10 Minute Writer

Confessions of a Busy Mom Who Became an Independent Novelist

Seeking Randy Jackson (Or How Getting Into the Quarterfinals of the ABNA Is Like American Idol)

Worldwide talent search. Extremely tough competition. High profile sponsorship. Is it American Idol or the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award?

It’s both!

Picture 27

Click on the image to go to my entry’s page!

Every year, Amazon.com hosts this talent search for the best unknown novel out there. During the first step, you submit your excerpt, download your manuscript and wait. It’s free. The catch is that only 10,000 writers can enter. ONLY 10,000. I think that’s a lot less than American Idol, but I could be wrong. Then, unknown judges, (sadly no Steven Tyler) goes through the entries and picks the next group to go through. That phase, I think, is like getting the golden ticket to go to Hollywood (or is it Las Vegas?)

I was STRONGLY encouraged to enter this year by my critique partner. It was fast and easy. I made it to the first two rounds. Now I’m in the quarterfinals! Less that 5% of that original 10,000 have made it this far. By making it to the 3rd round, that means I’ve not only gotten my golden ticket, but I’m in the top 20 (or whatever they’re calling it this year). Unlike American Idol, no one will call me “pitchy” or say something nonsensical that’s supposed to sound profound. (Randy Jackson would LOVE me, I know he would!)

What the judges DID say was this:

Amazon.com Review

Overall, this is one of the strongest excerpts I’ve read. Even though it remains to be seen if the rest of the novel maintains the freshness, wit and quirkiness of the excerpt, this is definitely a winner, and I’d love to read the whole thing.

Amazon.com Review

One wonders if this is time travel paranormal romance or one dream a man decides to take control of himself and make happen. Either way it is brilliantly written with a cast of witty characters. Would have loved to kept reading…
Okay. After reading that I had to stop. And cry. And catch my breath. And sit down. And remember to breathe. This is HUGE. HUGE!

Also, unlike AI, ABNA’s final decision is based on judges, not fans. But LIKE AI — first prize is SWEET! A $50K publishing contract and career boosts. (Runners up don’t do too badly either!) On AI, the singers get their fans to call in and vote. I can’t do that. But what I CAN do is ask you, my sweet, awesome readers, to go to my ABNA sample page and leave a few sentences as a review. This will increase my exposure, get more people aware of Falling For Your Madness and of course makes this happy author even more happy.

But more importantly than that, this victory comes after years and years of doubts. This comes after years and years of plugging away at this. This comes after decades of battling inner demons and wrestling with fears and carving out ten minutes here and there. It comes after getting upsetting reviews from other judges from other contests. This is a very sweet place to be.

I find out whether I make it to the semi-finals on April 16. I already feel like a winner. I don’t need to go any further to feel very satisfied with the success of my book.

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