Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'M NO HOOKER!

WARNING! The blog you are about to read is little more than a rant littered with whining, speculation and enough self-doubt to make Paris Hilton feel chunky.

That said, grab a cocktail and a handful of Advil...you're going to need them.


Over the last few months I've entered SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS in 2 online pitch contests. One generated a request for the full manuscript (still waiting to hear on that one) and the other, as of this past Wednesday, generated an offer to publish.
Good news, right?! In theory, YES. It is good news. Someone likes my book enough to want to publish it. OR DO THEY???
Here's the skinny: With the help of some blogging buddies I've determined that this company is legit, but not a whole lot different than self publishing. (First e-books, then when enough have sold -- 100 I believe, then paper & hardbacks) True, I don't have to put any cost out of pocket--they pay for everything and the royalties begin at 45%. (Me likey more money). The downside is no advances, I do the majority of my own promotion and...here's the kicker, NO AGENT.

WHAT? NO AGENT?!


Yes, and now we segue into problem #1: The contest wasn't to pitch an AGENT (Realized this after the fact). The contest was to pitch to an EDITOR of a small, independent publishing house founded by authors & editors who were sick of publishers dictating the market. In theory, also cool--but venturing forward w/out an agent? (and a full time job)...

Do I want my book published? YEAH
.
Do I want to sell my book once it's published? DUH
.
Can I do that by myself? (cannot answer...laughing too hard)

And now we encounter problem #2: The editor. She's a nice woman who answers all of my questions in great detail. All except one. She won't tell me if she's actually read the whole book! She requested the first 3 chapters after the pitch fest, which then led to a request for the full 2 weeks ago. Since then the offer came through but she's yet to comment on the story--even when I've asked if there are specific areas that will need revision, etc. Has she read the book? Does it just fit into their now-expanding YA category? When I think about all the work I put into this book--I don't want to hand it over to someone who isn't wildly crazy about it.

Which leads me to my last problem, and it's a killer...


Problem #3: MY PRIDE!
I have to be honest--I feel a little bit like a girl out walking who was mistaken for a hooker. That's not to say all hookers are bad people--hey, we all gotta eat, right? That's just to say that my book, my hard work, my dream--isn't for sale at a bargain basement sale. I don't want to be the Kathy Griffin of the book world. I want to be Jerry Seinfeld, or Chris Rock or...well, you get what I'm saying. I want to be taken seriously and going this route just doesn't seem like the right one. For me, anyway.

So now, as I sit here on this cloudy, chilly Sunday afternoon,I feel like I've just done something horribly stupid. Although deep down I know it was the right thing to do. (Yes, this is the self-doubting portion of the blog. If you haven't thrown the pills back yet, go ahead and do that now). There are 3 other agents reviewing the full MS and 3 partials. I've gone ahead and emailed them all letting them know of this recent development.


Am I hoping this will prompt one of them to realize that MAYBE there's some potential there they might not have seen before, just knowing someone wants to publish me? YES.


Do I think all 6 of those agents are cracking up at their computers right now because I had the audacity to believe this offer was legitimate enough to warrant me emailing them? YES. YES I DO.

Do I think I've now set myself up for 6 rejections all within the same week and that all hope I had of obtaining an agent for this book are about to go down the crapper? YES!!!!


*For clarification: I think self-publishing and this direct author/publisher route I've described above are perfectly respectable and legitimate ways to publish a book. It's just not what feels right to me right now. Props to all the mad-writers out there who've done it successfully!*