Just before I got my first job in television I was working closely with the team at Procter & Gamble (Hi, John, wherever you are!). Since I had absolutely no previous experience in television writing my big concern was that I was at the same level as working writers whose material was airing. To get confirmation of that was a big deal. I felt I had achieved something significant.
Fast forward to nowish. Over the weekend I emailed 2 chapters and the cover of Bad Apple to an agent who treated me with professional courtesy and who exhibited an excellent disposition. She was in the editorial side of Big 6 publishing for many years until she retired and decided to do a little agenting on the side. I suspect she was rapidly overwhelmed by people who want representation and she cut back to nonfiction only. I would have loved to be represented by her because she was such a nice lady and has a ton of experience but it wasn't to be. The reason I sent her the material was to thank her because something she had said about Sweet Cider was what pushed me into the clarity of Bad Apple. I appreciate that she took the time to say anything at all and wanted to let her know that tidbit was nurtured and bloomed.
Her reply reminded me of being on the brink of television work. Was I threshold level then. Now the question becomes can an independent author working completely on their own without paying for cover art reach a level equal to traditional publishing.
Here's the quote
"Amazing cover--it's definitely the creepiest apple I've ever seen!"
Things to feel good about.