasts, and what kind of topics can we look forward to?

EJ
: Though we have a general goal of topics that would be of interest to writers (published and unpublished), it's really all jazz at this point , and that's the way we like it. Flexible. Most of our topics we pull from our agenting lives and discussions with industry folks.

KO
: Several topics have already been discussed via blogs or vlogs, but again -- we want to bring it to another platform. We're all about the organic conversation -- it's literally EJ and I sitting in front of my Mac and just chatting it up. If we disagree on something -- you'll not only know but you'll also know why we disagree because we'll discuss it. We'll crack jokes or be serious, depending on where the conversation turns. It's all about giving information that we feel writers want while also allowing them to get a realistic grasp on our personalities -- which we hope will make us more 'human'. Oh – and we’re shooting for two podcasts a month…unless our listeners give us enough feedback to change that *grins*

EJ
: Yeah, aside from the fact that Kathleen and I have learned to live without sleep, we are quite ‘human’.*cough* We run on batteries. *cough* Ultimately, we want listeners to think of NeoAgent topics as inspiration and information for writers who want to live as authors. We want to be the agents in your head getting you to think clearly about how to get through the obstacles to publication.

If the NeoAgents, Mr. Incredible, and Janet ‘the shark’ Reid went to battle, who would win?

KO
: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I plead the fifth.

EJ
: Ha! NeoAgent is all about peace and communication. In this rapidly changing publishing landscape, partnership is key. We'd negotiate our way to some kind of treatise, I'm sure.

KO
: What she said....except we'd totally bring cupcakes to the table.

**You can listen to the NeoAgent podcasts here! Or go to iTunes and search NeoAgents to download them for free!
Amanda Hannah

Amanda grew up on a big farm in a small town with one stoplight, one school, and a handful of imaginary friends.She would’ve gone to college forever, but eight years and five majors tested her advisor’s patience. So she moved to Germany to explore creepy castles before landing in Spain where she’s perfecting her Flamenco.

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7 comments:

  1. Great interview.

    Kathleen's also answering questions on my blog today.

    http://aclairedawn.blogspot.com/2010/11/kathleen-ortiz.html

    I guess they really DO run on batteries.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome :)
    And I would totally buy that the two of you run on batteries!

    ReplyDelete
  3. YAY to EJ and KO!! I will now go forth and tweet this!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the interview, Amanda, Liz & KOrtizzle!

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  5. Awesome interview! I think this is such a cool concept. Can't wait to hear more podcasts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. So cool! I'm looking forward to these podcasts! NeoAgents: fabulous name!

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  7. Excited to hear you describe yourself as a "chamelon" my pen name is "Usaravelli" which is chamelon in my native tongue, Telugu. I am a writer of multicultural fiction and I would love for you to visit my site.

    http://www.usaravelli.com

    ReplyDelete

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Item Reviewed: Interview With the NeoAgents! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amanda Hannah