My Job in 5: Hilary Delamere
Describe your role:
Representing authors and illustrators of children's books; finding, nurturing and managing talent. Being their interface with the industry - helping to decode publishing decisions and helping in planning and advising on a programme of work over several years. Working creatively with clients but also dealing with the detail of contracts, and all the many problems which can crop up on that journey to first publication, and beyond.
What do you enjoy:
There’s nothing quite like opening an attachment from an author or illustrator and reading or seeing their latest work and ideas which can make your heart sing. The wonderful range and variety of every day from the individuals I work with; from the talent of my authors and illustrators - immense and varied - to the talent within the publishing houses; working with a fantastic publisher, editor, designer, publicist, production or rights manager and sales department makes the whole process exciting and rewarding (and on the flipside frustrating and depressing, when the process doesn’t go so smoothly!)
Working on at the moment:
Many exciting projects at different stages of development. However it has been very special to be working with Raymond Briggs on his latest book, Time For Lights Out, which is being launched this November by Jonathan Cape; and to be finalising several deals with the PRH group for a number of new Malorie Blackman projects whilst looking forward to the broadcast of Malorie's Noughts & Crosses from BBC/Mammoth.
What Skills Do You Need for your Role:
Coupled with knowledge of how the publishing process should work and an understanding of how it does work - I think you need energy, excitement, an ability to bounce back - and to be able to deal with the minutiae as well as the big picture - and always be determined to enjoy the ride.
Advice to those looking to work in the industry:
Acquire and consume as much knowledge about the industry from all angles so that as an agent you understand the process in its entirety. Also remember it is a small industry and people stay in it for the long term and move around. You end up coming across the same people in different places at different stages in your career - relationships are crucial!