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Monday, April 15, 2013

Tomorrow Amazon Announces the Semi-Finalists

I wish I felt better about my odds at progressing into the Semi-Finals, but my gut feeling at this point is that I will not. I think I wrote a great book that appeals to more than just fans of romantic fiction, and I will work to get published if I fail to make it to the next round of ABNA, but it takes more than a good story and great writing to continue on ... you also have to be lucky enough to have your work read by someone who reads ... and enjoys ... the genre in which you write.

Some of the Publisher's Weekly reviews are available to contestants, privately. It is my understanding that all Quarter-Finalists get two PW reviews.  (Note: I was incorrect ... we get one PW review). I have one review posted to my account, and it isn't glowing. It wasn't horrible or scathing, but it was definitely not kind. If they are correct in their assessment, then I have some things to work on. For instance, they said Larry was constantly talking about his past, his dreams, needs and wants, and that Tara had a crippling self-esteem issues and "never had anything to say, so she said nothing at all".


If that's what they took away from the story, then I did not write it well. Yes, Tara does have self-esteem issues, but they are hardly crippling ... and yes, Larry talks about his past, etc., but every book has characters who talk/remember their past ... and since Larry is quite content with his life, his past is a very minuscule part of the book.

The way they referred to "the genre" in the review makes me feel like this is not someone who reads romance novels. I received two amazing reviews from the Amazon Vine Reviewers, who both chose to read from the romance category, and they both loved the excerpt. These are the people who buy books, so I'm choosing to believe their comments are closer to what a romance reader would feel.

I had heard that the PW reviews were notoriously brutal, and yet I wasn't worried ... I was actually looking forward to their reviews! Oh, how naive I can sometimes be! I will read my book again, and try to see it through the eyes of the PW reviewer.

I am very curious to see who makes it through to the Semi-Finals. I read a good many of the excerpts in the romance category, and wasn't impressed by any of them. There were a few that I might pick up at the library, but I didn't read any that made me want to finish them badly enough to purchase them.

One more day and I will know if I'm one of the lucky 5% to continue on ... or if I will be one of the disappointed 95% that will be eliminated.

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