As of tomorrow, I’ll have been at DGLM for ten years. Since that’s such a pleasingly round number, it feels like a good time to name ten of the best things about the last ten years at DGLM. In no particular order:
- We’re not in midtown. Union Square is pretty much the ideal publishing location. Between agencies, publishers, and scouts there are enough of us congregated around here, lots of great restaurants, a solid subway hub, and we’re nowhere near Times Square. If you’re not a New Yorker, this might not resonate for you, but I’ve gotten to spend the last decade below 23rd street, which was more or less my life goal as an NYU student.
- I used to work in bookstores. I have stood in those same places where I used to stock the shelves and read my own name inside books. I have also made my family members endure this ritual of narcissism pretty much any time we’ve been in a place that sells books. Given that they’re all book nerds, too, it’s kind of huge.
- I spend time on every vacation playing Spot the DGLM Client in foreign bookstores. About 1/5 of my vacation photos are books I sold in translation. I have almost no shame.
- This is an office full of people who actually like each other. From what I gather from friends, family, and years of sitcom watching, that’s kind of rare. Our office meetings are usually way more hilarious than office meetings have any right to be. We work collaboratively, and even though we’re pretty ambitious, any internal competition is motivating rather than cutthroat.
- Okay, so “reading books for a living” is much more the fantasy of agent life than the reality (I’m pretty sure I answer emails for a living, if you want to boil it down to one thing), but I do get to excuse myself from having a budget for books. Buying books with reckless disregard for personal finance is just the responsible thing to do.
- And on a related note, I finally achieved the bookcase wall of my dreams. (Goal for the next 10 years: rolling ladder.)
- I get to turn the things I’m most excited about into my job. If something’s been occupying my attention, there’s a way to publish a book on it. Whether that’s putting out the call for a novel on the subject or tracking down a writer to cover it, from Serial to soccer, I get to make my passions my work. That’s even better than being able to make your favorite indulgences tax deductible.
- I’ve learned from some of the best agents in the business. If there’s anything the DGLM team can’t figure out about publishing between them, I’ve never encountered it. There is always someone to learn from on every subject.
- I’ve gone from Jane’s assistant to Subsidiary Rights Director, and I’m empowered to sign up anything I want. That’s an amount of encouragement, opportunity, and support that I could only have dreamed of the day I shot my resume off to Michael, and I’m so incredibly grateful for it.
- I work with amazing authors. Sometimes I get to be the first person to tell an author she’s hit the New York Times bestseller list for the very first time. Someone I once made laugh on the phone is now president of this country. On my last birthday, I had dinner with an author the week a movie adaptation of his book opened at #1 at the box office. I tell extremely talented creative people what I think of their work, and they actually listen to me. On a regular basis, I get to give people news so good it makes them cry. I get paid to bring the most important tool of entertainment, education, enlightenment, and empathy the world has to offer to as many people as I possibly can. Was that overly sincere? I don’t even care. It’s an extraordinary privilege to help shepherd books into the world.
And for those keeping track, yes, every person that worked at DGLM on my Day 1—Jane, Miriam, Stacey, Michael, & Jim—is still here on Day 3652. Thanks to them and everyone else on Team DGLM for a fantastic 10 years. Here’s to 10 more!