If you've been following this blog for a while, or if you know me personally, you know the most important thing about me. I'm a writer. Hand in hand with that is the fact that every year for the last four years, I've entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards contest. Since this has been the subject of previous posts, I'm not going to go into great detail about what it is. The only thing I'll say is that while I never expect to win this competition, I would like to go deep into it.
I'm sad to report I didn't make it to round two this year. That means the three hundred words I had to convince the judges that I had the next great American novel was a wash. Needless to say, I'm beyond disappointed to be eliminated at the end of round one. I've been chewing on this the last few days and trying to find excuses to assuage my disappointment. What I've come up with is this:
This year, for the first time I entered my latest self-published novel. This is a new twist on the contest that only became an option last year. Though it was an option last year, I didn't want to enter a self-published novel. The reason was that I didn't want a lack of sales to be slanted against me. This year, I opted to enter my recent self-published offering, After All These Years. I made that decision because I've repeatedly been told it's my best work yet. With that seed planted in my brain, I thought I'd take a chance. The gamble didn't pay off. Now, I'm sitting here scratching my head and wondering if the judges checked the Amazon sales report before deciding whether or not to pass me. I suppose I'll never know.
I'll admit when I first found out I didn't get passed to round two I was more than disappointed. I was crushed. I started questioning myself and my ability as a writer. I began to wonder whether or not this was a sign of things to come. Was the fact that I wasn't moving on in this contest a sign that my dream of mainstream publication was never to be realized? Again, I don't know for sure, but let's hope not.