An ad in the current Poets and Writers caught my interest: Novel contest with a $5,000 prize. No money up front. "What could go wrong?" I asked myself. The contest is sponsored by Inkubate, a service that promises to "show writers’ works to publishers and agents". Great idea, but I already have a publisher, Muskrat Press, a small press established by a couple of my writing buddies, Jeannie Burt and Lisa Alber and myself. My goal isn't to find a publisher or agent, but to promote my book. Winning literary prizes will help, but to enter the Inkubate contest, you need to create a profile on their website and upload your novel to their servers. Honestly, I'm not willing to do that. Though I haven't found any bad press about Inkubate and it may legitimately help writers get published, the whole concept makes me leery.
For me the prize money is secondary to the exposure. So, I'm going to pony up some bucks and enter the Independent Publisher Book Award Contest. "Established as the first awards program open exclusively to independents, the "IPPYs" recognize hundreds of the year's best books, giving them instant credibility and bringing them to the attention of booksellers, buyers, librarians, and book lovers around the world." Entries cost $95 per title per category for printed books, an additional $55 if you enter the regional contest and $55 for e-book entries.
Blogs of Note
Molly Greene: Writer
I've been trying to figure out how to use Twitter as a promotion tool. In that journey, I've found a couple of blogs worth your attention. One is by Molly Greene called, simply enough, Molly Greene: Writer. It's packed with information for the self-published or small press author. An entry that I found particularly fascinating was on Kobo Writing Life. If you've published an e-book, you probably know about Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Barnes and Noble Pubit, but those outlets only cover a portion of the market. While Amazon focuses on America, Kobo reaches out to the rest of the world. Better yet, it uses the epub format, so if you've converted your files for the Nook, you're all set for uploading to Kobo. Just one of the tidbits on Molly's blog, it's a great resource for the emerging novelist.
Another blog worth checking out is Ksenia Anske's blog. She's an emerging novelist with a great voice. Voice is the toughest skill for a writer to master - some writers are born with it, some have to struggle a long time to develop it. Ksenia is born with it. Her voice is strong and clear and well worth reading. Check out her novel excerpt on her blog and you can say you knew her when.
A word of warning though, her prose can be dark. The title of her novel in progress is Siren Suicides. As someone who worked as a counselor on a suicide hotline, I found the passage to be engaging and authentic.
High up on the east side of the Oregon Cascades.