Today, as my prize for having won the 2017 Writers; League of Texas Manuscript Contest for Nonfiction, I met with Andy Ross. Andy is from the West Coast and represents authors who write books in a wide range of subjects including narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, current affairs, contemporary culture, religion, children’s books and commercial and literary fiction. He was also the nonfiction judge in the 2017 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest.
My prize for winning was 10 minutes with Andy. To put things in context, I was scheduled to meet Andy at the 2017 Agents & Editors Conference here in Austin, Texas. This conference enables members of the Writers’ League of Texas to meet with agents to pitch their book projects and/or to meet with editors that might help edit their work. Any member can schedule a session with an agent or an editor by paying for it up front. I think 10-minute sessions are around $20 each.
Andy was entirely charming and honest. We hit it off with the realization that my work would never be picked up by an agent or a publisher because it has little market value. The work is a biography of John Cotton, the 17th-century puritan patriarch of New England who left Boston, England and helped establish Boston, Massachusetts. Andy said that normally an academic publisher might be interested but only if I were to have “academic credentials”, which is to say a member of academia with Ph.D. I already knew this but it was good to hear Andy say, “Your work is written very well.” Like most wanna-be writers, I need as much encouragement as I can get. My time with Andy wrapped up with us agreeing that the best route for me is to self-publish. So stay tuned, as I continue down that path.