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View Full Version : ABNA's back! 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award



hester
12-16-2011, 09:38 PM
Well, it will be-the submission period for YA and adult submissions is January 23, 2012 (apologies if this has been posted before, btw). Award is a $15,000 advance from Penguin in each category.

Further deets: www.amazon.com/abna (http://www.amazon.com/abna).

Maramoser
12-19-2011, 11:52 PM
Good to know! I have no plans to enter, but I always enjoy following the contest. Reading all the excerpts in the quarter-finals (right?) is particularly fun.

aruna
01-23-2012, 04:22 PM
I've entered for the third time with the same book!
I must be a masochist...

All I want is to get into the quarter finals.
The book isn't going anywhere anyway so might as well.

Anyway: submissions are open.

hester
01-23-2012, 10:52 PM
Best of luck aruna! :).

I'm debating whether to enter or not-I have one manuscript I'm currently querying and another that may or may not be destined for the trunk. I may enter the latter on the "no harm, no foul" theory ;).

aruna
01-24-2012, 12:15 PM
Best of luck aruna! :).

I'm debating whether to enter or not-I have one manuscript I'm currently querying and another that may or may not be destined for the trunk. I may enter the latter on the "no harm, no foul" theory ;).

Oh, go ahead! Nothing to lose!

The last time, one of the pitch reviewers objected to the prologue: it was too big a "jump", s/he said. Well, duh! That's what prologues do, they jump! Anyway, I removed the prologue and integrated it into the later text, even though it occured long before the current action. I intergarted it as a memory.

Interesting, that Donald Maass is one of the judges this time. He actually requested this ms many, many years ago but finally rejected it. Since it has been revised many times since then -- twice following the recommendations of two different agents -- if it gets that far at least I know he is favourably disposed to the premise.

kalencap
01-25-2012, 09:47 AM
I submitted this year. Was a good way to finally get the whole first novel out the door for the first time.

Eliza C
01-25-2012, 06:30 PM
I've read all the way through the contest rules for this year and am considering submitting a manuscript. The only bit that concerns me is that if you make it only to the quarter- or semi-finals and no further, the excerpt of your book (they can post anywhere from 3-10k words) is available to anyone on Amazon.com, including the reviews it has received.

If you get that far but don't win, does having that excerpt posted hurt you for querying agents and editors? I know that having part or all of a manuscript posted or published can kill a book's chance for a deal with a publisher, but it would seem that making it that far in the contest and having the blurb and reviews on Amazon could be a good thing.

Has anyone had their excerpt posted and gone on to sell their novel to a publisher?

fourlittlebees
01-25-2012, 06:55 PM
I've read all the way through the contest rules for this year and am considering submitting a manuscript. The only bit that concerns me is that if you make it only to the quarter- or semi-finals and no further, the excerpt of your book (they can post anywhere from 3-10k words) is available to anyone on Amazon.com, including the reviews it has received.

If you get that far but don't win, does having that excerpt posted hurt you for querying agents and editors? I know that having part or all of a manuscript posted or published can kill a book's chance for a deal with a publisher, but it would seem that making it that far in the contest and having the blurb and reviews on Amazon could be a good thing.

Has anyone had their excerpt posted and gone on to sell their novel to a publisher?

First, having an excerpt posted does not kill your chances with a publisher.

If you check the ABNA threads on Amazon, there are tons of threads about those who have gone on to publish, both self-publish as well as traditionally publish. The reviews are generally meaningless; you see a lot of things on there, but often cabals of friends reviewing each other with five-star reviews, as well as a lot of revenge reviewing for honest reviews. Most tend to ignore.

My advice? Enter if you want. Know that agents generally don't really care to hear about ABNA unless you get at least to the semis with your novel. Know that it's a crapshoot and you can get to the semis one year and not make it past the pitch stage the next year with the EXACT same pitch and novel. Know that until you get to the quarters, they are average readers just like you and me, which is WHY it's a crapshoot, but you may get valuable feedback.

It's a great way to meet other writers and get some decent feedback, but anyone looking at it as a "This is going to be how I'm going to make it" might as well be buying lottery tickets expecting to quit their jobs tomorrow.

That said, I may enter again this year. I don't know.

hester
01-25-2012, 08:03 PM
What 4LB's said :). It definitely won't hurt your chances for future publication of the MS-in fact some contestants got picked up by Amazon's Encore program.

I entered on the "what the hell" theory. The book's actually undergoing some extensive revising, but the first version had some agent interest, so...what the hell :).

Best of luck to everyone!

Pterofan
01-25-2012, 11:25 PM
Just uploaded mine. And now we wait.

Good luck, everybody!

heyjude
01-26-2012, 06:03 PM
Good luck, everyone! Hope an AWer is the winner. :)

Stiger05
01-26-2012, 06:20 PM
Just curious, what is the protocol if the book you want to enter is one you've been querying? I thought I'd gotten answers on all of the queries I submitted and decided to submit to ABNA, but then an agent I queried in September asked for a partial (non-exclusive). Should I pull my ABNA submission or leave it? I'm thinking if I queried in September and the agent responded in January, I'll probably be out (or the contest will be over) before I hear back on my partial anyway. Thoughts?

hester
01-26-2012, 07:03 PM
My take? Send the partial and leave in the ABNA submission. I was in a similar situation back in 2010 (querying the novel I subbed to ABNA, and I continued to send partials and fulls when they were requested). At this point you don't know what's going to happen with either the sub or the contest, and if you do accept an agent offer you can ask him/her if they want you to withdraw from ABNA (I believe you can do so up until the time the semifinalists are announced, but it never hurts to double-check).

Hope this helps, and best of luck! :)

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-29-2012, 07:54 AM
Did anybody else read the title of this as "ABBA's back!"

:tongue

Pemako
01-30-2012, 09:52 PM
Help! I'm very indecisive. I'm ready to start querying my one and only completed novel, and I'm wondering if I should enter it in ABNA too. My concern is that after I (I hope) get some feedback from queries I may want to do revising, and I'm wondering if it's wise to have the manuscript tied up like this when I'm a beginner to the entire process. Thanks!

fourlittlebees
01-30-2012, 11:46 PM
Help! I'm very indecisive. I'm ready to start querying my one and only completed novel, and I'm wondering if I should enter it in ABNA too. My concern is that after I (I hope) get some feedback from queries I may want to do revising, and I'm wondering if it's wise to have the manuscript tied up like this when I'm a beginner to the entire process. Thanks!

::voice from jaded ex-querier::

You probably have greater odds of getting to the stage where you get feedback from the Vine readers (1/10) than you do getting feedback from a query (most of which are form rejections).

The majority of agents who take the time to give you enough feedback to revise with are those who would give you an R&R and they are like finding gold when you pan for it. I found even most fulls come back with little more than a "not for me."

If it's pro feedback you want, more and more the only way to get it is via conference. If it's feedback in general, find more/better betas.

I did like the feedback I got last year from the Vine reviewers, and as I already had a revision plan in place when I entered, it helped solidify my idea. I was one of the few who had PW and both Vine reviewers on the same page. Most did not who got that far, and were more confused than when they started.

I don't want to discourage anyone just starting out querying, but viewing it as a way of getting feedback is like buying another lottery ticket... with way more players and them taking out half the balls without you knowing. It's just that: querying. 99% of the agents aren't doing it because they want to help emerging writers; it's because they want to find a book they can whip into shape quickly and easily to sell. That's it. They aren't looking for diamonds in the rough, and a lot are so jaded themselves they no longer even respond to queries, even with a form rejection.

Mclesh
01-30-2012, 11:57 PM
Did anybody else read the title of this as "ABBA's back!"

:tongue

Yes! I had to read it twice. I thought: No, not possible. ABBA has always said they will never reunite. Sadly.:D

Good luck everyone!

Pemako
01-31-2012, 05:15 AM
Thank you so much, fourlittlebees. They make it sound a little scary:
"Manuscripts submitted as entries to the Contest cannot be actively shopped by agents during the contest period, which runs from January 23, 2012 to June 16, 2012."
I know - lol - that's it's unlikely that I'll find an agent - still, that is an awfully long time. On the other hand, it looks as if it's possible to withdraw a manuscript until March 20, so that makes it less intimidating. Thanks again!

aruna
01-31-2012, 10:19 AM
When I entered last year I actually had a face to face interview with an agent in London, regarding the same novel. Even though everything looked positive, and she even asked me for revisions, I did not withdraw the submission. Eventually, it was a good thing, as the agent did not take me on.
You do have the option to withdraw if you get an offer of representation. Why not keep your options open?

Eliza C
01-31-2012, 07:04 PM
fourlittlebees and hester - thanks for the response. My submission is in.

shaldna
02-23-2012, 04:33 PM
just a heads up that the 2000 entries through to the next round will be announced sometime today on http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Novel-Award-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=332264011

best of luck to all who entered.

Stiger05
02-23-2012, 08:30 PM
So who is through? I made the cut! I also noticed that egoodlett and slhastings made it through. Go AW'ers! Anyone else?

aruna
02-23-2012, 08:33 PM
Well done and good luck!
I didn't make it this year. Same book, same pitch that made it through this round in 2009 and 2011.

Stiger05
02-23-2012, 11:31 PM
I'm sorry to hear that aruna! I didn't mean to rub it in or anything. This is my first year. Judging from the ABNA forums, there were quite a few that made it in before that didn't make it this year. Curious. Good luck with other avenues though!

Tumbleweed
02-24-2012, 12:20 AM
Mine got through :). 'The Bleaklands' in YA.

I entered this novel last year but didn't get past the pitch stage (I obviously rewrote it for this year) and in 2010 I got to the semi's with 'Beyond the Glacier'.

I missed the excitement and anticipation last year so looking forward finding out if I got to the next stage at the end of March.

Pterofan
02-24-2012, 02:01 AM
I'm out. :(

Good luck to those of you who made it.

Marika
02-24-2012, 04:46 AM
I got through to round two also in YA. "Screwing Up Time" by CM Keller

aruna
02-24-2012, 10:08 AM
I'm sorry to hear that aruna! I didn't mean to rub it in or anything. This is my first year. Judging from the ABNA forums, there were quite a few that made it in before that didn't make it this year. Curious. Good luck with other avenues though!

Oh, you weren't rubbing it in at all! Even in the years when I got past the pitch stage. I've always said that the first two rounds are more or less a lottery -- it all depends who you get as a Vine "reviewer" and some of them are, sorry, world class idiots. I remember one of the "reviews! I got at the second round, my first year: it was basically one line saying "I liked this excerpt." The second year, the "reviewer" objected because there was "too big a jump" between the prologue and chapter one. Obviously, someone who has no idea what a prologue is!
I've always hoped to get past round two, to be assessed by professionals.
I'll enter gain next year. Same book, same pitch! :)

hester
02-24-2012, 08:06 PM
I made it through the pitch stage for my YA. Cautiously pleased, but not getting my hopes up too high (I made it through the pitch stage two years ago but didn't advance beyond that).

Congrats to those who made it in and (((hugs))) to those who didn't.

alias octavia
02-25-2012, 04:43 AM
Congrats, Hester. Sorry for those who didn't make it. I know how that feels. I made it through the pitch phase this year (my first time) for GF but for 2 years I scanned that long list of names wishing my name was 1 in a 1,000.

How does the next part work? Do you get the Vine reviews at the end of March, like the results for the next round, or do they filter in as they are completed? Just curious.

hester
02-25-2012, 05:25 AM
Thanks so much AO, and congrats to you too! :)

From what I remember, Amazon lists the group that will advance to the semis on March 20th (I think that's the next "fun date"). I believe the Vine reviews show up on the pages of the contestants who make it through on that date or shortly afterwards-for those who don't, the Vine reviews show up on your CreateSpace page within a week or so afterwards.

aruna
02-25-2012, 09:52 AM
How does the next part work? Do you get the Vine reviews at the end of March, like the results for the next round, or do they filter in as they are completed? Just curious.

If you DON'T make it amazon lets you know. Then you can look up your Vine reviews.

I assume that if you DO make it, amazon also lets you know; but I can't speak form experience.

I k now that the two years I entered, amazon let me knoe I'd passed the first round, so I kind of knew what to expect when this year they didn't I went looking fo rmy name on that list.

Good luck to all Awers who went through.

alias octavia
02-26-2012, 02:15 AM
So, buried in the official rules is a note about how the reviews will be posted to the entrants dashboard on or about March 18th. With the next round results being announced on March 20th, it looks like we should see the reviews before we find out if we move on. This could be great or really bad, I think. If it is a so-so review it will make me full of anxiety, and if it is really good I will be confident (maybe too confident) and if it is really bad I will be depressed.

aruna
02-26-2012, 11:25 AM
I think you need two brilliant reviews to go through to the next round. Both of my reviews the first year I entered were good; one was brilliant, but the other was also good (but very short). It still failed to go through. So I'd say, metaphorically speaking, you need two five star votes and not one five star and one four star.

ETA: Here are the two reviews I got in 2009. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3456022&postcount=203

alias octavia
03-20-2012, 03:48 PM
Just wanted to wish everyone good luck as they announce the Quarter Finalists today! :)

fourlittlebees
03-20-2012, 03:54 PM
I don't remember how the Vine reviews went up because I was on a business trip last year and got my news via text. Friends were checking; I wasn't.

I remember the PW review for the quarters went live a little bit after because I was dying over it; and it was still a great review even though I didn't make it to the semis.

Good luck today, everyone.

Stiger05
03-20-2012, 07:03 PM
Didn't make the quarterfinal cut. Congrats to those who did! I saw a couple AW'ers on there!

hester
03-20-2012, 07:09 PM
(((Stiger))).

I made it. I'm sort of in shock right now...

Stiger05
03-20-2012, 07:15 PM
***Cheers!*** Congrats! Enjoy your shock! This is my first time to enter so I'm just happy I made it this far. I'm definitely going to keep following so I can vote for whichever AW'ers make to the finals (I know at least one of us will!)

alias octavia
03-20-2012, 08:03 PM
(((Stiger)))

Yay, Hester! I made it too, still shaking with shock and excitement! Good luck to you! :)

hester
03-20-2012, 08:12 PM
Thanks so much AO, and huge congrats to you!! :). Are you in General Fiction or YA?

alias octavia
03-20-2012, 09:04 PM
I'm in General Fiction. So curious to see the reviews... So much waiting in this process *sigh*

ETA: Just got my reviews on my createspace dashboard!!

Stiger05
03-21-2012, 12:58 AM
Just got my reviews and I take them both as positive. I guess competition was just really tight. The only negative they both pointed out was that I didn't explain my magic system yet, but that's something that comes up throughout the book, so I'm not really sure what to do with that. Otherwise, even though I didn't advance, I'm pretty happy with it.

Tex_Maam
04-05-2012, 06:47 AM
Just got my reviews and I take them both as positive. I guess competition was just really tight. The only negative they both pointed out was that I didn't explain my magic system yet, but that's something that comes up throughout the book, so I'm not really sure what to do with that. Otherwise, even though I didn't advance, I'm pretty happy with it.

Speaking as a fellow fantasist who didn't make the quarter-finals, I would totally not be hard on yourself for exactly the reason you mentioned. It seems like a lot of fantasy, *especially* secondary-world fantasy, has much more ballast to get off the ground than some other genres: in addition to the Who and the What, you have a significant amount of When and Where and a daunting quantity of How to contend with as well. If that latter part is their only complaint, I reckon you deserve two inflation-adjusted pats on the back for leaving them so little to want!

Tobias54
06-19-2017, 07:21 PM
This forum closed?

AW Admin
06-19-2017, 07:56 PM
Stop necroing five year old threads with questions designed to push your thread count.

It won't work.