Tag Archives | slush pile

The new slush pile.

My to-be-read pile grows weekly. I make a dent in it every week but then it grows some more.

  • I make a random ebook purchase.
  • I grab a book or two from the library.
  • Books arrive in the mail that I’ve won online.
  • I make a bigger purchase of new hard covers. (I always read these.)
  • I download free traditional ebooks, usually the first in a series.
  • I buy used books for a penny plus shipping off Amazon.

The hard truth is that I don’t read them all – even ones that at some point I couldn’t wait to read.

Samples that I enjoyed build up on my Kindle so I remember to buy them later when I need a good read.

In this new digital age, the slush pile is transferring to the reader – and this includes both traditionally and self published books.

More than ever we need to hook our reader from our premise, to the blurb, to the cover, to the first page and the first chapter.

For me, there’s a crack on the first page and it’s either wide open or it’s just a sliver.

Sometimes I sense just a sliver of emotion, voice, and story but I try. I push my way across the page, hoping to squeeze into the book and fall in love. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen.

Other times, the emotions are raw, the voice captivating, the words powerful. Maybe a question is raised with a strong mystery; and I fall headfirst into that wide open crack and don’t look back.

How do you determine which book to pluck from your pile?

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It's that time of the year

From every corner of America. From every walk of life.

(Any clue yet?)

All professions. Hundreds. Thousands. All who think they are…

the next American Idol NYT Best Seller.

I love watching American Idol. The personal stories. The heartbreak. The emotion. Watching people change and grow as they pursue their dreams. (kind of like reading a good book)

Isn’t that what we are all doing? Chasing dreams?

Even if you are not a writer. You may be a photographer. Or a potter. Or a business owner. Or a mom. Or a dad. We can relate to the singers (okay, maybe not all of them) in their struggle to do what they love to do.

But let’s be honest. If we are watching with a writer’s eye, we might start biting our nails or pacing the floor. Where are we on the journey?  Are we the one with natural talent? The one who really thinks we’re great because our friends, family, and other writers have told us so? Or the one who is…forgettable. (What a horrible horrible word.)

The auditions to make it to Hollywood are like one humongous slush pile. And while these auditions are going on, I’m going to be thinking about the infamous writer slush pile.

Most importantly?

What I can learn from it.

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