So there I was at Open Secret Bookstore, in San Rafael, California, my favorite place to hang out, sip homemade chai, and work on writing.
And this person comes in with postcards for a new book he's published and we start chatting about books and publishing and I point out my self-published book, The Pain Companion, and he politely takes a look. I wander off.
He's still looking at it when I return.
This book is really well done, he says, and I thank him. He introduces himself as Patrick Miller of Fearless Literary Agency and he says he'd like to represent me. I am flattered, of course, but hey, I say, I don't have a platform - you know, thousands of fans on social media, the workshop circuit, a name, and a following. It's what publishers want these days, right?
He says, right, but I think it won't matter with this book. I think this book is worth publishing without that, he says. I'm dubious. Not about the book's value, but about any publisher picking up an unknown author like me. I mean, do I really want a traditional publisher anyway? I've heard tales of how they take your book and change it and then drop it if you don't become a bestselling author in like, 3 months.
I don't say anything because I've already decided that the only publisher I really want to work with is New World Library. They did a great job with The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and they seem interested in the longevity of books and long-term relationships with authors. I would like to work with them if I could get in the door, but, of course, I can't get in the door because I don't have a platform.