Monday, February 17, 2014

ABNA Advice from Rysa Walker

The seventh annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Contest is now open! They will be collecting submissions until they have reached 10,000 entries, so don’t wait too long to enter.

The winners in the initial stages will be determined by Amazon and Publisher’s Weekly experts, but Amazon customers will vote to determine the Grand Prize winner in the finals. If by skill and good-fortune you are one of the final five, your chances of winning the big $50,000 contract are going to depend upon your social media platform. You are going to need to be able to get the vote out!

At first blush this might not seem fair. You’re a writer, not a politician, right? But, like it or not, being a writer is as much about the marketing as the writing—at least to Amazon and other publishers it is.
So I asked Rysa Walker, last year’s Grand Prize ABNA winner, for advice.

Me: I checked out your web page but didn't see any ABNA how-to info. Any advice for building social platform before heading into final round?

Rysa: Hi, Stephen! Yeah, I've been so busy meeting the sequel deadline that I haven't had much time for writerly blogging. I see that you have some self-pubbed works. That's a good start. I joined a few indie writer groups like World Literary Cafe. They're great at helping retweet when you need to "get out the vote" at the later stages and the fact that there are stories out there voters can read other than the excerpt is a plus. I think it helped that my book was already self-published and had some reviews, including a Kirkus Indie review. And Facebook is a good tool as well. I even had business cards printed and sent them to friends & family with the info about the contest and how to vote. My sister probably handed out a hundred of those cards. :) And I tweeted a lot!!

Me: I can't thank you enough. It's too good not to share...would it be okay if I shared your reply on my blog?

Rysa: That would be fine, Stephen. Good luck with ABNA!

Me: Good luck meeting your deadline. I know you're busy and I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. Thanks again.

You can find Rysa’s book Timebound at I just finished reading another book and I was looking for something fun to read—I think this is going to fit the bill perfectly.

#ABNA #ABNA2014 #amazon #writing #writingcontest #timebound