Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No ABNA Contest this Year!

This is really a bummer and very disappointing news.  Nothing will last forever, as they say.  I guess after six years, Amazon’s decided to try something new this year.  I don’t expect this new venture to be as popular, but time will tell.

Amazon introduced Kindle Scout back in September 2014.  This year any contest will be in collaboration with this new addition to Amazon.  This is a limited program as there are only three genres accepted for submission at this time and no one living outside the US can participate.  Perhaps Amazon is trying this out as a pilot program.  I’m hoping they may revamp the ABNA and bring it back, as it was the most extensive free writing contest out there.

Another difference between ABNA and Kindle Scout is that there will not be a long drawn out process starting with a well written pitch to advance authors to the next round where actual excerpts would be read.  You might have a killer book, but if you weren’t a master at the pitch you were given the boot out of the contest and your work never read.  In a way this wasn’t exactly fair, but it was how they wanted to run the contest after the first couple of years of its existence.

In my opinion, Kindle Scout is unfair in another way.  There are no pitches to get you booted this time, but if you don’t have superb marketing skills you’ll be out, perhaps leaving a good book on the table.  Of course, the upside to this is that you can self-publish it after your thirty days are up.

With Kindle Scout, manuscripts are submitted and then it’s up to the writer to garner votes for their submission anyway they can get them.  I think, in many cases; this will result in the book never being read at all.  In the end, the book with the most votes will win the publishing contract.  In my mind, this is almost worse than the way the ABNA contest was run.

But you have to look at things from Amazon’s point of view.  The ABNA contest lasted six months and it was probably a lot of work to coordinate through each round.  Big advances were awarded to the winners and perhaps the books never lived up to Amazon’s expectations.

With Kindle Scout, the advances are very small in comparison.  This contest is also an ongoing thing, so nothing to look forward to like the ABNA in magnitude and dynamics.  Writers can submit their work for consideration anytime throughout the year.  Another difference is that all books submitted have to be polished, professionally edited, have a cover, and be ready to publish.

So much has changed.  What I’ll miss is the camaraderie all the ABNA entrants shared.  Everyone was willing to help others polish their pitches and give advice on writing questions.  The contestants became like a family group.  This was a wonderful thing.  Everyone had fun while they waited for the next round to be announced and they also learned something at the same time.  You can’t beat that.

No comments: