Wading through the sea of Print-on-Demand titles, one overpriced paperback at a time--and giving you the buried treasure.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Here is a letter I recently received from a jaded soul who entered the Kirkus Contest. I've received many emails of this type over the last few months--form jaded Kirkus hopefuls, that is--and thought I would share with all of you. Here is the email in its entirety (please add "aw, shucks" at all complimentary sentences):
Dear POD-y Mouth:
Having found it having Googled "Kirkus LiteraryAward," I have been reading your blog and must say I thoroughly enjoy it. Insightful and well-written.
I entered the kirkus kontest, being that I was a mite frustrated with publishers and my agent. Including making the copies, shipping, and that $150 entry fee, the whole megillah totaled about $200, as you predicted. Your points were spot on about this "contest" and the bogus "award" that comes with it. You win the contest, and you really lose.
It's been three months, and I haven't seen a winner yet. Despite my efforts to get information, I have not received a single telephone call, letter, or e-mail, letting me know about the results.
Kirkus has, however, cashed my check.
Wish I had found your blog earlier and saved some dough.
Calling Small Publishers The deadline for small publishers to be considered for our annual look at fast-growing small publishers feature is Feb. 10. To be considered, publishers with net sales between $2 and $10 million should submit sales figures, number of titles and number of employees in 2003, 2004, 2005 to email@example.com. Sales figures will be held in confidence. A summary explaining the reasons for growth should also be included.
Here is the scary thing: I am guessing PublishAmerica qualifies. I wonder if they know? If they want to be considered a real publisher (*cough*) then they should act like one and get involved here.
Any small press PODs out there hitting two million in sales yet? I hope so, but that is a lot of books, especially to be primarily restricted by online sales. The sooner the better for you guys! _________________ And, yes, the long awaited return of treasure on Monday! Stay tuned all!
Attention all (legitimate) agents and (respectable) editors!
Well, here we are the door of February, and--due to some silly idea I came up with last year after a bout with the flu--I am getting ready to make selections for the Needle Awards.
My initial interest in POD books was for the wrong reason: my friends and I used to make fun of them (covers and text alike) in the manner of a bunch of middle school doofuses. Then I found one that blew me away and I figured my editor would buy me a big juicy steak for getting a read before anyone had heard of it. Well, I got brushed aside (the nerve!) as the premise was too quirky.
Yeah, well, shortly thereafter Paramount bought the movie rights and Simon & Schuster published it.
So, I was right--and not my editor. Which got me thinking . . . are there more incredible books buried out there? Turns out there are: I managed to find 48 so far, with two more on the way (out of over a thousand read--or, at a minimum, started.)
So what's my point? Benefit from all the research (read: I've culled, just like your underpaid assistant(s)--except I'm free and much more attractive) I have completed over the last year.
That said, if you want to receive--via email--a PDF file profiling the finalists and the winners (when they are announced in March), send me an email and let me know. No need for body text, just send me something in the subject line like "Needle me" or "I've got big hands!" or something like that (and let me know who you are if your email is not something obvious, like firstname.lastname@example.org.)
So far, I've gotten interest from a bunch of editors and agents, from everywhere from Random to Tor to Billy Morris--not to mention that the judging of the five top books will come from two editors at big imprints and two agents with powerful firms.
What am I getting out of this? Not 15%, that's for sure.
I'm getting nothing--other than the happiness at seeing some fantastic books get the light they deserve. You guys missed them the first time around. Here's your second chance.
I am an author and instructor, in that order (for now.) My debut novel (which debuted in the midlist) was released by Penguin Putnam in 2004 and my second novel was released early 2006.
As for this blog, it has been profiled in many online magazines, blogs and news stories, including the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, the Boston Globe, the Dallas Morning News, the LA Times and Publishers Lunch.
To answer the deluge of questions I have been receiving from publicists: I'll review pretty much anything that is good--but it better be good, or I'll never look at another one of your books again. Then I'll hunt you down. Fiction preferred (no fantasy or young adult, go easy on the science fiction.) Non-fiction should be memoir, humor, self-help. Definite no-nos: cookbooks, textbooks, porn, books without verbs. And it must be POD (no small presses.) Otherwise, email with pitch first.