For some time now, I’ve been jokingly referring to myself as an aspiring professional writer. Given that I do have some freelance credits to my name, I suppose it’s more accurate to say I’m an aspiring professional novelist and even more specifically an aspiring professional young adult novelist.
In the last few months, I’ve taken a number of steps to secure my status as a professional. I’ve aggressively searched for an agent and have also entered my work in a few contests in the hopes of gaining recognition. By this time tomorrow, I’ll know the outcome of the latter.
The results of the next round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards are due to be released tomorrow, and I’m hoping to see my name there. The field is being narrowed from one thousand to two-hundred-fifty. Significant about this is that those advancing will have excerpts of their novel posted on Amazon for customers to read and rate. This is a make or break portion of the contest. Those with higher ratings and more positive reviews demonstrate a high marketability and have a good chance of advancing to the final rounds.
Having entered this contest every year since its inception, it’s hard to be hopeful that I’ll advance, but for some reason I can’t help it this year. I’m more optimistic this year than I have been in years past. I suppose that could be because last year I didn’t even make it past the first round, but that’s only a small part of it. The novel is well edited. Though I’ve always tried to make sure the final product is polished, I inevitably miss one or two small things. Not this year. This year, it’s been through heavy editing by more than one pair of eyes who caught things I missed, which allowed me to correct them prior to entry. This novel, in my humble opinion of course, has high commercial appeal which I attribute to its controversial stance on good and evil. Finally, this novel has a large on line following of readers who’ve been clamoring to see it in print.
Taking a look at all of these factors as objectively as I can, it’s hard not to imagine it failing to advance in the contest. Only time will tell if my confidence is for not, but I will say this. Despite my high hopes, I’ve been wrong before. Just ask my teenage daughters!
Until tomorrow, here’s to hoping for the best. Oh, and don’t be surprised when next week’s blog is either a lament of my lack of advancement or a joyous celebration of making it through along with a plea to help me keep going.