The shortlist will not be short

I’ve now read all the proposals, and feel like my head is about to explode. In a good way.

By this time next week (Sunday night, New York time), I’ll post the shortlist on here – all the proposals that are still in the running. And *before* that, I’ll send an email to everyone whose proposal didn’t make the cut, as well as to everyone whose proposal did. In other words, all of you. (If that makes sense. It’s late.)

After that, the really hard work begins…

34 thoughts on “The shortlist will not be short”

  1. I meant ‘eventually’ I will do this full-time. I appreciate it doesn’t pay much and will be a labour of love but when published it may open doors to being a full-time writer. Or, if I’m really lucky, a journo.

  2. Just a note to the bummed first-timer above re: this being your “only chance ever to get out of the drudgery of my existence and do something I enjoy full-time.” Full time? Even if I get lucky and manage to go all the way with this, I will not be quitting my job. I may be wrong, but I think if you asked any of the already-published 33 1/3 authors if they could live off the royalties, for even a few months, they would be speechless. Like a lot of professional writing, these books are labors of love and pocket money.

  3. Sure, there are albums left in the running that may well fall into the category you’ve outlined. But these will still be in a very small minority. Most are there because of the passion the proposer has articulated and the imaginative angle they’re approaching it from. I’m one of the 170 fortunates still in the game and, believe me, my approach is very much along the lines that you mention – “digging deep on an album close to my heart”. Continuum really isn’t an exclusive publisher. This whole process shows they’re exactly the opposite.

  4. To the penultimats poster above: you are right I am being ungracious. The problem I have is that these ‘open-casting’ calls rarely come along. I figured this was my only chance ever to get out of the drudgery of my existence and do something I enjoy full-time. Now, it’s gone. I don’t get these clever books that analyse the dregs of popular culture. I think it’s…well, it’s just being clever for the sake of being clever. Rather than digging deep on a album close to their hearts that hasn’t been touched on before, they just want so show off their status as a pop culture intellectual by tackling bad artists and bad albums for the hell of it. In return, they get kudos from David et al. What chance do I – as a first timer – have when I submit my hard work on an album I love?So what do I do now? Are their other outlets I can test the water with? Perhaps I need to try again with less *ahem* exclusive publishers. Then, I might submit proposal no.2 when I have the experience and the nous for arch ideas.

  5. Yeh, and the seriews has always been committed to uncovering and publishing new writers . If they just wanted name writers, they’d just approach them directly and wouldn’t put themselves through this whole nomination process. My god, David must be tired – good work!

  6. Anonymous, it’s rather ungracious to suggest that those shortlisted are there because of their connections (at least I think that’s what you’re suggesting – your loose grasp of sentence structure won’t have helped your proposal). It’s also kind of insulting to the professionalism of David and his team who judge each proposal on its individual merits. As well as you, 596 others also put in “a lot of hard work” and, ultimately, around 575 of us will be rejected at some point in the process. Don’t be a victim. This whole nomination process is unique in publishing – open, inclusive and, yes, fun. So what’s better: to have taken part and enjoyed doing so or to have never been invited to submit a suggestion in the first place?

  7. But does it bias the seasoned writers more? I think so. You might as well give up if none of the comittee to read John Doe’s book on the story behind, say, ‘Thriller’, for example over 20-years-at-MOJO-and-mates-with-David-et-al latest on some way out concept (‘a note by note analysis of Josh Groban’s 3rd album’). I’m just very disillusioned as I don’t see it as in anyway fair after a lot of hard work to impress someone for the 1st time.

  8. This all probably seems like a pretty brutal process for those who don’t make the cut, but this is a highly unusual publishing venture. It is also an unusual approach to selecting titles for a book series. I doubt that there is any other book series that has an open call – but that’s the strength and the virtue of 33 1/3, whatever we think of the titles chosen or published. In general, it is very much more likely to have publishing proposals rejected than accepted and in some ways the 33 1/3 process accentuates that reality – so the disappointment is greater because there were more hopes raised. But, for all those who are disappointed it is still the case that amongst the seasoned writers and pros who get published in this series, it gives total unknown and first time writers a chance of being published. I think this is a good thing.

  9. I doubt this as no one got accepted yet–this is just the short list, and there will probably be well over 100. My guess is, those who got the short list will get a very similar email just with words like “sorry” replaced by words like “congratulations.”

  10. The bitterness is pretty juvenile. I also got my rejection letter and knew the odds were that it was coming. Still, I’m proud of my proposal, I’m really glad I submitted and I’ll do it again if there’s a next time. Thanks for the opportunity, David.

  11. No all at once. One of my fellow bloggers got his at EXACTLY the same time as I did. Looks like one big mailout for all rejectees and some nice suck-up personal e-mails for tho got accpted.

  12. The last two rounds of proposals, and the ground rules, can be seen in a Nov. 1 post and in the Feb. 2007 archive. Good luck when you do yours! (450-some last round, and 597 proposals this round!)

  13. Unfortunately you’re too late for this round of proposals. You’ll need to wait until the next call for submissions, which probably won’t be for another year or so at least.

  14. A couple of things…* I haven’t sent out any emails to anyone yet – will get that all done on Friday, Sat and Sun. * Upcoming volumes: I’ll do a full post about this soon, but the next, definite volumes to publish will be: Wire (in print now, on sale within 10 days); Big Star (end of March); Elliott Smith (April); Nas (April); Madness (June). The Eno book could also be June, but don’t quote me on that!

  15. Can you see David sitting at his desk and slowly sending out something like 600 emails? Poor guy. There must be some technology that allows a personalised looking mass message to be sent at the single hit of a ‘send’ button. Or a tech guy to do it while you eat donuts and coffee …I have been loitering around here for MONTHS now – in anticipation of the call, and then since, etc. – what can a boy do without this tension?Here’s to the long shortlist and more lobbying from the Bill Fox fan club. Who could resist the scrambling that is sure to follow from desperate authors at the last hurdle and their cheering pals …

  16. Man, I’m impressed you did got through them so quickly. That’s what, almost 600 proposals in 40 days? That’s 15 a day. For over a month. From someone who can only grade 5-10 papers a day, and then only in spurts 3-5 days before I get burnt out, I’m impressed. And appreciative.

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