Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I have been getting some emails lately. ABNA (Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award) is about to open for 2013 and inquiring minds want to know what my journey was really like.
Were there secret meetings?
Who was in the black town car with tinted windows?
What about the money and contracts?
 At least, that is what the writers with visions of NYT bestseller lists in their heads want to know.
My other friends, the majority of the people I love, don't write and if they want to know anything, they just want me to expose what the life of a writer is really like.
Then I tell them, they make a very disappointed face, yawn, and let me go back to my laundry.
I will not be posting my publishing story here because some of you just come to see what current mess I've gotten myself into and don't really care about books or agents.
I will simply let you know that I set up a new page.
That's right, slide your eyes up and to the right. See it?
It says ABNA.
I will be updating it and giving details. And just so you know if it interests you or not, I am pasting my first entry below. If it makes you curious, just pop in sometimes and get the scoop and join the conversations.
I won't know what questions are burning in your hearts until you ask them. As promised, my first installment of "A Year Ago Today."

Welcome to my ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) page.
There is a plethora of curiosity about this contest and I want to give my fellow writers the low down.
I don't think I have ever said "low down" before. That made me laugh.
Anyway, I am contacted often with questions about the contest. I know what fellow writers want- they want the gritty details and most all, they want some numbers. I know what readers want- they want to know what happens behind the curtain before they pick up a book and read it. Time to fork over the answers.

I'm going to call this "A year ago today" and walk my readers through the emotions and practical steps I took to get my book off the ground. I will just start highlighting points of my journey to publication until I reach the big climax- winning ABNA, and in August I'll tell you all about releasing a book through a big house publisher.

So, for my first installment let me take you back exactly one year to January 8th, 2012. My book had been available for exactly four days on Amazon and I had never heard of ABNA.
After trying to get an agent and publisher and failing big time, I gave up on the idea of publishing books. I decided to make my first, and I thought, only, book available to my friends and family through Amazon KDP (kindle direct publishing). That way they could have it for free and if felt good to finally share the fruits of my labor.
After four days my book had been downloaded by far more than my family and my three friends. Okay, I might have more than three friends, but I certainly don't have thousands. Of course, none of that had any monetary value (I didn't make a cent because I didn't charge a cent) but since I never expected to make a cent, that didn't really matter. I was reeling from the fact that thousands of people owned a book I wrote. That was good enough for me. And scary enough for me. I had meant to put my toe in and found myself falling off the high dive into the deep end. There was an indescribable fear as I waited to see if I would belly-flop and anticipated the pain of horrible reviews.  It made for some sleepless nights.

You can see my blog entry from exactly a year ago today

I made one last effort to query and sent out my KDP stats along with my first reviews that came in. (I was shocked to see reviews in twenty four hours!) I never expected anyone to read that fast! But read they did, review they did, and I sent it all out to ten more agents, wondering if maybe life had a few surprises for me yet.

A year ago today, I was glued to my computer, clicking refresh to see how many new people downloaded my book, wondering if any agents would write back, with no idea how my life was about to change...

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