Monday, March 20, 2006

The nature of the, uh . . . professionals in publishing.

Well, this was the big weekend, the weekend for the judging of the esteemed (or whatever) Needles. All the judges finished the books and we were to discuss (in two separate conversations--one for Literary and one for Commercial) the books on topic, and to pick a winner (I was just a guide, not giving any influence.)

So, I had two conference calls (at my expense--sheesh) for each category. And the funny thing is, what happened is what you might expect to have happened. The calls were indicative of the type of work they were reviewing. What am I getting at?

The Literary conference call lasted 84 minutes.

The Commercial conference call lasted 16 minutes.

The Commercial judges were quick, incisive, and armed with a clear cut favorite. The Literary judges had several favorites and wanted to discuss them, almost be convinced out of their opinions. (One judge had us wait so she could make a cup of tea!)

When all was said and done, though, we had winners in hand--even though I was at one point unsure if the Literary folks were going to come to a conclusion; two of the judges were firm on their selections (different books) so the third had to break the tie.

The winners will be announced Wednesday, March 22nd at which point I will send out the results to various publishing professionals--some of the very best folks out there--now with 41 editors and 20 editors interested in getting the inside scoop, folks from such esteemed groups as William Morris, ICM, Trident, Writer's House, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Grove/Atlantic, Tor, Warner and a whole bunch more.

Stay tuned, folks.