Those of you in the authoring world, especially the self-publishing half, know what the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is. I have never entered it before because my two previous books did not meet the 50,000 word minimum. Heirloom, however, just barely taps a toe over that finish line.
Here is how the contest works. It is open to the first 10,000 entries or until the finish date, whichever comes first. After the contest entry period closes, the author’s 300 word or less “pitch” is read. If the entry makes it past that, the excerpt of the first 3,000 to 5,000 words of the story is read. If the entry makes it past that, the manuscript is read.
Sooo, the first thing I had to do was study the pitches of past winning books. I did that and feel like I have a good pitch. It was the excerpt that worried me. I’m entering a book that is third in a series. How do I have the first 3,000 words be interesting, make sense, and set up backstory all at the same time?
Even though my book was released in November, I decided to revise the beginning. I had never been truly satisfied with it in the first place. I cut out some material in the first few chapters that I felt bogged the beginning down and changed the order of some of the other chapters. Then, of course, I fell under the 50k!!!
I decided to add two more scenes toward the end of the book that would a)add foreshadowing to one of the characters for book 4, and b)keep this character in the book for a longer period of time since I had always been a bit disturbed about how we never saw him again after chapter 30 (in a book with 44 chapters!)
The Heirloom that is currently for sale as a paperback on Amazon is still the first edition. The ebook is the 2nd edition. Tomorrow I will post here on this blog the additional material that has been added to Heirloom 2nd edition so that you don’t feel like you have missed anything if you already read it. 🙂 The biggest improvement is for people who start with Heirloom without having read Treasure or Lily.
If you would like the e-edition, I have it on sale from now until Feb. 17 for 99 cents. (I have never put book 3 on sale before, and you won’t see it often on sale.)
See you tomorrow!
S. Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade series, Seed Savers. Visit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on Twitter. Sign up for the newsletter!