To Xccorpio:
First, we are happy you were excited initially by our contest. And we understand the skepticism. There are many people in the marketplace ripping people off, which is why we decided to do the contest in the first place. The fee: $149, is to eliminate anyone who thinks they want to be published from entering. We hope to have only serious authors apply. And the $149 entry fee will make someone think before just uploading any old manuscript. Also, we have professional editors from major publishing houses judging the books we receive and they are being paid for their work.

If you have attempted to publish a book via one of the self-publishing arenas, you will pay considerably more than $149.

We plan to publish many runners-up, and with that will come marketing, publicity and all of the things a person attempting to publish themselves simply will not have. As an author myself, I put a lot of thought into the kind of contest I would like to participate in and this is what I came up with.

Whatever is telling you that something is amiss, is lying to you. And we accept your apology because you are wrong as it relates to the contest. To judge a book before you've read it is unfair. Let us launch the contest (Feb. 11). Join it. And if you have a problem, then you have a right to criticize. But it's not even officially launched yet.

But we do thank you (and others) for alerting us to the things that make you raise an eyebrow. We will fix many of your concerns.

Regarding rights. We will not take anyone's copyright. If you enter and do not win or are not a finalist, you are free to do whatever you want with your book. If you are a finalist, we want the right to pitch your book for movie, TV, webisode opportunities. We want the right to garner sponsorships and any method to push your book into the marketplace? We are better equipped to that than an individual, so we would like the right to put your book and you as an author into the marketplace to the best of our ability.

Some of the other concerns are well taken and fortunately, we have about a month to address them. So if you have any suggestions on how to make it stronger and better, let us know. We're going to keep doing these contest because we believe that there are so many great writers out there who would never be seen on a major level, if not for this. Just as American Idol has given us Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, and so many, many more, First One will deliver the next Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, and Stephenie Meyer.

And we thank you for your support!