Monday, April 20, 2009

Google Alerts

Google alerts.  One of life's guilty pleasures.  Enjoy eating macaroni and cheese?  Set a Google Alert to inform you every time a website is updated with the hottest mac and cheese info. Interested in tracking Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame?  (Notice I said tracking...not stalking) Create a Google Alert and keep up with all the Bella blogs and Cullen capers--along with all the other Stephanie Meyers out there in Internet land.

Or, if you're like me, you use Google Alerts to track your writing genre.  CROSS is a middle-grade fiction novel, so a year ago I created an alert with the keywords "middle grade fiction." Each day I received a digest of appearances of those words on the Web, some of which sparked my attention and others of which I deleted.  One day a digest appeared in my Inbox with information about a contest sponsored by PM Moon Publishers, LLC open to up and coming authors.  First prize--a publishing contract and a cash award.

With CROSS revised but rejected by a few agents already, I decided to submit, not knowing my chances.   I forwarded the manuscript via e-mail and, to be honest, forgot about it.  As they say, "a watched pot never boils."  But boil it did.  In March of this year, I received an e-mail from PM Moon stating I'd been awarded "Honorable Mention."

After all the cells highlighted blood red on my Excel spreadsheet to indicate an agents who passed on CROSS, someone finally believed in what I'd written.  Gosh, Google.  Is there anything you can't do? :)

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