The 2012 Amazon’s Breakout Novel Award 1st Round is complete. Yours truly did not make the cut. Am I surprised? Not really. In fact, I knew going in I wouldn’t make it. I simply figured I had nothing to lose by trying.
I believe there are several reasons for not making the cut (and I admit I’m wearing my cynical-colored glasses while I type).
- I suck at pitches. Boiling down a 75k novel down to 300 words is beyond difficult for me. I need practice, and that’s putting it mildly.
- The judging. My book is Science Fiction geared specifically for a male audience. It’s a sad truth that most books are purchased by women. Publishers as a consequence must publish books catered to them otherwise they’d lose money (speaking in generalities, because there are always exceptions). Looking at previous winners, not one was science fiction, and all were more along the lines of chick-lit.
- Number of entries. Referring to Reason #1, the odds of standing out amongst 4999 other entries made the likelihood of making the second round steep indeed.
What happens now?
Query letter/synopsis/chapter outline time! Yippee (someone shoot me now).
There is one lesson learned here. Submitting to Agents/Editors is no different than the ABNA. I still have to rise above the rest, and this contest showed my pitch wasn’t good enough. I have to make it better. How do I do that? That’s the big question right now. Part of me (and a rather large part) wants to put it off and watch Netflix and Hulu all night.
Since Lent started yesterday, I decided to cut out all refined sugars. Perhaps I should add television to that as well. It may not encourage me to practice writing my pitch, however, because I’m trying to catch up on my reading as well.
Right now I’m reading “A Talent for War” by Jack McDevitt. It’s okay so far. While well-written, there’s a lot of history going on. Thankfully it’s not all narrative backstory, but the main character following his uncle’s historical research so as to figure out why his uncle disappeared. Nonetheless (being an impatient reader), I’m ready for some action!