Should I or shouldn't I?
I don't actually do a whole lot of crowing about my books in this blog, so I'll take a moment to focus on them.
I am considering entering a contest. My attempts last year met with disappointment, from contests that took my entry fees and didn't even reply with an acknowledgement thanking me for entering (much less return even the briefest of comments regarding my manuscript) to contests that returned less than favorable reviews. Last year I submitted The Falcon of Imenotash and Ulfbehrt's Legacy.
Strangely enough, I consider Falcon to be one of my best works, yet it doesn't sell and hasn't received any reviews. On the other hand, Ulfbehrt's Legacy--which I think is good, but not as powerful as Falcon--achieved nominal sales, but at least has two reviews: both positive. Them's the breaks, I guess.
Therefore, before forking over money for another contest this year, I asked some folks whose opinion I can count upon to be candid as to whether either of two of my titles--Daughter of the Dark Moon and/or Bear of the Midnight Sun--has any chance of competing. I'm not looking for flattery: I want honesty. I don't expect someone who doesn't like the genres in which I write to like either of those books. After all, why compete if the foregone result is failure? If I'm going to enter, then I want to have an actual and real chance of winning. Or at least placing.
If you haven't read either Dark Moon or Bear, then do so and give me your opinion: good enough to compete or not? (And don't forget to leave a review.)
The great thing about this particular contest is that my entries would be judged against others in the same genre and/or sub-genre. My fantasy romance won't go up against literary fiction or mysteries. Since I read--pretty extensively in the genres in which I write--I think my books are just as good (if not better). Of course, I think that. If I didn't, I wouldn't publish them.
That's the nail-biting crux of the matter: what do others think of my work? Opinions range from "this is trash" to "this is magnificent."
And ... here's the plug! Bear of the Midnight Sun goes live tomorrow October 31, those of you who pre-ordered the book will receive it and those who haven't pre-ordered can get it right away. As I usually do to encourage enthusiasm and help my readers save a little money, I'm offering the e-book at a discounted launch price of only 99 cents ($0.99). That price remains in effect through November.
As for the next book ... well, I don't know. I'm still languishing amid a dry spell with nothing calling out to me. It's early days yet. After all, I once went a solid decade without writing so much as a short story. These periods come and go. I am considering rewriting a fairy tale, à la "Skeins of Gold: Rumpelstiltskin Retold," and posting it as a freebie in thanks to my readers--a little end-of-year gift as it were. If I do that, you know I'll choose one of the lesser known fairy tales.
In the meantime, I encourage you to read--even if it's not my stuff. Build your vocabulary, stretch your imagination. Read.
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