Tagged: abna

Bittersweet’ness

sadness

Sadness!

So I didn’t make the 3rd round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  So what!  I’m not going to cry.  Truth be told, I’m an idiot.  Part of the rules explicitly says to remove your name from all parts of the contest submissions (Pitch, Excerpt, Manuscript).  I didn’t remove my name from the manuscript.  Automatic disqualification.  Now, nobody would have seen the manuscript until AFTER I passed the 2nd round.  So I e-mailed ABNA to notify them I made the error a couple days ago, but no changes can be made after submission ends.  I accept my fate.  Plus, it’s better I didn’t advance knowing I’d be DQ’d in the next round.  I would have taken up a spot that should have gone to a legitimate contender.  However, I still received feedback on the excerpt which are below:

#1:

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The writer knows the rudiments of the sci fi genre. He or she delivers a credible tale about a credible attempt to save the species in the midst of an epidemic — a theme that certainly resonates with sci fi fans.

What aspect needs the most work?

Much of the tale is overwritten and overly dramatic. It did not help that there was such a strong religious underpinning, which distracted from the forward propulsion of the story. I felt that the characters simply weren’t two-dimensional enough.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I think the excerpt needs work to compete effectively. The writer relies on evocative images (“cold, trembling hand”) instead of creating unique word-pictures. More work is needed to round out the characters and the plot.

#2

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The goodness and faith of the President and his wife in attempting to lead. The awfulness of taking the young away, the rapid decline and loss of so many, and the devastation left behind are quite palpable as we get to know Josh.

What aspect needs the most work?

There is a great deal of action in the excerpt. It is of course very necessary due to the beginning plot of this novel. Throughout this science fiction/horror story, the author needs to maintain a human interest in the characters.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

A very fine beginning that with an eye to staying on the mystery and human character track could make for a very successful thriller.

happiness

These reviews are awesommmmeee!!111

I wouldn’t argue with either of these.  I’d say compared to the rest of the story, the prologue has the least amount of depth.  It almost immediately sets up the conflict, so you know what is at stake.  But the depth of character and story doesn’t come until Chapter 1 begins.  ABNA was a lot of fun, and I’ll certainly join again next year!

The good news is, my giveaway books from Goodreads has made it into the hands of the winners, and a handful have rapidly read and reviewed the book.  I’ve gained a fan…yes…ONE whole fan, so that’s awesome. 🙂  The reviews have been overly positive and I’m glad to hear people are enjoying it.  Here are some that were (or will be) posted on Goodreads:

This book was won through a GoodReads Giveaway! Huge thank you to the author, Timothy H. Scott for the signed copy.  This book was more like a 3.5 stars. But there is not an option for it. Very quick read. Pretty fast paced, as it would have to be because its only 200 pages long.I enjoyed the storyline and I even liked the characters. I wish there was more of a back story, depicting what happened on Earth to make people venture into Space looking for a new safe habitable planet. I also wish there was more storyline into the Academy and the planet they eventually land on. I would have loved this book, had it been longer with much more information. What happens to Josh and Leah? How did these people survive? What or who made these man killing robots? I am hoping for a sequel. I would definitely love a sequel.

———

This was a great book. I started it and finished it in two days. I literally could not put it down. Took it with me to work and read it instead of working! Passed it onto my son and now he is reading and loving it. Reminded me a lot of “darkness beyond the stars” by Frank Robinson. Great story about what might be the last two humans left. Definitely a must read.

———-

I just finished this book today and I loved it! It was very exciting. I enjoyed how Timothy Scott included a second survivor instead of just the main character by himself. The book starts out and goes right into the action, so it was a page turner from the start. The language was fresh and engaging and the pacing of the plot was perfect. However, It was a quick read and it seemed to end a bit abruptly. I would’ve liked to read a bit more. Is there a sequel?? 🙂

Definitely made my day!  It currently has 9 ratings, with an average of 4.11/5.  I’ve decided it’s worth pursuing a sequel to ACBW, and will be working on that after I finish Dustland.  There’s enough back-story that I left on the table to easily create one.  It’s been interesting to hear readers’ take on the fact that I left a lot of questions unanswered.  I purposely did this, as I wanted to focus on Josh and Leah exclusively, with the circumstances surrounding them being just as mysterious to the reader as it is to them.  Some people don’t like so much left unanswered, but most do enjoy it, but they still want to find out more in a sequel (and I’m interested in telling them!)

Writing is a fun gig!!

Goodreads and ABNA: An interesting March!

These books are #1 sellers in my living room (hey we gotta start somewhere!).  My Goodreads Giveaway ends on March 2nd (I extended so I could get the books on time to ship out, and in return I have nearly 700 people signed up for the contest).  Goodreads picks the 15 winners and will e-mail me their names and addresses, and I get to send them one of these bad boys.  I just have to figure out if I want to add anything to the book…a handwritten note, a bribe for a positive review, fine white powder (to playfully scare them into calling 911…ok, maybe not that one…wait, don’t they say even negative press is good press? Hmm…jail time not so good though).

With all the focus on ebooks20130228_105942 these days, there’s something to be said about getting a physical book in your hands.  Of all the thousands of downloads both of my books have received (through free promos, sales, and borrows), I’ve only received a total of 9 reviews between them both.  Let’s face it, everyone’s Kindle is overflowing with books.  They may get to reading mine in a few years!  A physical book in the mail though?  Much more likely to at least crack it open and give it a shot, even if they end up using it as kindling for their fire.  Sure, it costs a bit of money, but despite the ability to publish for “free”, this business costs money, and we need to invest a minimum amount to give ourselves a fair chance against all the other quality books.  Book covers, editing, promotions, Giveaways, etc.

On March 12th, the 2nd round cuts are announced for the ABNA contest.  Everyone that made the first cut will receive 2 short reviews on why your book did, or didn’t, make it to the 3rd round.  I’ll post whatever they say, even if they’re negative.  Then I’ll rip into them.  Who are YOU, anyway, anonymous person?!  Stay tuned!!

 

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award – Made the first cut!

abna

Amazon runs this yearly contest, henceforth called “ABNA”, that draws in 10,000 books to compete for a grand prize of $50k and a contract with Amazon Publishing.  It’s a fantastic opportunity for indie authors.  There’s a lot of books to choose from these days, particularly in the indie scene, and sometimes even great books can get lost in the shuffle.  Any opportunity for an indie to get their book a chance to be seen, read, and hopefully rewarded for their effort is worth trying for.

The first round cut was announced today, and I’m happy to say I made it in!  8,000 books did not make the first-round cut.  The remaining 2,000 is spread evenly between the five genres.  On March 12th, these 2k books will be cut down to 500 (100 in each genre).  At this point, Publisher’s Weekly reviews the manuscript of all 500 books.  On April 16th, only 25 books will remain and Amazon Publishing Editors will conduct their review.  On May 21st, only 5 books are left and are voted on.  Top prize gets the $50k advance and a publishing contract, and the remaining 4 finalists get a $15k advance and publishing contract.  What better opportunity could we ask for?

The first round judging was based on the “pitch”.  This is a more detailed book summary that you would typically see on the back cover, and for me and many others, probably the most difficult.  This is a very short opportunity to draw the interest of a potential reader.  If it’s not written well, you end up one of the 8,000 people who get cut.  It was the first time I wrote one so I wasn’t sure how I stacked up to the rest of the competition, but I must of done sumthin’ right!  I’ll post an update on March 12th on whether I make the final 500 or not.