I invited writers to submit a manuscript in need of editing. Each entrant had to provide a 'blurb' and a 3000 word extract.
A staggering 43 entries came in. I had the difficult task of selecting ten, and feel proud of having achieved a shortlist after much agonizing. It's a pity I couldn't have had a longer shortlist, but then it wouldn't have been short, would it?
The next stage of selection was done by the public.
I have spread the word as widely as I could. Each contestant was asked to do the same. And after all, success as an author is actually MORE dependent on marketing ability than on writing. This is sad but true.
Here is the table of votes received:
|Karen Favo Walsh||Alzheimer's Stories||127|
|Anne Maxwell High||An Aussie in America: laughter and lessons across the cultural divide||105|
|Mike Cole||Grand Vision||29|
|Trudy Schuett||Heart Man||24|
|Sandra Shirah||How to Start & Run a Profitable Home-Based Transcription Business!||4|
|Elspeth Geronimos||The Perfumed Oil Seller||4|
|Shirley Dicks||A Mother's Torment||4|
|Stan Thomas||Human Wrongs||2|
|Bob Brown||Master Your Moments: The Complete Guide to a Life of No Regrets.||1|
|Isabel Theunissen||Battle for the Bush||0|
Bob Brown decided it was less painful to pay me for editing immediately instead of drumming up votes. He is wrong: once the book is published, he'll be required to be a salesman and advocate for it. Read my little essay on the topic.
All ten shortlisted entries had considerable merit. The number of votes received do not rank them in order of quality, but in order of effort and skill in spreading the word. One entrant didn't even vote for her own book. Of course, there can be personal emergencies, extended computer crashes, competing life demands that get in the way.
However, the same applies should the book ever be published. Not one copy will sell, unless potential buyers learn that it exists.
The first and second place getters had a royal battle. I was so impressed by them both that I decided to give BOTH OF THEM a free edit. After all, it's my contest, I can change the rules if I want to. :)
Here are the first and second placegetters:
5. Alzheimer's Stories
5. Alzheimer's Stories
Someone you love suffers from Alzheimer's Disease (AD), or you suspect they do. Curious behaviors surface long before an official diagnosis. Is your person hiding your shoes, repeating stories, wandering?
This caregiver's intimate account of Billie Jean Water's descent into AD illustrates the reality of caring for an Alzheimer's Disease patient. The early stages are frustrating, but funny. Flexibility and a sense of humor are important allies. The author advises, "If it doesn't work now, try again in five minutes," and "If you can't find something, check the freezer." Short, relevant chapters reveal denial, hygiene, safety, and assisted living challenges as the disease progresses.
Alzheimer's isn't pretty. There is no false rosy picture, or "poor-me" story here. Instead, this feels like information from an experienced friend. The reader watches Billie's decline, yet is left with hope and encouragement. The author's optimism convinces current and future caregivers they can battle this disease, and maintain the patient's dignity.
Friends, relatives, caregivers, and acquaintances of any Alzheimer's patient benefit from this tender story that celebrates the joy found tangled with the sorrow.
6. An Aussie in America: laughter and lessons across the cultural divide
Take an insider's tour of the similarities and differences between the Australian and U.S. cultures. Be delighted and intrigued at every turn.
Witness the hilarious incomprehension that occurs between two English-es. Discover why Australians and Americans are not always satisfied with each other's cuisines, and taken aback by each other's eating habits. Unearth the assumptions Australians make about Americans, and artefacts of Australiana that influence American perceptions of Australia. Delve into the historical and geographic forces that have shaped these two cultures.
Unique insights blend with thorough research to make this book essential reading for Australians and Americans in business or personal relationships.
The author, Australian born and bred, resides in the United States with her American husband. She has discussed cultural differences with hundreds of readers who visit her web site.
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