Since I’m pretty open on this blog–especially when it comes to my bygone attempts to be a “traditionally published author” I’m going to discuss an e-mail received this evening…
In the past few month, since I finished my book and started this blog, I’ve embraced my moniker of “Indie Author”…it’s sort of my thing…a thing I never really intended, but adore nonetheless. I went into writing, when I decided to publish, wanting to be traditional, thinking that if I managed to push open to gates to the literary world, I’d feel legit. Give me an advance, an agent, an editor, a thick hardcover, an e-file, a trade paper back and a contract that encouraged me to keep writing. It would be success, I would be a success. Let’s be frank, that’s the carrot I was chasing.
Those were my grass root wants.
The reality was something very, very different. But, I like to believe I embraced it. My new wants and needs are something different–maybe even more exciting.
So that brings us here….
This evening while I was checking my e-mail, I noticed an “exclusive invitation” from one of the agent’s I queried before. She had said no to me and my book, and I moved that reply to the trash along with all the other rejections. But today…that agent reached out again. Only this time, it wasn’t about my book–but about my query.
What she is offering me is this…
For $50.00, she’ll edit my query, read the first 20 pages of my book, help me use my author-voice to make a salable agent-friendly finished, polished, mainstream product. No, she’s not going to represent me…no, she doesn’t want too. It’s unethical according to the AAR. But, she does want to help. She wants to give me industry relevant feedback. That’s all. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Self published authors are saying…NO, NO, NO…RUN AWAY.
But I wonder…can it really be that bad? What are the risks? Do they outweigh the gain? Can learning to be better–even at cost–be that bad?
The thing is, all of this (every little bit, in every little corner, in every little room) is new. I’m not a seasoned professional, I’m hardly a paraprofessional, I’m hacking away at this whole “author” thing every single day. And the truth of the matter is this: it’s not easy. Every little bit of advice, kindness, help…it matters, it makes a whole world of difference. It’s where I build confidence to keep going when doors and windows are closing.
I’m getting better at what I do because I’ve sought the people who are already good at those things. I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m figuring out what my potential is by taking the chances required to discover that.
It’s true..what they say…nothing is free. I pay for a book cover, an editor, press releases…why wouldn’t I pay for a working professional to look at my query with the eyes of an editor? It’s just not an opportunity every author has…I just happened to query one agent who, although not willing to take me on as a client, is still willing to work with me to make me a better author. $50.00 won’t break me…but missing the chance to learn…well, that might just be my undoing.
I’m curious. I wrote this book, I think it’s good–this is my chance to find out why she didn’t agree. What did I miss? Where was I lacking? If she can show me those things, then–although I don’t believe I’ll continue querying– I can jog the lesson to blurb crafting moving forward.
I’m going into this applying the motto that I’ve lived by since the start…nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Stay tuned as this trip takes a whole new turn…I’ll post a follow-up blog where I’ll share my before meets after. Hopefully we can all learn from this.