Tuesday, January 20, 2015

End of an Era

Maybe the word "era" is a bit much, but a couple days ago I found out that Amazon was no longer hosting the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (ABNA) to make way for their Kindle Scout program, which I'll talk  about in a minute. The contest has been going on since 2007, and it's led me to many amazing experiences.

I've never won the ABNA contest. In fact the furthest I made it was the top 100 in the very first year. Most of the other years I got scrapped after the pitch round. Last year I made it to the quarter finals. So what is it about this contest that was so great?

  1. It validated the fact that I am a writer. A real writer. People read my work and saw my talent. I heard about this contest before I even starting querying agents so it was really my first leap into the literary world and it was amazing.
  2. It made me want to be better and work harder. When I received my reviews in the years I didn't make it very far, I realized that those books weren't finished. They weren't good enough to get published. It made me revise more and do whatever it took to improve my craft.
  3. It made me want it more. After that first contest, I was bound and determined to get published, and I achieved that goal with Never Eighteen, which is the book that I entered the 2nd year of the contest and only made it past the pitch.
  4. It introduced me to other writers. They had a forum on the website so I was able to chat with people that were in the same boat as me. We had so much fun on there, especially the first two years. Which leads me to...
  5. The best thing I got out of the contest though, were connections. I met wonderful, talented people from all over the world those years I entered the contest. Some of them have become lifelong friends. I've had to pleasure of meeting many of them in person too. Let me count...around 20. And I've met friends through those friends, and also got to meet some in person. I hope I get to meet more of them in the future. 

Pictured are: Lisa Grintals-mclellan, Don Harkham, Me, Brent Billy Curtis, Jarucia Jaycox, Amy Kinzer, Janet Oakley
 



Pictured: Amy, BD MacCullough, Don, Jarucia, Brent and me.





Pictured: Gae Polisner and me.



David Stanley and me.


Jarucia, Katie Kadwell, Scotti Cohn, Kristin Kendle, Willow, Landon, and Destiny.






Me, Christine Beth Reish and Tracy Walshaw.



I'm sure there are other reasons the contest benefited
me, but these are the most important.


So though we say goodbye to the contest, it holds many good memories and I will keep and cherish the friends I made through the experience.

So I guess I may try out Amazon Kindle Scout. Which according to the website, is this:  

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It's a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

Doesn't sound bad, right?

Some of the above pictures from NY were probably taken by Rick Kopstein. I'm pretty sure they were. So I wanted to give him props. Check out his website. He's a great photographer.
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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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