Friday, February 24, 2012

Good News

I just found out that Eternal Knight made it to round two of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards! There were 5,000 books entered in the contest. 1,000 made it to round two. Round one judging was based on a 300 word "pitch" letter.

Round two results will be posted on March 20th. 250 authors will make it to round three. Judging for round two is based on the first 5,000 words of your novel (the first two chapters of EK).

The full manuscripts aren't evaluated until they get to the third and fourth rounds. This is also when you start to get some public attention. In the final round the last three contestants are flown out to Seattle for the presentation of the grand prize winner. The prize? A publishing contract with Penguin and a $15,000 advance on your first novel.

Very exciting! Not that I'm counting chickens or anything...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and the Exciting

The Good:

One of the best things about being a writer is hearing positive feedback from readers. A couple of readers have gone above and beyond and have really worked to promote Eternal Knight. One of these readers is Jahin Ahmed. He recently contacted me to let me know that he wrote a blog review of Eternal Knight. He's a young book reviewer and I think he deserves a lot of credit it for his efforts. And I appreciate the great review!

The Bad:

I've received my first bad (two star) review on Amazon. It had to happen at some point in time. The urge, of course, is to defend your work. You want to point out how wrong the reviewer was and to explain to readers of the review just how good your work is. This, of course, is the last thing in the world you should do. It does not end well for the author. What do you do? You just have to accept it. It is part of writing. No book survives unscathed. Take pleasure in the good reviews and drive on.

The Exciting:

I have entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Five thousand writers entered the contest. The first round consists of a 300 word pitch. This is actually the round I most dread. Taking a 115,000 word novel and turning it into a 300 word pitch is a brutal task. The one thousand survivors of round one will then be judged on the first 5,000 words of their novels. After that, the following two rounds are judged on the complete manuscript. Odds of winning are long, but even surviving a few round and bring your novel a lot of attention. And if you win, first prize is a publishing contract with Penguin.

Winners of the first round are announced on February 24th. I'll give you a shout if I made it.