Friday, September 09, 2005

I'll read your unsolicited chapter, IF...

Oh wow! Wow, oh wow. You know, they say that astrology is a bunch of bull-pucky and I tend to agree, but I have to share my horoscope with you from Yahoo! You ready?

Right now you'll make much more progress by hitching your wagon to a team rather than trotting solo. You get a ton done on your own, but you need a more social dynamic to get ahead. This group will help you hone a whole new set of skills that will impress a group of movers and shakers that you thought were beyond you. On the contrary, you'll discover that with enough effort and ambition, practically nothing is beyond you.

I kid you not. Now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I’m training with
Team in Training to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so this horoscope seems very prescient to me. But fundraising for the team is getting a bit difficult, in part because so many people are now giving money to help the refugees whose homes were wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. Now, don’t get me wrong, but you are already giving those folks money! It’s called your tax dollars at work. I read today that FEMA is giving out debit cards with $2,000 on them to refugees who register for them. Also, the last time I checked, Congress was voting to give about $68 billion dollars in aid to New Orleans. So, please, please, think of all of the other causes that are now struggling for help. Here are a few links to get you started:

HIV Charities
Cancer Charities
Diabetes Charities

Meanwhile, they say desperate times call for desperate measures, so here’s an idea. And keep in mind that you are reading it first because you actually read my blog. So lucky you!

For the period September 15th through November 1st, I will accept unsolicited sample chapters (not to exceed twenty-five [25] pages), plus a synopsis (not to exceed five [5]) pages. I will read said sample chapters and I will respond with a written explanation of what I think of them (in most cases this response will be only one [1] page). But wait! Yes, there’s a catch. This service will be provided on unsolicited sample chapters only if the author includes a seventy-five dollar ($75.00) contribution to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with the submission.

Now, before everyone goes nuts and starts screaming “reading fee,” please note the following: This is a charity fundraiser. I make no money off this. Also, I normally do not accept unsolicited materials. Here I am agreeing to read unsolicited sample chapters if you make a charitable donation. My teammate is offering massages to those who give certain amounts. You want one of those instead, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

All checks should be made payable to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Your submission must be POSTMARKED between September 15th and November 1st. I will make all reasonable efforts to reply within thirty (30) days. All donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are tax deductible. I will receive no part of your check, though your contribution does support my efforts with Team in Training and goes toward my fundraising goal for El Tour de Tucson. Your donation in no way guarantees that I will respond favorably to your work. Your donation in no way improves your chances of gaining representation. All your donation does is allow you to send along an unsolicited sample chapter and synopsis and guarantees that I will read it and send you a written response with my opinion, rather than a form letter.

Please review the
Submission guidelines and Manuscript Preparation Guidelines on my website before sending any material. An SASE is still required for the response.

Questions may be posted here and I will respond here.

Thank you.

Z

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about writers outside the U.S.? Can we donate to our local chapter and send you the receipt?

Andrew Zack said...

If you are outside the US, the best thing to do would be to donate using a credit card on the website at www.active.com/donate/tntnyc/tntnycAZackTucson and send in the receipt. However, I cannot comment on whether or not a donation is a tax deduction for you if you live outside of the United States. Thanks!

Fish Monkey said...

It's a good cause, and a good way to raise money. Yes, I sent you a chapter.

Catherine Keegan said...

Amazing offer. I plan on taking advantage of this in the next week or so. If one doubled the amount, would you look at fifty pages?

Catherine

Andrew Zack said...

Catherine:

I'm tempted to say yes, but I don't think reading fifty is likely to tip the scales one way or the other. If you'd like to donate more than $75, that would be wonderful, but I think I'd best keep the offer at a sample chapter not to exceed twenty-five pages.

Thanks.

Best wishes,
Andy

Catherine Keegan said...

How many people are taking you up on this offer? I ask because I thought I'd mention it on my blog, but I didn't want to do that if you're already swamped.

It's a great opportunity and, as you can hopefully tell by now, I've taken advantage of it and I'd like to mention it.

Andrew Zack said...

I've gotten about a half-dozen submissions through this offer so far. And while I'm swamped in general, I'm not swamped because of this offer, so feel free to spread the word.

Best,
Andy Zack

SharonSA said...

Mr. Zack, turning you reading time into dollars for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a generous offer. Let me take a different tack to Catherine Keegan’s question. If a first chapter numbers only a few pages, would it be okay to include the second, as long as the sample stays below 25 pages? I know the $75 isn’t a fee, but I’d like to get my money’s worth nonetheless. :)

P.S. I’m curious. What is the purpose of the “Word Verification?”

Andrew Zack said...

Hi Sharon:

Sure, if your first chapter is very short, feel free to send up to 25 pages (it's even okay, if the chapter ends on page 27!).

The word verification is to stop people who may have software that goes around and posts advertisements as "comments" on blogs, similar to the "bots" that fill up some chatrooms with links to adult web sites and the like.

Thanks for your interest and support!

Best wishes,
Andy

merlinsmuse said...

Okay, I stumbled across your blog by accident, but I do believe in fate. I love this offer to read unsolicited material and I'm a believer in giving to worthy causes, soooo, I'll be sending my chapter and synopsis to you.

Question: I live in Canada. Can I make the donation to you through Paypal and then send my work to you?

Catherine

Andrew Zack said...

If you are in Canada, the best thing to do would be to donate using a credit card on the website at www.active.com/donate/tntnyc/tntnycAZackTucson and send in the receipt. However, I cannot comment on whether or not a donation is a tax deduction for you if you live outside of the United States. Thanks!

merlinsmuse said...

Thanks, I'll do that. I just noticed the post above mine where you gave the same information. Sorry.

Catherine

Scavella said...

This is an incredibly generous offer, and I'd love to take you up on it!

Anonymous said...

Does this offer apply to nonfiction (narrative) as well? If so, I'd like to take you up on it, but the contents would be a bit different than you've stated. My overview runs to sixteen pages, and I could send a portion of my sample chapter. Would that be acceptable?

Andrew Zack said...

The offer does apply to narrative nonfiction as well. Generally speaking, I'd say send me the overview and a sample chapter. A 16-page overview is a bit long, fyi. Five pages, double-spaced, makes more sense, I think.

Post a Comment

We will not publish Anonymous comments. If you would like to comment, you should sign your comment with your name, city and state, e.g., John Smith, San Diego, CA. Otherwise we will be forced to reject your comment.

Also, please do not query us here or ask if we would "be interested in" your book. Our query guidelines are clearly outlined on our website and you should follow them if you would like us to consider your work.

Thank you.