Well, I suppose that I knew it was coming. Or, in other words, you can’t win them all.
As part of my marketing and publicity strategy (I am very new to this), I am entering Benevolent into various book competitions throughout the year and even around the globe. It is the single-most expensive part of producing and marketing the book, but I am really hoping for some sort of recognition to help boost sales and bring insta-credibility to the book. (Note: Contests for books that are indie- or self-published are fewer than for those traditionally published, but I started with lists online by bloggers and journalists claiming the “best” contests for a indie/self-pub to enter. In the end we are looking at maybe fifteen over twelve months).
And while the results will be coming in from now until more than a year from now, the first contest happened to have a solid announcement date (meaning, not “sometime after the first of July,” but “Monday, April 29”). So, of course, I was sitting at my computer every free moment I had all that day, refreshing the awards page over and over and over. Then they gave a time! So I came back. Then they were late! And I sat around refreshing. Then they only did a partial announcement! And my categories were left for the next day, at least. So for a couple more days I did this until I finally accepted that, boo-hoo, my name was not going to pop up for this year’s IPPY for the Midwest Region or Literary Fiction.
And now I’m doing the whole “crap” thing. Have I made the right decision? Have I wasted a whole lot of money? Did I mail the entry right? Did I choose the right categories? Do I really think my book stands a chance? Is the book worth the paper it’s printed on? All the time and energy and even love I have put into it? Who am I kidding?
But I have to admit that while quite disappointed, I am not (at least for the most part) groping in the dredges of the fridge for old chocolate shavings and slumping onto the couch in front of the telly. In fact, the number one thing that I want to do right now is write. I want to write the next book, the next big thing, the one that will show them! Because I know that judging is highly subjective and I know that I can write well and I can be professional and, most importantly, I am going to keep working at this thing. There is no end to this job, this work of promoting and writing and then promoting and writing. And I wouldn’t want there to be.
But I’m starting to get off on a subject that I am covering next week for Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog, Catherine Caffeinated. So I’ll shut down for the night and–what else?–write another few pages on The Family Elephant’s Jewels, a 2014 IPPY hopeful.