Thursday, February 01, 2007


Speaking of morning-breath-like contests . . .

I've got a busy weekend ahead (sort of) as I will be reviewing (and rereading, in some cases) many of this year's picks to select the Needle nominees for 2006.

So what? Well, that means that on Wednesday morning at 8:00am (unless I take the day off and sleep in) I will post the 2006 Needle Nominees on this very blog.

Stop yawning.

As I mentioned before, the only selections I made this year were the outstanding books, which means that selecting the best of them will be difficult--and that some will have to be left out.

Stay tuned and get ready!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Contests. They're like morning breath.

Here. Go win $10,000.


Over at the Gather/Simon & Schuster contest, it is like a recurring (bad) dream. Surfing over the entrants, I spotted over a dozen POD books that I passed on (and their ratings are relatively proportional to my opinion as best I can recall).

For all of you wondering what it is like to be in my shoes (8.5M) here is your chance. Some of the first chapters submitted are terrible (rated at 3 and under) and some are pretty good (rated, roughly, 6 and up) but most are simply average.

And just like American Idol, the best parts are the comments. Read what people are saying about the hard work of aspiring writers everywhere and see why it is important to get an objective party to read your work before you submit in anywhere--and to use your spell-checker.

One other note: Never underestimate the evil and self-serving nature of the human race. It appears there is a problem with authors (entrants) going in and "down-rating" the leading titles by giving them "1 star" reviews so that their own titles have a better chance. To those folks, I say, "May you be cursed to a lifetime of PublishAmerica contracts."

Monday, January 29, 2007

It's like American Idol, without the riches.

So many folks are fascinated by/with American Idol, and a huge percentage by the failure of the talent-impaired contestants. I wish I could say the same for vetting POD books; the entertainment level [of the bad ones] is, indeed, quite low.

But what a lot of folks don't realize is--just like commercially publishes authors--there are some hacks who don't belong there and some unrecognized folks who will never get a break [read: break in]. Guy's like John Mayer, for example, would never make it through American Idol (especially without his guitar)--or more on spot, singers like Madonna--with how picky the panel is. But we all know John Mayer and Madonna. Just like we know John Grisham.

The whole industry (publishing, sure--but really I mean the entire entertainment industry) is unfair. Even this blog is unfair. If I passed on your book for a review, don't take it personally. (Unless it really sucked. Then, well . . . .) I'm no different than an agent or an editor or your everyday reader (which is, essentially, all I am anyway) who takes a look and it either grabs or it doesn't. Entertainment is subjective, weird, fickle, and--to the dismay of every movie studio, publishing house, and record company--completely unpredictable.

So if you are a talented writer (you know who you are . . . and aren't) keep writing, keep plugging, keep making it better.

And pray for serendipity.