I've never felt anxiety like this before. I've always had total confidence in my work. Even when I've failed, I knew I could pinpoint what I did wrong, and work harder to improve myself.
So why is this year's Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest any different?
Perhaps a little background on the contest, for those who don't know. The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, or ABNA as most people call it, is held every year by Amazon to find the best and brightest new authors and books in the industry. I entered the contest for the first time in 2011 with my debut novel, The Time Weaver, and didn't make it past the first round.
The pitch round.
That is the source of my anxiety. A 300-word pitch that gets judged by Amazon editors, and only two thousand out of ten thousand entrants will move on to the second round. Why should I be so confident that I will make it? Because for the last four years, I've spent time helping countless writers hone their pitch for this contest. Many of them have made it through.
Three years I've entered ABNA, and three years I've failed to move on. I try to put on a happy face and cheer on my other friends, but there's always a part of me that burns up inside, wondering what I did wrong, or how I could have written a better, stronger pitch, so that it would make it through along with my friends.
Amazon gives us no feedback on the pitch. Either you make it through, or you don't. So I'm left a veritable expert on how to write a great pitch for a story who can't come up with something to get my own book through the first round.
This brings me back to the source of my anxiety.
I've entered The Time Weaver one last time. Fourth time's a charm, right? Thing is, if it doesn't make it through this year, it will likely be the last time I attempt it for The Time Weaver. Because what's the point of beating a dead horse? When the contest comes around again, I'll have The Spell Breaker ready to enter, and maybe have a better chance at coming up with something great to get it through.
In the meantime, ABNA 2014 is under way. My entry is in, my pitch is written, and I've done everything I can in order to get it through this year. All I can do it sit around and wait in an ever-building pool of anxiety for March 18, and then search for my name on the list of those who made it through.
Wish me luck.
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