Friday, January 23, 2009

Goethe and Jack Kerouac

The following is credited to W.H. Murray:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!"

Toward that end, I have boldly entered The Beat Handbook in the 17th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Competition. It ain't cheap, but it's legit and, from what I can tell, is one of the only sure ways to get the attention of major review houses.

For example:

ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be awarded $3,000 cash and promotion in Writer's Digest and Publishers Weekly. The editors of Writer's Digest will endorse and submit 10 copies of the Grand Prize-Winning book to major review houses such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. In addition, Book Marketing Works, LLC will provide a one-year membership in Publishers Marketing Association, guaranteed acceptance in a special-sales catalog providing national representation through 1800 salespeople selling to non-bookstore markets, guaranteed acceptance by Atlas Books (a top distributor to wholesalers, chains, independents and online retailers), six hours of book shepherding from Poynter Book Shepherd Ellen Reid and guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review.


10 FIRST-PLACE WINNERS will receive $1000 cash and promotion in Writer's Digest. In addition, Book Marketing Works, LLC will provide a guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, a one-year membership to Book Central Station, the eBook Beyond the Bookstore, a Publishers Weekly book by Brian Jud and a copy of Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers by Shel Horowitz.


Plus, all Grand Prize and First Place winners will receive book-jacket seals to promote the award-winning status of their book, promotion on the Writer's Digest Web site at, a copy of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 4th Edition by Tom and Marilyn Ross, $100 worth or Writer’s Digest Books and a Notable Award Certificate.


HONORABLE MENTION WINNERS will receive promotion at, $50 worth of Writer's Digest Books and a Notable Award Certificate.

And finally:

All other entrants will receive Certificates of Participation, a brief judge's commentary and a listing with a link on the Writer's Digest Web site, provided an accurate URL is provided.

I'm kind of shooting for Honorable Mention ('cause I know I'll at least get the bomber swag "all other entrants" receive).

What would Kerouac do? I'm honestly not sure.

I know this: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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