Stop the presses! Remember when Gather had that crazy contest that was run as though someone were herding feral cats, and they had people post their manuscripts and then had members vote on them?
Well, Amazon has decided to run a “Survivor” publishing contest with Penguin Putnam as the publisher on the other end. The grand prize winner receives “a contract with a $25,000 advance from Penguin Putnam and fairly standard royalty rates” and promotion from Penguin and Amazon, *along with* a “media suite” which includes plasma television, new computer, scanner, etc. Semi-finalists all get a Publisher’s Weekly review. They are only taking the first 5000 entries and it’s open to multiple countries. You have to have a finished manuscript that hasn’t been available for sale in any retail outlet or ever under contract with a publishing company.
I will be entering something. Which one should I enter? Please, y’all, chime in on this. [EDIT: **NEVER MIND–I SENT PUNDIT’S CORNER**]
[EDIT: In my excitement to share the opportunity with you–this means YOU, , among others–I forgot to say that I’m thinking of sending _In the Pundit’s Corner_, the one about the TV cable network with the “mole.” Formerly known as _The Pundit’s Corner_. Probably bad titles. But I think the STORY is good. Y’all liked it OK.]
You should enter, as well. I assume Dennis will enter COLOR RADIO, simply because all his other finished books have been available for sale at XLIbris. I know this means we’ll be competing, but we kind of already are.
Some have expressed doubt about my concentration on contests. I see them as my only possible way in, as agents don’t see any potential to make money on me, and editors are contemptuous of me, saying that my work “has promise,” but going through it with the tweezers to pick out what they see as flaws based on their personal bugbears (which I can’t possibly predict before sending the work to them–viz. the “no dead parents” rule of the Baen editor and the “no characters who steal FOR ANY REASON instead of spending their last dollar on food and then starving to death on the streets, and no characters who have ever lied, and therefore aren’t immediately likable” from the latest agent, by e-mail rejection.) Contest readers sometimes have read more widely and are more easily charmed by prose and intriguing characters, thus giving them more of a chance rather than running down checklists the way that some judges do. I’ll be getting various hoodoo and voudoun priestesses to place “charm” spells on the manuscript that I send, as well, just in case.
The beauty of contests for me is that typically *readers* (just readers, not workshoppers who have been trained to go crazy over the first “passive verb” they see) *like* my work and find that the narrative appeals to them, while editors and agents hate my work and despise me. So this could be a way in. In fact, three of the workshop participants in the FenCon workshop initially e-mailed me to tell me they liked or loved my story . . . actually said that she’d been able to open it and liked it, too, even though she wasn’t in my group (sorry to “out” you like this as a person with absolutely no taste in books *grin*) . . . but then after the editor flayed it and me, they ALL backed away quickly and averted their eyes. They refused further e-mail contact after the meeting by ignoring my e-mail, because I suddenly have EditorHateCooties. No one sent me any commentary by e-mail or any of their reactions after that, assuming that their reactions had been “wrong,” since The Editor Hated It. *facepalm* That’s OK! They don’t have to like me or talk to me! They don’t have to make time for me! I don’t know what they thought I was going to do to them, except discuss writing. Still, it’s telling that they thought my book was OK before, but now that they “know better,” they are staying far away. I suspect the quality of the work is neither as bad as the editor stated or as good as I think, but I do know that the stuff the workshop picked on isn’t “newbie mistake” stuff and is stuff you often see in published books. I can stick that book in the trunk, mind, but I don’t agree that it sucks. (Eventually I could do an entry with the editor’s actual narrative behind an LJ-cut to show that she isn’t a monster and yet that I’m not being too sensitive when I say that some of the stuff she rejected it for wasn’t “wrong,” but that would just waste bandwidth, so I won’t do that unless people are truly curious.)
*ahem* So I won’t send Camille to this contest. However, I don’t know which one of my other stooopid books to send. _Little Rituals_ gets VERY mixed reviews. So does _Miranda’s Rights_. The best of the three polished mysteries are already in that other contest, and that other contest would be better to win with a series mystery, anyhow (IMHO). And you can’t submit that mystery elsewhere while under consideration by the contest. However, they’ll announce by the first week in November, and that would mean the submission period for this Amazon contest would not be closed yet. But can a genre mystery win against mainstream work? Who can tell?
It’s interesting to note that ALL the people who are allowed into this competition will be offered free POD publishing at the end of it. That was a little bit telling. It’d be better than paying XLibris that $1200, too. But, as I said, I won’t enter Camille unless we can enter more than one work, which is probably not allowed.
I could always whip out a NEW book before the contest closes. Yep, that’s the ticket! Oh, wait . . . they’re only taking the first so-many entries. That won’t work. . . .