ABNAYou know, last October when I thought about signing up for Nano again, it was just sort of a passing fancy.  I really enjoyed it a long time ago, but I wasn’t really sure I was “there” yet.  Of course, there was only a few days before the contest started, and there’s nothing to lose by entering, so I did.  This new contest is similar, but with a lot more at stake.  There’s nothing to lose by entering, and it’s specifically timed so that Nano winners have six weeks to edit their project and have it ready to submit.  Even so, I sort of feel like I’ve jumped onto a freight train!

Anyway, I submitted my name to the contest powers that be, and I set up my submission account.  Eek!  It says that entries are closed because it’s still 2012.  That will change in a few weeks.  Now all I have to do is finish a prize-winning novel before January 14th.  Heh.  Not exactly what I thought I’d be doing this winter, but why not?  I’m pretty confident I’ll make it at least to the quarter-finals.

If you’re curious, here’s how it works.  10,000 initial entries are accepted from all over the world.  Though the submission dates are between 1/14 and 1/27, they limit the number accepted to 10,000 and the contest will close once they’ve reached the limit, regardless of date.  Since it’s from all over the world, I figure I have one day to enter.  They’ll select 2,000 of those to move to the 2nd round by Valentine’s day, based on the strength of a 300 word pitch.  Those 2,000 are whittled down to 500 (Quarter Finalists) by the Ides of March.

Anyone who makes it to the Quarter Finals will have their pitch and an excerpt of the novel published on Amazon.  This is the really tricky part, because Amazon customers can download, rate, and review them.  They provide feedback to Amazon Publishing Editors.  So what I need to do between January and March, under the assumption I make it to the quarter finals, is network like crazy.  Hopefully, if/when my story makes it to this stage, I can turn to my new groupies and say “Hey guys, it’s up, go give this a great review!”

By April 16th I should have a very good idea about what the future will hold.  Assuming I even make it to the Quarter Finals, the reviews will either take off like wildfire, or I’ll fall flat on my face.  The Publishing Editors will read over the reviews and feedback on each of the remaining 500 and select the top 25, 5 from each genre, to move on to the Semi-Finals.  If I make it that far I’ll be reviewed and edited by Amazon’s publishing editors and the editors of Publisher’s Weekly.

It would be amazing to make it that far, and it will take a great deal of luck and hard work.  Like I said, I think the story and presentation is strong enough to make it to the quarter-finals or I wouldn’t be going through this.  The rest is anyone’s guess.  Should I actually survive to become a finalist, that will be announced mid-May.  They pick the best submission from each genre from the 25 remaining, and fly all 5 authors out to Seattle for a big party.  The 4 “finalists” each receive a publishing contract with Amazon and a $15,000 advance on royalties.  The grand prize winner receives a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance.  Everyone from the semi-finals on up receives a great deal of publicity and even if you don’t make it as a finalist it still goes far to say the book was a semi-finalist when pitching it to other publishers.

So that’s how I’ll be spending my winter, assuming the Mayans weren’t right.  🙂


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