Jennifer Repo was an agent with Joelle Delbourgo's firm, but now she has quit and gone away to be - not an agent, apparently. Well, she's a sort of agent. It's hard to tell what she is, even after looking over her new
Frankly, it has the sound of a book doctor/scamming editor kind of place, but then again, she's quite straightforward about what she wants to do. Newhouse Books is an editing firm, I think, but their main thrust seems to be book doctoring and publicity.
Jennifer could have a winner here. Surely she's seen it all while an agent, and figured out that there were some areas that were grossly underserved. How many trips through the slush pile did it take before she noticed that a lot of folks could use some writing assistance, or had a decent story but required a ghost writer to put the plot on paper. No doubt she saw enough lame query letters to figure that a would-be author was willing to spend good money to have someone write a proper, eye-catching query letter. As for manuscript editing, well, that goes without saying.
But what about the vanity printed author? Ms. Repo has services for them as well, with a packet of attention getting buzz that mimics the big houses - except that the author has to pay all costs. Why, she can even get a short run printed up for your own distribution, say for a public speaker who hawks their wares at the back of the room. Perfect for the man promoting small engine repair for fun and profit, and you can buy the manual for only $29.95 at the end of the presentation.
Taking a page from PublishAmerica, Ms. Repo will get you started down the long road of self-promotion, with lists of phone numbers to call so that you can set up some media interviews for yourself. There'll be press kits for you to hand around, to get the local newspaper to review your wonderful book, and Newhouse Books could put together an entire media blitz for you, if you have the money.
There is a market for Jennifer Repo's services. All you have to do is spend some time in writers' forums to see that. I predict that she'll make some money in this new venture, combining legitimate agenting with a host of practices that are part of the package deal if you land a publishing contract with a legitimate publisher. For those who dream of being published authors, but can't get a foot in the door at Random House, this is the answer to their prayers.
And don't forget a few entreaties to Heaven above for the money to pay for all this - it won't come cheap. You could spend more to plug the book than you'll ever make in royalties.