I have not yet participated in #PitMad, despite seeing two intense sessions of book pitches pass through my Twitter time line. It’s hard not to favorite some of my Twitter friends’ pitches, but I know it would be cruel to do so. A favorite on a #PitMad book pitch means an agent wants to discuss the submission of my friend’s manuscript. So, I wait silently.
While I have thirty completed manuscripts set in a fictional beach-side town on the California coast ready to be printed out, comb-bound, and sent to an agent or a publisher, I have committed my time and effort to the Cryptid Series. My Mission Point novels are ready to be worked over and polished; I just have no time for them. To pitch them on #PitMad would waste an agent’s time, would waste a publisher’s time, and would possibly take an opportunity from an aspiring author on Twitter–maybe even from one of my friends.
This journal entry today, however, is not about whether I participate or plan to participate in #PitMad. This is about a tweet which smacked me aware that I have apologizing to do.
I’ve not been entirely kind toward literary agents and publishing houses. I’ve howled and ranted, “Indie über alles!” as I’ve shaken my fist in absolute futility toward the publishing gods. I accept I made my choice.
When I chose to go indie, I didn’t have to poke at literary agents or big publishers. Their moat bridge may have been up and their portcullis down when I arrived, but I didn’t have to build a wall on my side out of spite. Again, I accept I made my choice.
The idea of #PitMad has allure: Someone at my side, fighting the good fight with and for me, appeals. Being an indie authorpreneur is exhausting and sometimes lonely; however, it doesn’t matter how tired I am or how lonely I feel. I could have been tired and polite the whole time. I could have considered the sources of my opinions before I expressed them with self-justified passion. Yet one more time, I accept I made my choice.
Now, I have said before that every author must decide one’s own path to take. I have suggested that authors research traditional and independent publishing. I have recommended that authors consider how much or how little help to seek on their own paths to publication. I accept I made that choice, too. I’m proud of that choice, and I want to make another choice I can be proud of:
I apologize, here and now, for any critical, off-the-cuff remarks I have made about literary agents and publishing houses.
I’ve met some wonderful literary agents on Twitter, people who I know will fight to see published a novel they truly believe in. I’ve read and loved books distributed by small publishing houses and by massive publishing houses. I will be deeply mindful of this as I move forward.
We all believe in the power of books, the magic of the written word. We all fight for literacy, for books to inspire and delight. We all want to see a new generation of writers rise from the pages of the books we leave behind–as others did for us.
I doubt I will ever join the #PitMad fray, yet I will spend each #PitMad day watching my friends’ Tweets roll past. I will hope they get their deserved stars from literary agents. I will cheer when they tweet that they landed an agent; I will cheer when they tweet that they contracted a publishing deal; I will cheer when they tweet photos of their newly-released books.
And that is a choice I am making right now.