Zombie Fiction or Vivid Talent?: ABNA’s Top 500 Amazon Breakthrough Novelists reach Quarter Finals

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By Shawn StJean

While this contest undoubtedly warrants continued support from all involved, this year I’m adding a political dimension to my announcements.  Aside from the obvious tactic of identifying undiscovered–one might say, buried–talent in the cheapest way possible by the Amazon would-be monopoly, is the fix in at the ABNA?  Are the top contestants going to inevitably turn out to be those who stick with the safest, recycled, cliched plots and characters?  Are we in for more angsty vampire fiction, or do any true innovators lie among those who make the final cuts?  For those who fall aside at this point, it may seem like the “most unkindest cut of all” today, especially if you’ve dared to differ: you’ve created fresh antagonists and plots, written in an experimental style, and/or recombined familiar elements in unfamiliar ways.

So let’s see how many metaphors I can mix into one FTW cocktail:

This post is for those not moving on: Don’t Despair.  Don’t Eat Your Own Hearts Out.  Your rewards may not reside in the material realm–this year, at least, or in the hive of the Amazon universe.  The carpenter never raises the floor to match the level of the nail sticking out above it–he always beats the nail down.  But don’t go down straight.  To Hell with the carpenter–bend, and let him trip on you.  And keep that hard head!  We’ve got enough drones in this Borg Cube of a publishing industry already. . .

link to QF list: http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011

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Homage to the late Michael Turner for the above image from Witchblade #150, a superimposition over?/under?/behind? the cover to issue #1.  Talk about a fresh spin on an old concept!  

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2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award–500 Move on to QuarterFinals

by Shawn StjeanImage

Apologies, I know this is last year’s graphic.

LINK to remaining competitors:

http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Novel-Award-Books/b/ref=amb_link_356616422_1?ie=UTF8&node=332264011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1K52G9M7XXVFQV1YGV3D&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=1305986342&pf_rd_i=1000675201

The 25 Semi-Finalists will be announced on April 16. This is an exciting contest to follow, as it: 1) helps keep Indie Writing in the public eye,  2) it will presumably throw a lot of light on to previously obscure writers who advance, and 3) (unlike many other “contests,”) it’s free to enter–thus very democratic!  This is more important than many realize, as the profits on unknown books can be so modest, that their creators will decline any form of promotion that bites into those profits–(for example, one would have to sell 10 copies of a $2.99 e-book to break even on a $20 contest entry.)  So the ABNA is kind of the U.S. Open for Authors.  Congratulations to all moving on, and also to everyone who entered and put themselves out there!

Keep Cultural Literacy Alive!

2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award–2,000 of 10k New Books Advance to 2nd Round

Image10,000 books have been entered by their authors and publishers, in five categories.  Clotho’s Loom by Shawn StJean, published under the Glas Daggre Imprint, is among 400 in the General Fiction category selected for the second round, and will attempt to move on to the quarter-finals of the ABNA (100 will be selected from each category, announced @ March 12, 2013.)

List of 2nd-rounders:  http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011  Congrats everyone!

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