For this entry I wrote, re-wrote, submitted for criticism and revised my pitch before sending it in. I also got the idea to use the pitch for the WIN OR GO HOME Amazon page. Right away I sold some books after four months of zero sales. Not enough to quuit my day job, but a sale is a sale. Potential readers felt attracted in a way they hadn't before.
The 500 entries face a second round of selection by Amazon reviewers reading a 5000 word excerpt in order to make it to the quarter finals. Only 50 will survive a total manuscript review by editors of Penguin. Out of those, three become semifinalists and Amazon customers will vote on the outcome. The winner gets a $15,000 book deal with Penguin and a trip to Seattle to accept the award.
Do I think I can win? Of course. Is it likely? No, but remember that old saw about a man's reach should exceed his grasp? If I can finish as a quarterfinalist I can use that for marketing.
I titled this post Changes, didn't I? The changes are two: I just submitted an alternate cover to Amazon for WIN OR GO HOME. If you are reading this blog post you will recognize the image from the Main Page. I admit it looks a bit rough around the edges, but I intend the effect. I also raised my price to $3.99. I figure, increased demand deserves a higher price, plus I can get back into the 70% royalty column again.
I have been disappointed by Amazon Prime. Nobody has borrowed my book so my share of the big pot of gold is zero. Think I'll become a free agent next month and put my book back out at Barnes and Noble. I had some sales there.