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Topic: 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

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Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Subject: 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
Date Posted: 12/16/2012 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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Hey everybody!  I've been away for a few years, but it's nice to see so many of you still around! :)

I was planning on having my novel ready to enter this year's ABNA, which starts Jan. 14.  (Not quite there yet, but I'm planning on taking some time off to work out some remaining story kinks.)  This year they have ended their participation with Penguin.  The winners will now be published directly through Amazon.  This doesn't seem like much of a big deal to me.  Of course, the odds of winning this thing much less making it through the first couple rounds are incredibly difficult, regardless of who the ultimiate publisher will be. 

Just curious what others think about Amazon going solo with this instead of teaming up with a major publishing house.  Anyone else out there planning on entering?

Date Posted: 12/16/2012 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I think it is great because Penguin has been one of the publishing houses with ebooks priced high and no way an author had any say in price.

Plus amazons paperback quality has gone up, they get loads more traffic and less stigma attached to them now.

I'd say go for it, enter and see how you do. I think they also give out comments on the novel, which can be great.  I know many new authors that have entered over the years and never regretted it.

Not entering this year, but maybe the year after if I get my butt into gear and polish my novel.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 12/23/2012 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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Thanks Xengab!  I have to get my butt in gear here too to finish off the final few rewrites... only 3 weeks to go!

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Subject: PITCH
Date Posted: 1/12/2013 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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It's the final weekend before the ABNA competition submission period starts. Wish I had more time, but I'm going to submit my novel as is anyway and see how far I get. First round is the pitch, where they narrow the 10,000 entries down to 2,000. So I have to get that right. It's graded on 1. Originality of idea, 2. Overall strength of pitch, and 3. Quality of writing. Here's what I have crafted. If you saw this on a book cover, would it make you want to buy it? ...


All his life, Captain Airn Drakier has known his future is doomed.

Two hundred years ago, his grandfather was a hero to the Revolution. He was no sympathizer, but strongly believed fighting the revolt was not in the Empire’s best interests. Refusing to commit his troops guaranteed the Empire’s defeat, resulting in his exile. But worse than that, Empire sorcerers cursed the Drakier family with a wasting disease which would afflict untold generations to come. Now that his own father has succumbed to the curse, Airn knows not to trust magic. A difficult thing to avoid in a world reliant on it.

Returning from a bloody two-year war, Captain Drakier finds the home his grandfather inadvertently helped create isn’t quite the same as he remembers. For the first time in history a dwarf has been appointed Chief Consul of the Kalain Confederate. Elitist elves have formed insurgent factions that threaten to tear the nation asunder.

Reunited with old friends at his homecoming, Airn witnesses increasingly disturbing acts of prejudice and racial violence as he discovers the various factions have united into an Elven Brotherhood, led by a man possessing magical powers thought lost for millennia. Furthermore, he is allied with mysterious shadow demons that have a dark agenda of their own—one involving Airn personally.

Thrust into events beyond their control, Captain Drakier and his friends set out to investigate the Brotherhood’s ultimate plans. But defeating them will require some way to counter the shadow demons’ dark sorcery. And that will demand Airn to put aside his deep distrust of magic. Otherwise, nothing they do will prevent the Confederate’s rapid plunge into civil war!

Date Posted: 1/12/2013 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Here's my take on it.. too wordy, II'd not read all of it.

All his life, Captain Airn Drakier has known his future is doomed.

Two hundred years ago, his grandfather was a hero to the Revolution. He was no sympathizer, but strongly believed fighting the revolt was not in the Empire’s best interests. Refusing to commit his troops guaranteed the Empire’s defeat, resulting in his exile. But worse than that, Empire sorcerers cursed the Drakier family with a wasting disease which would afflict untold generations to come. Now that his own father has succumbed to the curse, Airn knows not to trust magic. A difficult thing to avoid in a world reliant on it.

Returning from a bloody two-year war, Captain Drakier finds the home his grandfather inadvertently helped create isn’t quite the same as he remembers. For the first time in history a dwarf has been appointed Chief Consul of the Kalain Confederate. Elitist elves have formed insurgent factions that threaten to tear the nation asunder.

Reunited with old friends at his homecoming, Airn witnesses increasingly disturbing acts of prejudice and racial violence as he discovers the various factions have united into an Elven Brotherhood, led by a man possessing magical powers thought lost for millennia. Furthermore, he is allied with mysterious shadow demons that have a dark agenda of their own—one involving Airn personally.

Thrust into events beyond their control, Captain Drakier and his friends set out to investigate the Brotherhood’s ultimate plans. But defeating them will require some a way to counter the shadow demons’ dark sorcery. And that will demand Airn to put aside his deep distrust of magic.
Otherwise, nothing they do will prevent the Confederate’s rapid plunge into civil war!

Change either hightlighted word, having two in the same sentence just feels like you're repeating it. Maybe use "formed" instead of united.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 1/12/2013 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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I like some of your ideas!  Thanks!  Especially the reunited/united - I hadn't noticed that. 



Last Edited on: 1/12/13 4:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/12/2013 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Happy to help :) Just remember to thank me in your acceptance speech hehe Best of luck.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 1/13/2013 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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Riiiiiiight...  Seriously, I'm just hoping to make it to the quarter-finals, where you get a review of your full manuscript.

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 2/13/2013 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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Well, it seems my pitch wasn't enough to crack the top 400.  But the odds of making it in this thing are astronomical, so not really a big deal.  But it was fun to enter and dream for awhile!

So it's back to finishing up the last few tweaks I want to make to the manuscript and then try shopping it around and see what happens!

Date Posted: 2/14/2013 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Good on you for even trying. Takes alot of nerve to send things in.  best of luck!