By Shawn StJean
For many fledgling and Independent publishers and authors, Spring means CreateSpace’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel (ABNA) contest is in full bloom. As many as 10,000 initial entrants in five categories (General Fiction, Romance, Mystery and Thriller, Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror) are cut to 500 for the second round. These novelists have just been announced–check the lists to see if your book, or the book of a friend, appears on it: http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011
For Indie Writers, this contest represents the pinnacle of their ambivalence toward the traditional publishing establishment (hence the speeding bullet illo, above). On the one hand, it’s a ruse for Amazon to locate and identify the best new talent, and lure them with the promise of an exclusive publishing contract with Createspace. It’s free, and thus doubly enticing. The exposure alone, for folks getting to the higher rounds, may be worth it. And, oh yeah, prizemoney: enough to keep a frugal young writer from getting tossed out of the coffeehouse for another year. On the other hand, there’s the inevitable crash of defeat and disillusionment when one doesn’t go forward: “It’s all politics, it’s rigged, my stuff is better than those lousy winners, why do I keep throwing pearls before swine, I’m wasting my life. . .” Hey, that’s competition, Bub. If you can’t stand a little flesh-wounding, get off the shooting range. You’ve probably already discovered, or soon will, that you’re as much a book marketeer as a writer of books.
The third rounders (quarter-finalists) will be announced on April 14. For now, hearty Congrats to all those moving forward, especially friend of the blog and the author of Tetherbird, Emily McDaid! And for those who didn’t make the cut–just KEEP WRITING!