Meet Sara Megibow.
Sara Megibow is a literary agent with KT Literary in Highlands Ranch, CO. She has eleven years experience in publishing and specializes in working with authors who write middle grade and young adult fiction, romance novels and science fiction/ fantasy for the adult market. She represents New York Times bestselling authors including Margaret Rogerson (AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS), Jason Hough (THE DARWIN ELEVATOR), Roni Loren (THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY) and Jaleigh Johnson (THE DOOR TO THE LOST). Sara is LGBTQ+ Friendly and speaks around the country at publishing events. Member of AAR, SCBWI, RWA and SFWA.
Social Media Links:
Sara Megibow on Publishers Marketplace:
On Twitter @SaraMegibow
On Manuscript Wish List:
KT Literary website:
KT Literary blog:
Q: Tell us your story of how you got in to book publishing. First in five word or less and then however much you see fit.
A: Thanks for inviting me to this interview! How I got in to book publishing in five words or less =
Inspired By Authors And Bookstores!
Now, the slightly longer story…
I graduated from Northwestern University in 1996 with BAs in women’s studies, gender studies and American History. That was during the dot com boom and I spent the next decade as a corporate trainer, sales rep and process specialist at various tech companies. When those companies all went out of business, I decided to make a career change and pursue something I loved – namely book publishing.
As an agent, I’m an advocate for authors and I love my job! My husband is a musician and he was my inspiration for moving from tech to books – I wanted to be the kind of agent that his band needed in those early years.
Q: Can you tell us about any current projects in the works?
A. Of course! Thanks for asking!
I represent 39 clients right now. We had 37 book releases in 2017 and (so far) have 45 book releases scheduled for 2018. Margaret Rogerson’s AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS just debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and Spencer Ellsworth’s A RED PEACE has been nominated for the prestigious Compton Crook Award. We’re always very, very busy and excited about upcoming projects.
Here are some exciting tidbits to share:
Just today I saw the final cover for WHAT GOES UP by debut author Wen Baragrey. This is a sweet middle grade novel releasing next fall from Random House Children’s – I’m VERY excited about it!
Last Friday I found out the THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER by K Arsenault Rivera debuted on the SCIBA Indie Regional Bestseller list. How exciting! K is another debut author and THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER is a queer epic fantasy written primarily in second person. The book has earned starred reviews and gotten tons of attention and we couldn’t be more proud of this book launch!
Coming in January 2018, New York Times bestselling author Roni Loren launches the first book in her new contemporary romance series. I met with Roni’s editor two weeks ago and we were glowing with happiness – booksellers are excited! Readers are excited! Reviewers are loving this book! I can’t wait to get THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY out to the world!
For more agency/ author news, check out the KT Literary blog:
Q. What does your average day look like?
A. The most common misconception about agents is that we spend all day reading. Alas, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I receive 75-100 queries (submissions) per day but reading them only takes me about 30 minutes. The other 7+ hours per day are spent serving my current clients.
My day is spent submitting books to editors, negotiating contracts, auditing royalty statements, making payments, shopping and negotiating audiobook deals and translation deals, shopping and closing Hollywood deals, managing publicity and promotions, tracking delivery dates and book release dates and answering emails.
Clients have all sorts of questions every day like “can I show my cover to the public yet?” and “what should I work on while I’m waiting?” and “what should I put on my website?” and “can the publisher send me to the Book Expo conference in NYC?” It’s not uncommon for me to spend 2-3 hours per day just answering client emails.
Organizing strategy for client profit is the most important part of my job. In addition to all the tasks above, I am constantly looking at formats, distribution, sales & marketing, publicity & promo and subsidiary rights with an eye toward how to make money for my clients. I also work closely with authors on their Next Big Book ideas – reading sample pages, talking about pitches and offering editorial advice as they write.
That’s the tip of the iceberg.
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring agents, publishers, and writers?
A. Support Local Independent Bookstores!
If you have indie bookstores near you, buy from them! If you don’t have indie bookstores near you, buy from them anyway and have the books shipped to you. If you only read ebooks for yourself that’s fine but remember to buy print books from your local indie bookstore as gifts, donations to your schools and libraries and classrooms, as house-warming presents, as holiday gifts, as thank you gifts, etc.
Q, Do you have a favorite/unfavorite part of the book publishing process?
That’s a trick question. 😉
I used to be a Six Sigma process specialist at GE so I DROOL to get my hands on most publishing processes to improve them.
That being said, the part of publishing that I find least effective (from a profit standpoint) is the sheer volume of work we expect from our publishing partners (editors, publicists, sub-agents, cover artists, sales reps, etc). Our teammates at publishing houses put in hundreds of hours keeping on top of mountain-sized piles of work and they do it for our books. Thank you all! We see you and we appreciate you!
Conversely, my favorite part of book publishing is walking into my (local independent) bookstore and buying client books. I spend thousands of dollars per year buying books. I just love the energy of a bookstore – people ogling covers and asking for recommendations and buying. Seeing client books on the shelves gives my agent-heart its wings.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share or say?
A. I try to answer professional questions on twitter as time allows – come say hi @SaraMegibow
Also, I keep my travel and conference schedule updated here:
Thanks again for having me today and happy reading (and writing!) to all!