In the past 3 weeks, I’ve read over 1300 manuscript pages for the purpose of critiquing or blurbing. That’s not excessive by the standards of some writers, critiquers and/or editors, but it’s a hell of a lot for me. I read slowly, and I don’t like to read entire books on screen—I much prefer paper. (But given the choice I’ll read on screen rather than print out an entire book!)
Or, more accurately, I should say I don’t gravitate toward reading novels on my laptop. But I don’t mind at all when I’m so engaged in what I’m reading. As was the case these past few weeks!
For the morbidly curious, here’s the rough breakdown. Page counts are from memory, so rounded in cases when I don’t remember the exact length.
170 page novel excerpt + 270 page novel excerpt + 20 page novel excerpt + 49 page short story = 509 pages.
Complete novels to be published next year:
Box Office Poison, book two of the Halls of Power series by Phillipa Bornikova (sequel to This Case is Gonna Kill Me), forthcoming from Tor Books: ~420 pages.
Debris, first volume of the Veiled Worlds Trilogy by Jo Anderton, forthcoming from Angry Robot: 424 pages.
It might look like a lot of critical reading, but it’s really not much of a burden when you (a) like to read anyway, and (b) enjoy the stuff your colleagues are writing. So in my case I feel less like I was snowed under than I feel like I got to read some really great stuff. I especially enjoy the feeling of superiority it gives me, knowing I’ve read really fantastic books long before the general public.
It makes me feel like a big man. A big important man.
And this is probably a pretty typical manuscript reading load for authors who interact with a group of colleagues. I know that others’ feedback on my work is always invaluable.