Does anyone remember those old Pace salsa commercials from the 90’s? The old stereotypical cowboys sitting around a camp fire asking about picante sauce, only settling for Pace brand because it was made in San Antonio and not New York City? When the chorus of cowboys sing in universal surprise and appalled that anyone would suggest such a travesty of a picante sauce made in NEW YORK CITY?!
Yes, well that gimmick has been floating through my head for the past couple of days as I pondered on whether or not to accept a huge writing opportunity in: NEW YORK CITY?!
My editor also happens to be a literary agent just getting her feet wet in the industry. While I didn’t hire her for agent purposes she was very impressed with my manuscript as she finished my final edits this past week and presented me with the link to an application for the semiannual writers conference where many if not most of the major publishing houses have agents in attendance. It’s two days of peer group workshops fine tuning the pitch and delivery of said pitch to the agents; with a second day of pitching to the actual agents for a select few authors. I guess it’s like the American Idol of the publishing world and she seriously thinks I have a shot to make it to the pitching round.
I was hit kind of out of left field with it all to be honest. I mean I was flattered, I was honored, I was excited; but I was also apprehensive and hesitant. It would be an opportunity that I would leap for if I was pitching something fictional that I had created and didn’t particularly care if my publishing house changed. It’s a little different selling my memoir, a story of my life to a publishing house who’s bottom line is to make money and wouldn’t care about the heart of the story itself.
Plus, if I sell it I lose control of my marketing. Right now I’m running a very limited, very specific marketing campaign to very select markets. Yes, I’d like to make some sales when it finally hits the shelves, but that isn’t my bottom line. I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do by writing the thing and then some with such a promising response from my advanced readers. Having the mere opportunity to go to New York is more than I ever imagined possible.
So… I’m still undecided. Hubs is very supportive and really wants me to go. He’s even volunteered to work extra hours to pay for the expenses of the trip and existing in New York for two days lol. The only thing holding me back is myself and what I decide to do with it. Being so unprepared for the opportunity in the first place I need to do a lot of work on queries and summaries and contracts and proposals and all of the businessy stuff I hadn’t even paid attention to until now.
The conference is semi-annual. There will be another in the Spring of 2019 and the Fall of 2019. I’m not entirely throwing the opportunity away if I decide to wait, but in today’s world where public opinion changes so rapidly I might lose my marketability, or the market will become saturated with those who didn’t hesitate.
Which, again, isn’t entirely a loss. I’m perfectly content independently publishing and letting it sit on the Amazon “shelves” unadvertised. I have a while to think on it… I’m sure you’ll hear all about it if I decide to go. Lol.