In an interview, when someone asked Lady Gaga what went through her mind the first time she heard her music on the radio, she said, “It’s about time.” This is much the way I feel about my first book sale.
Amidst the congratulations of friends and family, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed selling to a small press instead of a Harper Collins imprint. I’m not upset about the money or the fame, and I feel that the managing editor of my company is more accessible than Rupert Murdoch. Still, I don’t feel like I have taken a giant leap forward in my writing career. Rather, I feel like I have taken a small step.
On the other hand, maybe I’m being selfish in my disappointment. Sure, I don’t have a New York agent and $100,000, but I have a good editor who gets what I’m trying to do. I even got to give input on my cover art. And, unlike those going the self-publishing route, they’re paying me. Do I really have a right to feel down because I’m at a company that turns down 80% of their slush instead of 99%?
I suppose I have to remind myself that ultimately, the decision was mine. I do believe in the power and importance of small press, and in the digital age, I think they’re going to be more important than ever. I could have spent four more years honing my art and hoping to take things to the next level, and maybe I would, one day, see my work in print at a large house. But this way, I will have some nicely bound copies of my book and the chance to try my luck in the Kindle and Nook stores.
So what if a few dozen agents thought that either I wasn’t ready for the world or the world wasn’t ready for me? Maybe it’s time to let the world decide. If nothing else, I’m going to have an advance that will buy me a nice bottle of wine.