So Friday I finally submitted my story for the Amazon UK Kindle Storytelling contest, as I had mentioned in last month’s blog. My planned 20K-word novelette turned into a 34,480-word project. You must be thinking, ooh… an editing crisis, right? Not so much, I hope. I kept everything that was relevant to get the story to the finish. I stuck to the plot outline, scripted only the scenes necessary to develop my characters, and did not embellish on the descriptive narratives. I stayed 100% flourish-free. At least, I tried.
This is how I can break down my work on this submission:
April 12: I received an e-mail newsletter from Amazon notifying me of the contest.
April 14: I decided to enter after almost talking myself out of it a number of times.
April 17: I announced my intentions on this blog so as to prevent myself from backing down.
April 17-19: I plotted and character sketched and outlined the hell out of the first half of the novel while maintaining an overall picture of how I wanted the story to end.
April 20-24: I wrote the first 18% of the novella.
April 24-30: I was super busy with the wedding of a former-colleague-cum-close-friend.
May 01-06: I vented off all the wedding stress by starting to binge on Supernatural (first time watching) and although I – initially – found it tame and under-researched in comparison to Buffy and Angel, I carried on procrastinating on my writing until I developed a crush on Dean and had to binge watch it for more flattering reasons. [This was about the same time my Internet access to WP went berserk so I tell myself I was too stressed to write anyway]
May 07-18: I manic-wrote the other 82% of my novella and edited as I went along. [Yes, I have not followed the golden rules of drafting and editing. I have sinned. Throw me in jail, hell, or whatever!]
May 18: I worked on my formatting and the book cover.
May 19: I included the details Amazon asked for and submitted the damn thing, good riddance!
Except there was a glitch. A stupid, stupid mistake on my part – something I would never have done in my corporate career. Forgot to include the keyword necessary for the submission to be included in the contest. So I spent the half the day of the 19th in a state of panic until my book became “Live” and I could go back and change the information in my metadata. And then waited for the other half of my day. It went back up in just the nick of time.
So did I do my best in telling this story?
Probably not. But there wasn’t enough time to write and procrastinate. I had to choose how much to dedicate where.
How do I really feel about the finished product?
I like it. Although I have since given up any hope of getting judges to read it. There have to be enough sales and customer reviews to get the judge’s attention – I doubt a first-time self-publisher will get all that hype without extreme marketing. And I am having a hell of a time getting my credit card endorsed with dollars from BD banks this year to actually do any paid marketing (BD always guards monetary outflow like a jealous mama feline but I think this year, they have Trump-ed the control).
The worse is, with the “StorytellerUK2017” keyword, my book seems to be only available on Amazon UK. Why that wasn’t mentioned in the entry regulation, I don’t know. But it’s out there now on Amazon for purchase and I’m thinking to myself, all that rush for this. If there had been more time (and I completely accept my end of the blame), the cover could have been better, I would’ve gotten it beta-read and institutionally registered, and a professional editor could have been brought into the picture.
Entering the contest might have been a bust but, BUT! I actually got a book up on Amazon – published an eBook and it’s in circulation for sale. I got off my nervous behind and just took the leap. That is what holds self-publishers back, isn’t it? Now, if I can only get UK customers to review the work…
And if any of you readers care to know, you can find my book Bad Daughter on Amazon at GBP 2.30 (USD 2.99). I’ll host countdown deals, free-book days, and other promotions soon as I get my cards endorsed. Until then, blogging and non-boosted social media posts are my only hope of getting any customer traction. Sigh… Let’s see what happens. Wish me luck, friends, feeling a bit at sea here.