Thursday, January 22, 2015
A Teary Good-bye: RIP ABNA
So Monday afternoon I got news that for me was very very sad.
And it is not UN-shiny... they have something called Kindle Scout where readers get to nominate and vote on pre-published books based on their descriptions... Winners get a small advance ($1,500) and the full power of Amazon's promoting arm...
You knew there was a but, eh? And not a butt, sadly...
And it is on a rolling system... sure they are doing more of them, but there are no giant “8000 cut at pitch” bonding moments among writers. The common journey is 90% of the beauty of ABNA... a pilgrimage in a writer's life, if you will...
And my final issue? No deadline. This is a rolling thing, so there is no urgency. How am I EVER going to get something publication-ready with no deadline!?
So For My ABNA Wake...
The BOOKS (and how I did)
2010: Confluence (the first I ever did and one that will need to be split in two if I ever decide to visit it again. Kicked out at pitch.
2011: Kahlotus Disposal Site (6th book written—this has been repped and subbed and is now back in my lap): This was a semi-finalist in the first year they split General Fiction from Young Adult, so top 50 of 5000 YA.
2012: Legacy (2nd book finished): Quarter-finalist and harshest review at that point—the reviewer found it unnecessarily comlicated, which it may have been. I would also split this in two if I revisit it.
2013: Medium Wrong (11th book): Kicked out at pitch. Of note, this was the year they went from two categories to five, so YA dropped from 1000 passed along to 400. This is the YA after Kahlotus in mind for polishing.
2014: A Shot in the Light: Parts I-IV (13th book, self published serially one part at a time): This book was a semi-finalist in the mystery/thriller category (you can get the full bundled set for $5.99 if you want, or it is for sale as a trilogy if you have already read part of it). Semi-finalist meant top 5—there were only 25 total semi-finalists (instead of the 100 there were when there were only 2 categories)
Now I'm not saying doing well in this contest has been great for my career, but it HAS been great for my confidence. I can write. (my marketing skills on the other hand, are sorely deficient)
But By FAR the BEST part of ABNA has been the solid friendships I've formed. The people I met first on ABNA and then have reinforced either HERE or on Facebook are probably those writer relationships that are strongest (other than my Harry Potter peeps who've been with me since before I was “out” as a writer). I couldn't possibly list them all, but there have been some wonderful successes and some hardships and a whole lotta fun.
On the ABNA site there is a place called the Manse (the origin of the picture below... our little fantasy world) where the most silliness occurs, but there are facebook groups, and over the years I've met people THROUGH ABNA friends who have ALSO been involved.
I really wanted to list all my buddies, but then realized the impossibility of such a task. I will, though, give a shout to the couple who have blogs I read regularly, since blogging is what we are about around here...
Allison DeLuca: A Fresh Pot of Tea
Michael DiGesu: In Time
Johanna Garth: Losing Sanity
Jenny Milchman: Suspense Your Disbelief
Erica Olson and Christy Hintz: Erica and Christy
Gae Polisner: Trying to Stay Afloat in a Sea of Word
Helena Soister: Becoming Layla
I'm sure I've missed some, so PLEASE don't be offended. Some others just don't blog very much or I am misremembering and feel like I knew them before we went through ABNA, so no disrespect intended if I met you there and am remembering wrong.
In any case, there are MANY MANY more people who've become good friends from this contest and I will sorely miss it. Though I will have the writer friends with me forever.