WHAT WE DO
At our boutique agency, we have provided strategic marketing and career-building for writers and other creative people. We have helped our clients perfect, publish and promote their work to the largest possible audience in the constantly changing world of books and media. We have eclectic experience in developing and launching over 1,000 books, CDs, DVDs, card games, concerts, festivals, national and international tours, and promotional events. We represent a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books.
"I credit the success of my books and writing/speaking career to Jo-Lynne Worley and Joanie Shoemaker. They are two of the smartest, most results-oriented, experts in the world of publishing and promoting today. They are dedicated to every person they take on, leaving no stone unturned and no phone call unanswered—which is to say, you’ll never feel 'left hanging' or unattended to. In addition to the unwavering competence and commitment they bring to every project, they are terrific people to work with."
– HARRIET LERNER, Ph.D., psychologist and author of 10 books which have been translated into more than 30 foreign editions, including the NYTimes bestseller, The Dance of Anger.
Jo-Lynne Worley and Joanie Shoemaker began working together as managers of an independent bookstore in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1976. We expanded that work to produce cultural and musical events and distribute Women's music. In 1979 we relocated to northern California and traveled internationally with singer/songwriter Holly Near. For 15 years we produced cultural events, music festivals, and albums at Redwood Records.
The transformative work of Harriet Lerner caught our attention in 1990 and we migrated to the publishing industry, returning to Kansas City. It has been our privilege to work with many prominent authors, including Harriet Lerner and Susie Bright for over two decades, and more recently with Brené Brown and Diana Kander. We have consulted with many authors including Craig Barnes, Deborah Tannen, Mollie Katzen, and Esther Perel. We've negotiated contracts and worked with major publishing houses and as well as independent ones.
Clients have valued our inventive thinking in creating strategic marketing plans that utilize both traditional and alternative approaches to career building. We have valued working with creative people and forging new paths together. Having a work environment that has allowed us to be authentic and inclusive while having fun has been a joy.
In 2014, we were thrilled to see three books we represent on The New York Times Best Seller list... at the same time!
"Jo-Lynne Worley and Joanie Shoemaker have mentored and guided me through every aspect of the publishing and entertainment jungle—from books to film to stage, their wisdom and savvy are incomparable. Their insight, chops, and advocacy are my 'secret weapons;' together, we're a team that doesn't blink at Goliath."
– SUSIE BRIGHT, best selling author and editor of over 30 books and creative provocateur of the weekly show on Audible.com– In Bed With Susie Bright.
"As a new writer trying to find my way in the rapidly changing and increasingly complex publishing industry, I needed more than a literary agent; I needed mentors and strategists. That's exactly what I found with Worley-Shoemaker. Jo-Lynne and Joanie know where the book industry has been and they're right on top of where it's going. From social media, book trailers, and webinars, to negotiating solid contracts and developing branding strategies—they know the book business. I'm grateful to have them in my corner."
– BRENÉ BROWN, professor, researcher, speaker, mother and lover of books, is the author of Daring Greatly, I Thought it Was Just Me and The Gifts of Imperfection, and was featured on three TED talks with more than 45 million views to date.
A Representative List
HARRIET LERNER, Ph.D., is the author of numerous scholarly articles and ten books, including the New York Times bestseller, The Dance of Anger, which has sold more than three million copies. Lerner's books have been translated into more than thirty foreign editions. For more than three decades, Lerner was a staff psychologist and psychotherapist at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. She currently has a private practice in Lawrence, Kansas.
Harriet's newest book, Why Won't You Apologize? Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts, is now available in paperback. www.harrietlerner.com
BRENÉ BROWN, Ph.D., L.M.S.W., is a research professor at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work. She is the author of The Gifts of Imperfection (over 50 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list) and I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t). Her groundbreaking work has been featured on PBS and NPR and is the topic of three talks featured on TED.com which have been translated into more than thirty-eight languages.
Her career defining book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead debuted at #1 and on the NY Times Bestseller list for over 50 weeks. Brené is featured with Oprah on many OWN programs. www.brenebrown.com
SUSIE BRIGHT is a bestselling and award winning author, editor, performer, and teacher, with over 30 books in print. She is the host of the original and provocative weekly show In Bed with Susie Bright on Audible.com and a pioneer in feminist and sexual politics. Susie's memoir, Big Sex, Little Death, is now out in paperback. www.susiebright.com
JENNY SUE KOSTECKI-SHAW Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw is a freelance illustrator and children's book author living in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. She has been illustrating books, cards and gift products, toys and room decor since 1996 for clients including Henry Holt, 10-Speed Press, Hallmark Cards, Land of Nod, and more. Jenny is the author/ illustrator of the multi-award winning children's books My Travelin' Eye and Same, Same but Different. Her new book, Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest, retells Julia Butterfly Hill's fascinating story for young readers. jennysuekosteckishaw.com
CRAIG BARNES was passionately involved in the sweeping tumult of history. The author of several award-winning books and plays, his most recent book, Democracy at the Crossroads won the Gold Medal in History from the Independent Publishers Book Awards, 2010. A civil rights attorney and negotiator in national and international disputes, Craig was at work on a new book when he died in November 2015. He is missed. www.craig-barnes.com
STEVE ILARDI, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, nationally renowned researcher, and award-winning lecturer. He is the author of over 40 publications on mental illness, including his book, The Depression Cure: The Six-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs, which outlines his groundbreaking Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) program for clinical depression. View his 2013 TEDxKC talk here.
SANDRA JOSEPH played the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera for nearly a decade. Now, she has taken her passion for the stage down a new path, serving as an inspirational speaker, workshop leader and author for audiences everywhere. Her new book — Unmasking What Matters: 10 Life Lessons from 10 Years on Broadway — launches on January 23, 2018 in step with the 30th anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, which occurs on January 26th and will be celebrated all year. www.sandrajoseph.com
DIANA KANDER is a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. She focuses her research and writing on evidence based entrepreneurship. Diana has mentored hundreds of startups and advised educators and Fortune 500 executives on her methodology to successfully launch new products and services. Married to her high school sweetheart, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, Diana is the proud mom to their son, True. She is the author of Ny Times bestselling book All In Startup, a business novel that outlines a simple process entrepreneurs and existing companies can use to launch new initiatives.
JANINE SHEPHERD'S story reads like the plot of a Hollywood movie. An Australian national champion skier in training for the 1988 Olympics, Janine was hit by a truck on a bike ride, suffering multiple life-threatening injuries. Even if she survived, she faced the likelihood of life in a wheelchair. She defied the odds.
Janine has reinvented her life over and over. Her TED talk—A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person—has been viewed almost 2 million times.
DEFIANT brings her amazing story to the USA, where she now lives. As she puts her life together, one piece at a time, go on the journey with her as she discovers universal truths about living, in pain, on this planet. www.janineshepherd.com
LAURA AND SUE STACHLER are the founders of susansnaps - a nationally known gingersnap cookie company. Their company, with its unique story, has been featured in a variety of media outlets, most notably: ABC World News, TODAY, and CNN.
At twenty-two years old and a week before college graduation, Susan was diagnosed with the same disease that her mom’s sister, Sue, died from at twenty-eight. Susan and her mom find themselves on an unbelievable journey from cancer to cookies. A hopeful and heartwarming story of the incredible bond between a mother and daughter, The Cookie Cure is about learning to carry on when things get tough and allowing life to take you where you never imagined. www.susansnaps.com
"I didn’t know how to talk to my publisher, potential event producers or the media until Jo-Lynne Worley came into my life. She played hardball with the publisher when they didn’t do what they had agreed to. Jo-Lynne got my books back in the stores and coached me on so many details. Mating in Captivity wouldn’t have become a success without her."
– ESTHER PEREL, author of Mating in Captivity.