08 November 2010

Whew!

First off, welcome to mysterious follower #14! I say mysterious because my blogger is not showing me my followers (now my "peeps"). So, Mysterious #14, I hope that you and everyone else will find something of worth on here.

OK, on to my regularly scheduled posting.

Lots of excitement going on! So many of my QT peeps are making their ways through the muck known as querying to reach the golden land of REPRESENTATION! That, my friends, is incredibly exciting, and also incredibly inspiring for those of us still trudging through the query swamp. Congrats again to Em, Jessica, and everyone else who got some sort of deal. Can't wait to read those books!

All right, peeps. For the writers following me, I wanted to point you in the direction of one of the best ways I've found to learn about upcoming contests:

C. Hope Clark's newsletters. To sign up, go to her blog and subscribe. That easy!

Some of you might be wondering why bother to enter contests. I did too, to be quite honest. But I ant to be able to have some credits to my name when approaching agents/publishers, and entering contests is one of the best ways to accomplish that. Being held up against dozens, possibly hundreds, of other writers and coming out at least top 3 is a pretty big deal. Some contests publish anthologies containing the winning entries. Some pay cash prizes. The important thing is that you're putting yourself out there. In a way, it's like marketing yourself.

And it helps with confidence, too. Even if you don't win, you still put your best foot forward. Most people don't have the courage to do that.

For instance, I entered my query in a contest on the disgruntled bear blog for the chance to win a 30 page critique from Ms. Bear herself. For the voting, my query was stacked against 10 others, and in the end, my query received 5 votes out of 332 (that's about .02%, just for reference). As I followed the voting, and as it became more and more clear that I was NOT winning, I consistently re-evaluated myself, my writing, my reason for subjecting myself to failure over and over again, and I eventually settled on the fact that 5 people would want to read MY book. Even though I felt that the other entrants were more talented (Jennifer, mentioned above, was one of them) or that they had much better stories, at least 5 people whom I have never met wanted to read my book over theirs. And now I feel pretty damn good about the whole thing.

You see, the one thing that separates Authors and Writers is perseverance. And IMHO, entering contests builds that. As long as your perspective remains positive.

So, go, my writers. Enter contests. Get your name into the world somehow. If you win or not, you're still working to get your foot in the door. And as always, I wish you success, regardless of your endeavors.

Lex

2 comments:

Disgruntled Bear said...

Hi Lex,

Actually, your query was quite intriguing. I think two factors kept your numbers low:

1 - your book is sci-fi, while a large chunk of my readers are YA paranormal readers

2 - several of the contestants linked over their blog followers to vote. This isn't a bad thing, since a blog following can boost book sales in the real world.

Check out Broad Universe (www.broaduniverse.org), if you've not already done so. Several members publish with and/or edit for the indie sci-fi presses. Best of luck!

lexcade said...

Thanks a lot for stopping by, Bear! Greatly appreciated.

Good point about the whole following deal... I guess I should have thought about that. Thank you for the confidence boost. Next time, I'll remember to tell my readers to vote for me ;D

I'm going to check out that website right now. Thanks again!

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