Friday, February 28, 2014
Mercury Direct as of 9 AM EST (but can still wonk things until tomorrow)
Sunny and cold
Decent work day yesterday. I’m very close on the play, which is a relief. I think I finally found the key to making it work.
Ran some errands, dropped off books, picked up books, did some research, got some more work done on TRUE HOME and adapting the second episode of TALENT.
Wrote a kick-ass LOI that will go out with the script packets next week.
Did a bunch of pitches and LOIs; got some good responses immediately. Looking back at my pitch log, February’s responses were much higher than January’s, and the places to which I sent LOIs because I was interested had a much higher rate of positive response than any job postings. On the downside, as usual, there were still too many “writers” looking for “editors” who expect professional level work done for free. No. This is my business, not my hobby.
Happy that I have two more acceptances from my publisher; now that Mercury is going direct, I can actually sign the contracts.
Wrote, edited, polished, and submitted a review for a book I really enjoyed. My editor’s already shipped out my next batch.
Also, the books arrived via UPS for the first of the three contests I’m judging this spring. He had to use the dolly to get them to the house. One box was 50 lbs, the other 32 lbs. So exciting to open them!
The cover designs ALL look good this year. Really nice work.
Once the boxes were opened, I sorted the books into categories (I’m judging three categories for this contest). Then, I took the packing list to cross check what I’m supposed to have with what was actually in the box. Some of the missing ones are still to ship; some will be submitted electronically. I wrote up the list and sent it to Contest Central, to make sure our lists matched. Contest Central sent me the ebooks last night, and we matched lists again. The other books will be shipped shortly, and then we’ll finalize lists. The books are boxed in categories, with their judging sheets, ready to read.
I started in on the reading last night. Every time I pick up an entrant’s book, I want to fall in love with it. It doesn’t always happen, but I always start filled with optimism. I WANT these writers to succeed.
As I finish each book, I put it in one of three piles for its category: The Yes Pile, The No Pile, The Maybe Pile. If it’s submitted electronically, I put my notes for that book in the particular pile, so it gets the same amount of attention as the print books. Once I’ve completed the category, I go through each pile again, re-reading the notes, seeing how I still feel about each book, now that I’ve read everything in that category. As I read them, each book must stand or fall on its own. Once they’ve all been read, I have to weigh them against each other. Sometimes it means re-reading sections. Then, I go through The Maybe Pile yet again, making a final decision as to whether a book in it goes into Yes or No. The Maybe Pile is now empty.
Then, I go through The Yes Pile as many times as I need to, deciding which I think is the strongest book in the category, and which I feel are the four runners-up. That’s the list I submit.
I do this for each category. The writers poured their hearts and souls into their books, and I want every book to have a fair shot.
Busy weekend, lots of writing to get done, so I better get moving. We are going to be slammed with another major storm Sunday/Monday. Enough already!
Have a great weekend!