At the Willamette Writers conference in mid-August 2016, I scheduled two pitch times with two agents to present my manuscript. During my first pitch, on Saturday, the agent I spoke to very kindly explained the specific reasons why she didn’t believe she could take the book to market — and I knew her advice was spot on. The market on fitness books is oversaturated, and I’m not a celebrity or a subject matter expert with outstanding credentials.
That afternoon, given those fresh insights, I decided to “pivot” rather than “persevere.” Rather than starting an uphill struggle through either traditional or self-publishing, with an uncertain market, I’m now planning to use the content in Fit, Fudge, Fine for the equally important purpose of building my author platform. I’m still deciding what this looks like, but I anticipate selected topics will appear in blog posts and medium.com articles. I’ll take the opportunity to improve the writing and implement feedback from beta readers. I’ll keep an eye toward collecting the articles in a book later, the way my friend Lisa Schmidt collected her columns into the book Prairie Ponderings).
I slept on it, and it still felt like the right decision Sunday morning.
Sunday, instead of pitching my manuscript to the second agent, I pitched myself instead and asked for her career advice. She gave me great guidance on how to position myself as a nonfiction writer and took my business cards. I got inspired to keep reshaping my career, and who knows, I might get a referral.
If you’re a beta reader for Fit, Fudge, Fine, please know the time you’ve spent reading and providing feedback is not at all wasted. All those chapters are still going to see the light of day…just not in the way I had originally envisioned. I’ll keep you posted.