In a way, my last blog entry, was about the value of time. Masquerading as a blog entry about searching for a literary agent. Or was it the other way around?
I used to love putting a quarter into the mini-vending machines in the supermarket lobby. In exchange, I might get a tiny ball laced with little flecks of multicolored glitter. Or a chalky flavored necklace made of pastel candy beads. Or even the coveted gold colored wristwatch which mysteriously never kept time.
Receiving an offer of representation by a literary agent is flattering. It means someone is willing to risk his quarter on the chance your book will sell.
Publishers, too, are gambling on the book’s success. A publisher spends money on producing a book in quantity for bookstores as well as on paying an advance to the author. But this pre-expenditure of a whole lot of quarters is exactly why publishers are cautious.
But Benjamin Franklin, the time management guru of the 1700’s, pointed out Time is Money. A person who could be earning ten dollars an hour but sits in Starbucks half a day not writing, he says, is actually losing more than the cost of her triple mocha latte. She’s losing the cost of the drink plus the $40 less local, state, federal taxes and withholding —
Okay, that’s not exactly what he said, but you get my drift. And his. Time is valuable.
And it seems to me that the person who is putting in the most time on any novel is the author.
The author has put all her quarters into that vending machine. She is totally committed to the bouncy ball, necklace or watch encased in a see-through plastic orb which will roll down the chute when she turns the knob. So in a very real sense, emotional investment aside, the author has a financial investment in each book that far exceeds the investment an agent or even a publisher is likely to make.
Which raises a question, Ms. Author.
Who is more likely to work her buns off to make your book succeed? You or your literary agent?
Who cares more about your long term success as a writer, you or your publisher?
If you answered “Me” maybe you should consider indie publishing.
In my next blog entry in this series, I’ll explore the challenges of indie publishing as compared with traditional publishing.
Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. Wednesday is generally book review day. Unless it isn’t. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at www.rosegreybooks.com. Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.