EP 37 – Jessie Botterill – Literary Agent at Janklow & Nesbit

Ask The Industry Podcast Comments

EP 37 – Jessie Botterill – Literary Agent at Janklow & Nesbit



Total run time: 1 hour 21 mins 30 secs.

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About the Jessie Botterill…

Jessie joined Janklow & Nesbit in 2010, shortly after graduating from Leeds University with a degree in English Literature. As well as building up her list of fiction and non-fiction authors, she runs the company’s social media presence and sells foreign rights across a number of different territories. On the fiction side she’s looking for stand-out voices and original storytelling; novels that ask difficult questions, and explore the answers to those questions in a unique and imaginative way.

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Here’s a list of questions we covered…

Getting a literally agent…

  • What is a literary agent? [0 mins 0 secs]
  • Is it better to have a book agent and a live agent. [1 mins 50 secs]
  • How to approaching an agent? [4 mins 12 secs]
  • Where do you even start finding an agent? [4 mins 12 secs]
  • The Book Seller Newspaper
  • Pet peeves of applications –  [4 mins 12 secs]
  • When should you approach? And what should you send? [12 mins]
  • Some thoughts on London Book Fair as an agent [17 mins 10 secs]
      • In particular, what role if any, the publisher plays in that? Eg who organises book signings, radio interviews that kind of thing. What should you look out for in your contract with the publisher and is it always best to take a deal where commission is paid on sales rather than a one-off fee?
  • How does the relationship work between an agent and a writer? Is it like a job or is it like a freelance relationship when you have a book idea etc? [20 mins 25 secs]

The world of publishing…

  • What happens when you pick a book to get published? [24 mins 08 secs]
  • How to write a book title [29 mins 40 secs]
      • how long is the process from accepting a book to it being on a shelf,
  • what stock you put in social media and self published books (you covered this briefly in the Q&A but I would love to get your opinion on internet celebrities publishing books and what “level of fame” you would or wouldn’t be interested in).  [36 mins 28 secs]
  • Is the trend of internet celebrities getting book deals a fad? Or the way forward for the publishing industry? [41 mins 20 secs]
  • The Pointless Book
  • Are celebrity books pushing out books by new writers because they’re more bankable and more likely to sell? [44 mins 20 secs]
  • Shane Koyzan’s book
  • Ruby Wax’s biography
  • I’d also love to discuss the advent of “extra content” from authors who share case studies and research which didn’t make it into the book for free through their blog and more! [47 mins 50 secs]
  • Promoting an unknown author [45 mins 09 secs]
  • How do you estimate how many books you’ll sell? [51 mins 10 secs]
  • How are you discovering new authors? [54 mins 08 secs]

The world of publishing…

  • Best bit of advice you’ve ever been given? [56 mins 05 secs]
  • Bit of advice you’d give to a budding author with and an author without an agent. [56 mins 05 secs]



Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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