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I had the strangest week.

Hey all!

How weird is this year? First of all I can't even believe it's going to be JULY! My birthday is in a month and I don't even understand how it has come around so fast. I am literally like where can I even go on my birthday?? Can I have a launch party in September? I have no clue. One part of me wants to plan stuff and the other part is like just chill. This weekend would have been my epic summer weekend at British Summer Time Fest. All cancelled. YALC got booked for that. Cancelled.

I've been doing various interviews about Black people in publishing. I really pray that these conversations aren't in vain and we see some real change for once. I'm tired from having these same conversations and I hope the narrative changes quickly. I have been seeing some dumb things. Someone posted 45 books to help children understand Black Lives Matter and put a book about a Chinese character. Another said white authors here to help Black authors. Oh don't worry I have been calling them out. Honestly this level of ignorance is the problem. I am determined to use my platform to help Black writers as much as possible.

I had the strangest week. A few weeks ago there was a hashtag trending on Twitter called #PublishingPaidMe and it literally made me feel sick. It showed how Black and white authors were being paid very differently in advances. Matt Haig was on £600K (you can see the tweets at the end of the blog). It never even dawned on me that was a thing. That was like the icing on the cake for me with this publishing industry and the bullshit. I did some interviews about it for BookBrunch, The Bookseller and an interview about diversity in publishing and children's book for Culture Whisper 
The next day Helen messaged me and said an offer has come in for my new YA book. Usually that would have made me jump with joy but I just felt exhausted. I asked her for a few days to think about it. That same day  I saw a call out from literary agent Gemma Cooper on Twitter that said if any Black authors want feedback for a book to get in touch. I figured why not get feedback before I potentially take this deal so I sent the book to Gemma. Gemma's closed for submissions so for me it was just feedback. A few days later, Gemma asks to read the rest of the manuscript. I'm still in a bit of a weird headspace but I had just done The Bookseller and BookBrunch interview so I just sent the book in, forgetting that I didn't get my feedback. The next day, Gemma asks if I have representation. Now I'm like oh shit! Let me break down why.
So I was signed to Raimondi and Campbell Literary Agency but I left them a few years ago. Then I was submitting this new YA book to literary agents. Two of them were interested but both were going on maternity leave. One got back to me and said no and the other asked me to wait until she was back at work in some months but I didn't want to wait that long for an answer. During that time Helen had set up The Literally Agency and wanted me to sign to her. I was hesitant to sign with Helen as we do so much together, I thought is this too much? But then Helen will do her absolute best by me. I ended up signing to Helen and she pitched the book. We had 7 publishers interested. Anyway fast forward and the deals offered I didn't like, then it went all quiet with publishers saying I like it will get back to you...then nothing. When Emily Knight I am...Awakened got Carnegie nominated that brought more interest and I got an offer of representation from Trident Media in NYC who our massive! The prob was I was already signed to Helen and they didn't want this YA book as it's very UK but they were interested in my next book if I decided to go with them. Then one of the 7 publishers got back and offered a deal. You see the problem?
I spoke to Helen about it and she was totally fine with me swapping agents and agreed that we are very entwined lol. So now I am signed to one of the best literary agencies The Bent Agency and repped by Gemma! God is great! I am so excited!

Lizzie McGuire cast did a live reading for an episode and it was one of the best things ever! Then of course I went on Disney+ and binge watched the episodes.

Our children's book we released during lockdown. Bookshops were closed. Schools were closed. Baller Boys by Venessa Taylor hit the NUMBER 1 BESTSELLERS SPOT!!!! And it keeps selling out. OMG!!!

I am literally drowning in books. Between The Diverse Book Awards and submissions for Hashtag BLAK, I am so done.

These Verzuz battles on Instagram are keeping me going. Nelly vs Ludacris. 112 v Jagged Edge. Living my best 90's/2000 life! I just wished they started earlier so it wouldn't be 1am UK time. One of the best ones though was Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond—that Gospel music was so needed! I know it will never happen but I want a Beyonce v Rihanna one. A girl can dream.

My brother had his first Father's Day! I can't wait to meet my nephew. He is the cutest thing! Only thing that annoys me is when we FaceTime and my dad waves he gets all excited and when I do it he literally doesn't move!

Anyone need help getting an agent? Or book marketing and PR? Well Helen and I just dropped our new online course and this one is fire!! Helen's course is actually part of a 6 month course and it's only a fiver. No joke. Sign up today 

Katie Hopkins got banned from Twitter! Drinks all round!

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Twitter @emilyknightiam
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Follow me on Instagram @abiolabello