For Your Enjoyment




I toyed with calling this “Serve Me Up on a Platter for Your Boss,” or “What the Big House Really Thinks of Your Unagented Submissions.”  You decide. 

Setting:  ALA Conference in Seattle (January 2013); International NY publishing house booth.

Characters:         Me

                             Big House Editor

                             Big House Marketer (With a Kind Face)

                             USA Library Reps

                             Big House Employee of Unknown Role

Scene 1 (Duration: five minutes)

Me:                         Your books look great.  My class enjoyed this one… etc.

Editor:                   Thank you.  You should check this one out though, take a free copy, it’s   the Next Big Thing.

Librarians:           (looking wistfully at shelves of books) I really loved So and So.  What are they doing now?

Editor:                   (laughing) Focus people! (Holding up a YA book) Trust me: this is the Next Big Thing.

Enter: Positive Vibe and Too Much Moxy

Librarians             (consider the book Editor is holding)

Enter: Lull in Conversation

Me (to Editor): (holding up book) This is one of my books.  Do you ever accept unagented submissions?

Editor:                   (browsing my book’s cover) No, unless I meet someone at a conference and like their work.

Enter: The Big Choke (Can’t remember my own name).

Librarians:         (Ask Editor questions about the Next Big Thing).

Me:                        (Browse books at other opposite end of stall, muttering to self, see Marketer With a Kind Face, consider a second go, gather courage, etc.)  Do you ever publish books about… I have an idea for a way to market… etc.

Marketer:           Oh, you should really pitch to Editor.  She’s really important in our Big House.

Me:                        Oh, I just completely choked.

Marketer:           You should try again.  What have you got to lose?  Just tell her you choked.  Tell her Mary said to try again.  She’ll like that; it will make her laugh.

Exit:  Any Sense

Me:                        (brightening) Okay, I will.

Marketer:           That’s the spirit!

Editor:                  (Talking to Librarians)

Enter: Lull in Conversation

Me (to Editor):   I choked on my pitch before.  Mary thought that would make you laugh.

Editor:                (not laughing) That’s okay. I don’t do pitches.

Me:                      (still clueless).  That’s perfect!  So skip the pitch, let me tell you about this unique idea I have for a picture book.

Editor:                It wouldn’t work and I don’t do pitches.  I let the writing speak for itself.

Me:                        Great.  Can I send you one of my pieces?

Enter: The Big Brush Off

Editor:                   I don’t do cover letters; I know if I like something on the first page.  I don’t do pitches. My advice to you is to get a Literary Agent.  Sorry if that’s too f****** brutal for you.

Me:                        Not brutal at all, I know it’s a competitive Market.  Thanks for your advice.  (Glance at Marketer).

Marketer:           (Eyeing Editor and I; giggling to Big House Employee of Unknown Role, also watching us)


About pjsarahcollins

teacher, author, reader
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