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  • Page To Fame Raters–I LOVE You!

    Posted on February 14th, 2011 jean 2 comments

    “Wow.”

    The raters over on WEbook’s Page To Fame contest have knocked my socks off. Seriously. Socks across the room, stuck in a plant.


    As some of you may have read, I’ve been doing the Page To Fame thing over on WEbook. I have one submission that has made it to round 3 (submit 50 pages). Currently it has 7 ratings and a 72% elevation rate (that means 72% of the readers gave it a 4 or 5 out of 5 and therefore want it to go to the next level). That in itself makes me feel pretty good! But what really wows me is not only how many of the raters have plucked the very questions/thoughts, etc., I have from my mind about my work, but also wonderful, giving comments like this:

    “That said, I truly admire the quality of the writing itself—-IMHO you’re writing at a professional level, which I think is rare here.”

    Wow. Just Wow. What an amazing compliment. Truly. This person had issues with the format–something I have struggled with. Do I keep it all letter style or not? I tell you this: Page to Fame rocks. I get to see what readers think and how they react to my work. Maybe I will change the format. Maybe not. We’ll see what they tell me because quite honestly these wonderful readers and raters are rockin’ my socks off and giving me a much needed boost. Thank you anonymous rater–you made my week! Heck, my month!

    (And yes, you may have heard through the grapevine that it took my about 2 weeks to suck up enough courage to look at these ratings. Talk about needing to grow a pair!)

    In my opinion, these raters’ comments are spot on. And I really appreciate the time they have put in to not only reach the status of a round 3 rater, but how they have given up their time to rate a stranger’s work (50 pages) and provide such helpful feedback (300+ words).

    Thank you, raters! You are doing a fab job–very professional and helpful and us WEbookers appreciate you and all your hard work!

  • Get Noticed by Agent Deidre Knight

    Posted on November 25th, 2010 jean 4 comments

    Deidre Knight of the Knight agency is holding a little something special on November 30th. Are you looking for an agent? Hoping to get noticed, but want to try something a little more daring than emailing a query?

    May I ask if you have tried speed dating an agent? Because when it comes to Deidre Knight, She’s Just That Into You!

    Okay, after Tuesday’s post about not querying agents anywhere you happen across them, you might be scratching your head and wondering what sort of wacky tobacky Jean’s found. (It’s just an eggnog chai latte–I swear! No rum or anything!) Because doesn’t the recommendation to speed date an agent kind of going against that earlier advice?

    Yes. And no. Let Ms. Knight (as per her agency blog) explain for me:

    Knight Agency president and founder Deidre Knight is on the hunt for a fresh, unique voice to add to her personal client roster. Are you the one she’s looking for? Find out by joining us here on The Knight Agency blog for “Speed Dating with Deidre.” Beginning Tuesday, November 30th, Deidre will whittle down the first 125 entries to one lucky winner.* The contest opens at 8:00am ET right here on the blog, so set your alarms!

    Oh, and there’s a special bonus, one randomly drawn winner will receive a first chapter critique from Deidre – drawn from all entries.**

    That’s right… she’s looking for a new voice. Is yours what she is looking for? If you think it might be, post your name on the contest blog post on the 30th. In the meantime, check out your manuscript and give it a polish if you think it might need it, and also be sure to check out her submission guidelines (what she’s interested in representing) as well as the rest of the contest rules.
    Good luck and may November 30th be your lucky day.

    P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers. May your turkey be moist and succulent and your pie heaped with mounds of whipped cream. Mmmmm!

  • Lucky UK?

    Posted on October 20th, 2010 jean 2 comments

    Two chances to get your writing noticed in the United Kingdom!

    First is Penguin (yes, the publisher) over in the UK. Until the end of the month they are accepting queries (along with a synopsis–no word on the preferred length). Generally, big publishing houses such as this one do not allow writers to query them directly as they prefer their queries to come from agents–it lessens the load. So, regularly if you query–they ignore, shred, or simply dump your query in a slush pile where someday someone might actually find your submission and get back to you–but most likely not.

    More details on this chance here. (The good news on this one is that it doesn’t matter where you call home–you can submit!)

    Good luck!

    Second up is also UK centered. Transworld Publishers (another publisher) is seeking full length novels in their Terry Pratchet contest. The clicker is that you must be a citizen of the UK  or a Commonwealth country. That includes CANADA!!!! Yipee!

    The deadline is December 31st, 2010. More details here.

    Best of luck!

  • WEbook Round 2 Update

    Posted on August 28th, 2010 jean 2 comments

    I’ve noticed that a few fellow aspiring writers have been getting a bit peeved about the lack of meaningful feedback in the WEbook Page to Fame contest. (You get a number ranking out of 5 and if raters so wish to, they can click on some pre-made comments that may apply, or add their own typed comment.) Personally, I have been finding the feedback pretty good–especially for a contest.

    For the first 50 or so ratings my piece was garnering a 68 – 70% elevation rate. (That means of the 50 raters, 68-70% were giving it a 4/5 or a 5/5 and wanted to see it elevated to the next round of the contest.) Talk about being pleased with myself as well as completely shocked and stunned.

    In fact, I started to worry and wonder. How was it that my piece was speaking to this many readers? While most raters rate in the genre of their interest (mine being women’s fiction), my story starts with a woman at her most unhinged moment. That doesn’t exactly speak to everyone.

    Then in the last week or so my ratings have slid down to the mid-60s for elevation ratings. While disappointing, I’ve also gotten a few written comments about my main character. I love it! Here’s why: The way I see it she’s either going to make the reader hoot with laughter, cry along with her sorrows, or want to completely wring her neck and then punt her in the pants. It’s going to depend upon the reader’s personality as well as their life experiences. In a nutshell, they will react differently to her and that is what I am seeing this week in a few lowered ratings as well as a few comments about the fact that she is ‘unpleasant’ and a ‘lunatic.’ Excellent.

    The latest reviews: 68 ratings, 63% want it elevated (chose 4s or 5s).

    Another reason why I love the comments about her being a nutjob is because she is getting under their skin of the reader in 1200 words or less and that she is getting so under their skin that they are feeling compelled to take the time to write me a comment. How wonderful is that? Even if they don’t like her and would toss the book across the room, I’m getting to them. (And yeah, maybe it would be nice if they loved her to pieces, but still. They took the time to write a comment!)

    So, darlings, it’s in the pudding. What I mean is, feedback tells you something about your work and that, my dears, can be absolutely wonderful.

    Good luck!

  • WEbook Round 2

    Posted on June 17th, 2010 jean 11 comments

    Awhile back I mentioned that my ‘experimental’ submission in the WEbook contest blew me away and got elevated to the next round in their Page To Fame contest.

    A few days ago I posted the next bit of the story along with a ‘read more’ sample. Nothing happened in terms of ratings for a few days so I forgot about it. Then this morning I was editing for a client and needed a change of brain pace. So, I popped over to AgentQuery Connect and noticed people were chatting on the WEbook thread. (They were talking about a survey that was sent out to participants.) That reminded me that I hadn’t checked WEbook in awhile.

    So, I popped over there and had my mind blown. Here’s what I saw:

    Um, wow! 75% of the 8 current raters want it elevated to round 3. I don’t even know what to say. Well, except that ratings always change and maybe these eight were having a Drink and Rate party and were at that happy stage when they came to my story. Joking aside, these are pretty sweet stats.

    As for those comments in the feedback bit (sorry the image is blurry), 2 chose the canned response “Great writing,” 5 chose “Engaging plot,” 3 chose “Love the idea,” 2 chose “Can’t wait to read more,” 4 chose “intriguing characters,” and 1 chose “Don’t like the idea.” (Raters can chose more than one reply–the first 5 are canned responses and the last one is a ‘something else’ which is filled in by the rater.)

    Cool beans! I can’t wait to see what this story does.