Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

So I am over at Burrowers, Books & Balderdash today giving the skinny on DATES, what is REQUIRED, who JUDGES, how many PROCEED, and PRIZES, but I thought HERE we might spend a little time talking about what a person might do during those long WAITS between rounds...

My experience is (possibly because I am self-centered) that MOSTLY you only pay attention as long as you are still IN... I mean sure, there is the back-patting thing for your friends who make various rounds, but during the month I was IN last year, it was highly stressful and my need to talk about it consumed a lot of my time and energy... I didn't have it in me to keep up with it at that level once I was knocked out... here is how I spent it...

During the Month of JANUARY

Write, edit, polish as much as humanly possible.
Take advantage of trading for help in ABNA threads, Facebook groups, or by email.
Bore all your uninterested friends with ad nauseum info on the topic.

Once you have Pressed SUBMIT

Go to ABNA forums and try to figure out who is interesting and clever.
Make comments on said fora in an effort at looking witty.
Tentatively talk to people who seem impressive in hopes of making friends.
Look up people on Facebook and add them to 'friends'.
Consider querying but not your confidence is entirely too low.
Consider writing but note you are obsessed with your already entered story.
Write a chapter for each of your ongoing fan fiction stories (maybe this is just me).
Eat badly.
Pull eating back in check and realize you don't need your concentration to power walk.
Pull out one of your other books and read it.
Curse self for not submitting THIS ONE instead.
Read blogs about first chapters.
Curse self for not having more gripping first chapter.
Blog about your anxiety.
Blog about blogging.
Blog about online friends.
Panic again.
Realize you've been neglecting pretty much everything.
Go back to ABNA fora. You are not alone.

If you make Second Round (Pure speculation. I have not DONE this). (1000 do 10%)

Squee a lot.
Swear, but in a good way.
Try desperately which friends you can celebrate with and who is in mourning at being out.
Reread your excerpt and decide it will never make it.
Cruise the ABNA boards trying to make NEW friends as the last batch has dwindled.
Realize you have a non-ABNA related deadline you can't ignore and try writing.
Give in to lousy first drafts.
Duck head and commit to getting on with it.
Check ABNA boards and Facebook from work just to... make sure...
Blog about anticipation.
Blog about lack of concentration.
Blog about crossing appendages.

If you make Quarter-Finals (again... speculation.... 500 make it 5%)

Freak out.
Tell the World.
Babble incoherently.
Call your mother.
Bring up that you WRITE with people you've never talked to about it before.
Go back and forth between TELLING PEOPLE and HIDING that your excerpt is not ONLINE.
Look for feedback.
Try feebly to finish book for deadline.
Panic at feedback.
Lose heart.
Peek again.
Cling to anything non-negative.
Blog about ambiguity.
Blog about insanity.
Blog about purple things.
Consider superstitious rituals.

If you make Semi-Finals (total speculation: 100 make it 1%)

Commit to freakout.
Give April and May up as a bad job.

If you make FINALS (wildest fantasy: 6 make it)

Beg every person ever met to read and vote on book.
Work the social marketing to best of ability.
Curse not polishing deadline book earlier.
Email every NYC friend and beg to see them when there.

Oh, if only...

Content generated by Hart Johnson
Pictures from Morguefile.com
First appearing together at Confessions of a Watery Tart


Will Burke said...

OMG, it reminds me of having a baby! Pave & Babble & tell random strangers & hyperventilate & Blog about it. You've had a well-invested year of writing practice since then, so you're likely to do better. No promises of a raging triumph, but you'll do better.

gae polisner said...

yeah, not sure I miss this all that much.

and yet. . . ;)

lisahgolden said...

This is the second post I've read today that made my palms sweat. The first one was about a friend's mishap on a ladder.

Dan said...

This'll be my first time entering. I have high hopes, but I'm also realistic about the competition.

Hart Johnson said...

Will, it IS a little like having a baby... except with a baby most of the times you WIN at the end... but yeah, the heart palpitations and driving other people nuts part are just like it...

Gae-I think that's how I'd feel... relieved and a little sentimental at the same time.

Lisa-yeah... it'll do that...

Dan--Excellent! Have you been on the boards? I've been editing so haven't much, but I will look for you.

Colene Murphy said...

OH...gosh...I'm not even submitting this year and that just made me nervous all over again. The very thought makes me want to puke nervous. Eep! Guess if you never try, though, you never make it!...

Old Kitty said...

Wow!!! What an emotional roller coaster for everyone entering ABNA!!!! I wish everyone all the very best - good luck, big hugs and may the writing amazonian gods and goddesses shine upon you and your baby novel!!!!

Take care

Michael Di Gesu said...

That just about sums it up.... Are we all ready? This year might be more fun we certainly know more people....

Friends will help calm down all this anxiety..... Keep calm Hart. You'll get through it; we all do!


Sarah Ahiers said...

oh man, just reading this stresses me out! i suppose it's a good thing i don't participate. Also, then i can cheer you on!

Carolyn Abiad said...

I'm gaining sympathy weight just reading this! Good luck!

Hart Johnson said...

Colene-no don't puke! That will make me puke, which is BAD!

Jenny-YAY for Amazon diety power! Thank you!

Michael-it's true--much easier to find the sources for comfort this time around!

Sarah--oh, come on--this doesn't sound FUN?

Carolyn-how thoughtful of you! teehee

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Reading this stressed me out. I can only imagine what a wreck I'd be. I can think of more fun ways to induce a migraine. ;-(

RaShelle Workman said...

Hart - I hope you make it! I hope you make it! You'll make it. =D

Southpaw said...

I like what Michael said. Maybe it will be a little more fun since you know more of the participants. Maybe?

Jan Morrison said...

oh dear, I suppose this isn't too much different thatn the odds of sending it over and over again to different agents and publishers only to be rejected over and over again. As if we were in third grade and had to try out for the choir or glee club or whatever. And we never get to just grow up and be accepted as we are. I get panicky and freaked out just reading it and I'm NOT IN IT - you are! GAWD!!! good luck and anything I can do short of doing it give me a buzz. I'll vote for you or whatever. Rah rah...excruciating. I adore you that you will try this again. You mutt you!

Helena said...

The only thing I miss about going for the ABNA is the forums -- I had fun on them last year. Enough witty people to entertain and intimidate me. And that's how I met met you, Hart -- cyberly speaking. So it was worth it. But I am SO DEFINITELY glad I'm not going for it this year, for the same list of reasons (panic, sweat, dread, hope!) that you list. ENORMOUS good luck to you, and here's to seeing your name among the finalists!

CA Heaven said...

Hmm, not sure what to say about this one, other than you apparently have a twisted mind (and you know I like twisted minds) >:)

Cold As Heaven

Patricia JL said...

Hmmm, I think that's exactly how I would react... or maybe a tad bit (a lot) worse. My friends would probably lock me in my room so they wouldn't have to deal with me.

Mark P Sadler said...

Good Luck.. very stressful. I tried in 2009 and will again, I hope, in 2012.

Hannah said...

Now I'm freaking out!! Good think I have a bottle of organic vodka. Mmmmmmm, smooth-y and vodka-y. By adding a "y," did I just make them adverbs?? ;P