A week or so ago, having joined a closed group started by a marketing consultant friend on Facebook, I came up with what seemed to me at the time a wonderful idea.
I am not a person who understands much about moderation.
I am a person who makes daily to-do lists, then amended and enhanced to-do lists for weekends; my weekend lists incorporate all unfinished tasks from the Monday through Friday lists, along with additional items especially designed for weekends.
I am convinced that weekends begin on Friday mid-day and end at sunrise on Monday. They do not include any time for the standard “weekend” activities–relaxing; going to movies, museums, ballgames, campgrounds. They never include napping, although I frequently include that on my lists.
These are excellent lists: organized, neatly written on narrow-ruled legal pads, re-written for appearance if I get sloppy with, say, taking notes during a phone call, which much to my disappointment, I often do. I am an Olympic-quality list maker.
I am also an unredeemed workaholic.
So–my wonderful idea. I posted an “update” in the group, offering to write an extended and elaborate review of anyone’s book on my website/blog. I had just published one review, and I posted a link so people could get an idea of what they might expect for their books.
On the one hand, I would write more than the usual paragraph or two, and would include images and passages from their texts and fuller and more personal author biographies; on the other, this review would take more time and they could be waiting as much as a month. I even offered to write one of those Amazon “quickies” as soon as I had finished reading the book and while I was working on the longer piece.
What did I think? That no one would take me up on the offer of an elegant and very personal review that would go out automatically to most of the social media–Free??
I am now piling up books for review in every possible form: digital manuscripts on my laptop; ebooks on my Kindle; even actual Books (remember those?) arriving via the United States Postal Service. They include a Civil War novel; a collection of letters; an espionage novel; a series of fairy tales for adults; two memoirs (three memoirs as of this draft); and a 700-page work of “historical fantasy.”
In my usual approach to any project, I have a need to plan and prepare ahead (remember those lists). What this particular inclination looks like in this particular situation is: as I was reading the Civil War novel and waiting for those War letters to arrive, I set up, titled, jotted down some notes, and found appropriate images for every single book I’ll be reviewing. The result is that I have four or five reviews up and ready for me to begin writing. A lot like the horses walked into the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby.
The queue is long and getting longer.
A friend asked me just two days ago what I would do if someone sent me a book that was really, really bad.