September 5th, 2009

Please click a button to help Casey, a cancer sufferer.

In a previous post, I talked about, Casey, a cancer sufferer currently undergoing chemo, who I first heard about courtesy of my friend dferguson

Even though Casey has no hair and will soon lose a leg, she entered an online competition to win a 3-day trip to New York, courtesy of Victoria's Secret.  Contestants have to post a picture of themselves, along with a brief note on why they love their body. 
The winner is the person who gets the most online votes.  You can vote every day.

I can't prove this, but when I voted yesterday, I could have sworn she was in first place, not only that, but I was sure that she had thousands more votes (almost twice as many) as the regular girl in the second spot.

For some reason though, as of this morning, Casey has slipped into second place, some six thousand votes behind that same person.  Maybe I made a mistake - though I don't believe so.
Call me a cynic, but as of a few minutes before posting this, the current leader (who I'm sure is a pleasant enough girl, but who seems no different to any of the other contestants) has 155,381 votes, Casey is now in second  place with 148,460 votes and third place has only 4,715.

UPDATE:  As of 6:30am (US/Eastern) on September 7th  Casey has 266,780, the girl in first place now has 309,848 and the girl in third place has just 4,836

Something's not right about here. 

In any case, if you can spare a moment, please follow
this link and click to vote for Casey.  If you can add the link to your favorites, so you can vote for her every day, that would be great .  If you'd like to post a link on your own blog, to encourage others to do the same as you, that would be fantastic.  

As I've said before, I doubt any of us will ever meet Casey, but how often do we get a chance to make a positive difference to someone's life with a mere click of a mouse?

Thanks for reading.

  • Current Mood
    determined determined

If book titles were people…

When I’m working on a book, I like to think of things like the title, opening scene, overall plot etc. as a team of employees, each of whom has a specific job to do. At the revision stage, I evaluate each team member’s performance with one specific question in mind: 

If [insert relevant name and task here] was an employee, would I give him a raise?


If the answer is ‘no’, then I’m giving the job to someone else.


“Okay,” I hear you say (in a very much Don’t make any sudden moves. He could crack at any moment! kind of way ).  “I can see the logic of this analogy when it comes to something like the opening scene, but why bother with the title. Everyone knows it’s the cover that attracts a potential new reader, and unless I’m an established author already, I have little or no say in that.”


True, the cover has a big part to play, but is that really what the vast majority of your potential new readers see first? I don’t think so. I believe the title is the first (and possibly only) thing most of them ever see. 


Imagine your novel came out a few months ago. It’s doing okay. The book stores have copies on the shelves and you can find it in quite a few libraries, but it’s not stocked at places like Target or Walmart. 


Now, let's visualize a potential reader (we’ll call her Alice), strolling up and down the aisles at Barnes & Noble, looking for something to buy. Sure, a few books face outwards, but for most of them (yours included), only the spine is showing. 


How many potential readers like Alice will walk past your book each month?  Assuming it’s on sale in a lot of stores, I’d say thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. 


That’s where Tommy Title comes in. As Alice scans the shelves, sub-consciously looking for a key word or unusual title which might mean a book’s worth pausing to take a look at, Tommy’s job is to leap out and attract her attention (in a good way). He’ll need to do a stellar job to make himself stand out from amongst all those other books, but he’d better, because otherwise it won’t matter how good the cover is, that potential reader will walk right on by.


I had a quick look through my collection. These are just some of the books I remember buying after the title leaped out at me: The Sword of Attila by Michael Curtis Ford; A Fine Night For Dying by Jack Higgins; Killing the Lawyers by Reginald Hill and The Good Guy*  by Dean Koontz.


I put an * by The Good Guy because the spine had a picture of a post-it next to the title, containing the words “KILL ME INSTEAD”, which definitely caught my eye.


How about you?


What was the last book you read after the title alone piqued your interest?