With every New Year comes a chance to both reflect on the past year and plan how to make your career more satisfying and lucrative than the last.


Part of your success in 2013 will depend on industry variables that are out of your control. The world of publishing is riddled with change. Large houses are merging while small houses are emerging. We’re seeing shifts in how content is acquired and delivered. Sometimes it might feel as if what will trend next is anyone’s guess.


The other and more significant part of your success, however, is entirely in your hands—literally! Distilled into a list of 12 commandments, these tips, if followed over the next 12 months, are guaranteed to set you on the trajectory you want and deserve.


Here’s to next December, when I hope you can sit back and reflect upon a professional year in which you have earned success and pride.


  1. Do your homework. Go to a bookstore. See what’s selling—and how.
  2. Know your market. Remember that it’s a moving target. Reexamine it.
  3. Experiment. Try new colors, mediums, and techniques. Dare yourself.
  4. Update your portfolio. 10 years ago was then. Clients want now.
  5. Command attention. Delight your peers and clients with originality.
  6. Chat with a librarian. Find industry gaps. Propose ways to fill them.
  7. Be a child. Look at the world through a kid’s eyes—not your own.
  8. Promote yourself. Blog, Tweet, Facebook. Or get someone do it for you.
  9. Mash things up. Combine two popular topics for unexpected results.
  10. 10. Show respect. If you signed a contract, honor every single last term in it.
  11.  Dig deep. Take time. Deliver work you’re so proud of you could burst.
  12. Talk to your agents. The better we know you, the more we can do for you.

Now all go have yourself a very merry and happy new year, and we will see you bright and ready for 2013 on the 2nd !

Lots of love – and many thanks to Kirsten for her words

the Bright Team