Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The May Monthly Round-up

As summer officially begins we at The Zack Company continue to work diligently through the piles of requests and sample chapters we have waiting to be read.  As the summer intern, I will be helping Andy get through as many of these as I can as more and more queries continue to pour in.  Without further adieu, here are the stats from the month of May.

In May we:

·         Received 52 queries and declined 3
·         Received 2 sample chapters and declined 8
·         Received 1 proposal and declined 0
·         Received 1 full manuscript and declined 1

We have on hand to read:

·         28 sample chapters
·         2  full manuscripts
·         6 proposals

We are also continuing our two charity offers this month.  If you currently have a sample chapter or proposal on submission to The Zack Company and want to bypass the often-long waiting process, we are offering the service of Express Review™ after a donation of $60 dollars or more to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help out our good friend, Ted Wilcox.  That is, with a charitable donation made you can be assured that your submitted sample chapter or proposal will be responded to within just ten business days.  To learn more about Ted’s story and to make a donation, use this link: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/sdtrcla10/twilcoxzdf.  Additionally, if you order Express Review and we pass on your work, we will explain why we are passing.  There are no “form” responses with ER.

In addition, if you are a new author and wish to bypass the query letter process we will accept a sample chapter or proposal directly from an author after a charitable donation of $100 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society via Ted Wilcox’s page.  Sample chapters must not exceed twenty-five pages double-spaced, and synopses must not exceed five pages, double-spaced.  Again, authors taking advantage of this offer will receive an actual response rather than a form response if we pass.  Obviously, if we are interested in seeing more, we will let you know!

 After making these donations, please let us know through the FAQ form here: http://www.zackcompany.com/faqs/183.html

Although these offers do not increase your chances of becoming a client, taking advantage of one or the other will expedite the response process, provide the chance for a personal feedback to all materials, and help to support a noble cause.

Thanks so much everyone and I will be back in a month with June’s numbers!


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I did it!

Well, I did it!  I completed America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe last Sunday.  It was 100 miles of nearly perfect riding.  Okay, some of the roads could use fresh pavement, but the views were stunning.  No, make that STUNNING.  And the weather was ideal.

We started off a minute past 6 am in our ride groups, each one having its own pace (lightning fast, pretty fast, fast enough, and slower).  We started out warming up for about ten miles, before hitting the famous Switchbacks.  I did this ride with Team in Training and raised nearly $5,000 to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Our team raised over $100,000 in total and the event raised over $6 million.  GO TEAM!  Now the TNT coaches are all clearly veterans of psychological warfare.  They spend months telling you how hard the Switchbacks are and the later climb, Spooner, is.  They train us on some of the longest hills in San Diego, always telling us that it's to get us in shape for the much harder Switchbacks and Spooner.  Well, there's no doubt we were in shape, because pretty much everyone conquered those climbs with ease.  I'm not saying there wasn't some challenge to them, but I went up the ten miles of Spooner gabbing away to my teammate, Claudia, encouraging her and only occasionally threatening her ("If you go below five mph, I'm putting it on Facebook").  We passed riders walking about six miles from the top and I had to bite my tongue as all I wanted to ask was, "What's the plan here, ladies?  You can't walk all the way to the top."  I heard a woman from Michigan on my wheel huffing and puffing and tried to offer encouragement.  But, in the end, every team has to fend for itself a bit.  I'm sure they all made it to the top, but I know they didn't enjoy the views as much as I did.  It's hard to appreciate the beauty when you're trying not to vomit.

This was my fifth century bike ride with Team in Training and my second AMBBR and I have to confess this one was easier.  Of course, partially that's because of changes I've made to my bike, but partially it's also a result of riding a lot of hard miles.  Where other teams top out at seventy-five miles on their training rides, we went to ninety-six and change.  And the geography around San Diego provides some great hills upon which to tort—  I mean train ourselves.

I'd like to thank everyone who supported me in my fund-raising, including a number of editors and colleagues in publishing, and many authors, who took advantages of the offers I made to them.  And thanks, also, to the clients who made donations.  It's only with your support that I was able to do this ride.

Thanks, also, to the coaches and mentors from the team, who put up with me when I started training and wasn't doing well.  The back hurt and the knee hurt and I wasn't in great shape.  I sometimes wondered if I'd make it to the ride, but with their encouragement and patience it turned out to be the easiest one-hundred miles I've ever ridden.

And thanks to my wife, Nadene, who took our son, Matty, by herself pretty much every Saturday since February so that I could train.  Without her willingness to do that, I never could have done this ride.

So, what's next?  I'm looking into doing Tour de Poway, a local century, and I hope to remain involved with Team in Training.  With a new baby on the way, it might be tough, but we'll see.  In the meantime, I'm hoping to help support my friend Ted, a cancer survivor whose story could be a made-for-TV movie.  Check out http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/sdtrcla10/twilcoxzdf to read it.

Thanks again.