So you can read my books

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ABNA 2013_THE UNEXPLORED TERRITORY_ confessions of a winner

ABNA 2013 is, indeed, unexplored territory.

With Penguin out and Amazon Publishing in, the dynamics are somewhat changed. 

What was true
for the past winners isn't exactly true for the winners this year.

That being said, one of last year's winners, Alan Averill_THE BEAUTIFUL LAND,

wrote a truly funny and informative post:

To sum it up for my busy cyber-friends, Alan writes:

I. It's not a scam.

     It's free to enter, free to participate, and at the end of the day, somebody (or a few somebodies) walk away with a bunch of money and a publishing contract.

II. What's up with the whole "non-negotiable" contract thing?

     If you get to the finals and you look over the contract and you decide
     "Screw this! I'm out!", then you simply refuse to sign and your slot in the finals
     is given to someone else.

     {However, with 2013, if you DO sell your withdrawn   "winner" book to another publisher, Amazon's
       contract might give them "first refusal rights."}
*Note that this is all based on my experience from last year,
     when the prize was a publishing contract from Penguin Books.

     This year Amazon is doing the publishing themselves, so I can't speak
     as to the nature of that deal.

     However, this is a pretty high-profile thing for Amazon,
    and I can't see how it would benefit them to bring new authors into the fold
    and then promptly screw them over.

III. Does Alan have any advice for this year's contestants?


     B. Art is subjective, and you have to hit the right judge at the right time.

     C. Luck be a lady tonight:

           " I think The Beautiful Land is a good little book, but I also got very lucky
             in terms of who my readers were --
                  they clearly enjoyed the idea and the story,
                  which means they probably had at least some love for sci-fi in general.

              Hell, one of the final three judges on the panel was Anne Sowards,
              the head of science-fiction and fantasy acquisition for Penguin Books.

              That's not hard work on my part, that's just really good luck.
                   And yeah, the book had to be decent and well-written and all that,
                   but luck plays a big role in all of this --
                   probably more than any of us are comfortable admitting."

 IV. Just thought you'd like to know what a past winner thought of this year's contest.

V. Some facts that you might find interesting:

The $50k won't come in one lump sum
rather it's broken up in three payments.
One upon signing,
Second, when the novel is turned in to the editor with all necessary changes,
and the last when it's published.
The same goes for the $15k winners.
These terms are industry standard across the board.
  But as long as you're not thinking of quitting your job, you should be okay.
What I can tell you is that Amazon Publishing offers terms more favorable to the author in terms of royalty splits
that they will price your book in a manner to maximize overall sales, rather than to maximize their profit on each book.
Amazon does A LOT of promotion.
While you may not have access to bookstores,
their marketing efforts are unreal.
Once again, if I've helped in some small way,
then, I am happy.


  1. You have, as always, my friend. I entered this year in hopes that Amazon will do a better job now that they're holding the reins. I was not impressed when Penguin was at the helm. We shall see.

  2. Heather:
    I think the number of entrants rushing in will cut off the entry time quicker than in past years. I wish you the very best in the contest.

    Hope your New Year is all you wish it to be. :-)

  3. I can't resist a Victor trailer, especially when you show a young McCord. Reading about him makes me want to know more about the real person.

    I loved the Rival, especially the time travel element.

  4. Much food for thought. Thanks for the info, Roland, and good luck!

  5. D.G.:
    A story of McCord when he was Victor's age is in BRING ME THE HEAD OF McCORD. I have fun with time travel in THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT, too! :-)

    Thank you, Wendy:
    Have a great summer down there! I wish you well if you decide to enter ABNA.