Priming the Needle.
Yes, we here at POD-Dy Mouth Global Incineration and Fine Produce are looking at this year's potential Needle nominees. And it is going to be tough--even tougher than last year.
I was hoping to find 20 titles to review this year, but I am probably going to have to settle for 15 or 16. The biggest difference between 2005 and 2006 is that last year I reviewed self-published titles that were good, excellent, and outstanding. This year, I only reviewed the outstanding ones--which means it is going to be very difficult to leave some books out of the running.
Not to mention that I am not going to nominate 10 books like last year. It will likely be one category only (with more judges) and no more than five titles.
The other factor here (though playing no role in title selection) is that so many of this year's picks already have agents attached. Last year, all but one of the authors were unrepresented. This year, close to a third of the authors have acquired agents already.
In any case, I must reiterate how astounded I am that books as well-written and compelling as those I have reviewed are drifting out in the ether. What a shame. I hope above all things that you have checked out some of these books and realized that there are some talented authors buried in obscurity. And the point of the Needles is to change that for the better.
Stay tuned. Needle nominees should be announced at some point in February.
After the awards are handed out, get ready for some changes here at the Mouth. And I'm not just talking better cheese trays in the conference room.