“Authors who are marginalized are writing to a marginalized audience. And I think it's time that they be given the voice to write to all audiences. I'm really making it a mission to do that.” – Jessica Faust, Principal Literary Agent and Founder of BookEnds Literary
Abigail K. Perry sits down with Jessica Faust to talk about her mission to bring more marginalized voices into publishing. She also shares her goals as a leader, including how she mentors the team at BookEnds so that they can continue to make real change in publishing.
Jessica’s MSWL leans heavily towards Upmarket and Women’s Fiction these days, although she has a variety of genres she’s interested in (see below). On the craft of writing, Jessica discusses why every book needs a plot twist—but not in the way every writer thinks.
Additionally, Jessica emphasizes how the author-agent relationship is a business partnership, and that communication is key to a long-lasting career. She sheds light on what success means to different authors, how she helps her clients and agents define and gain their definition of success, and why some of her proudest moments in agenting aren’t bestsellers, but authors she’s helped build a sustainable career in writing.
As owner and President at BookEnds, Jessica Faust is honored to spend every day with some of the most talented authors and agents in the business. From BookEnds’ inception in 1999, Jessica has always believed that her number one job is to be an author advocate. As BookEnds has grown, she now adds agent advocate to that responsibility.
In addition to constantly growing BookEnds in new and innovative directions, Jessica represents many bestselling and award-winning authors. Her focus is on bringing more underrepresented and marginalized voices into publishing and her areas of expertise include mystery, suspense, upmarket, literary, and women's fiction. In nonfiction, she’s seeking books and authors who will make her a better person and a better leader.
Jessica began her career as an acquisitions editor at Berkley Publishing, Macmillan, and Wiley. In addition to nearly 15 years of blogging, Jessica has a regular role on the BookEnds YouTube channel, has taught at New York University's Continuing Education Program, written a publishing column, and has been honored by a number of different publishing organizations. Jessica hosts workshops and speaking engagements throughout the world and is a member of AALA.
Fiction: Historical, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
Favorite sub-genres: Business, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary YA, Cozy Mystery, Domestic Suspense, Magical Realism, Psychological Thrillers, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Upmarket Women's Fiction, historical mystery, historical romance
Find us on our socials:
Twitter: @abigailkperry @BookEndsJessica
Instagram: @abigailkperry @jfaust_bookends
YouTube: BookEnds Literary
Read the books discussed in this episode: