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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Publication - Contests

27 December 2011, Publication - Contests

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, go to my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

Here is the list of ideas for advertising--there are more and I'll add to the list as we go along.  I'm certainly not an expert in all these, but I've dabbled in all of them.  I'll try to relate my experience and the degree of that experience to you.

1.  Have a website for your novel.
2.  Write a blog.
3.  Advertise.
4.  Literary awards.
5.  Book cards.
6.  Contests.
7.  Interviews.
8.  Blog tours.
9.  Press releases.
10.  Speaking and teaching.
11.  e-mailing.
12.  Gifts.
13.  ...

Like literary awards, I'm leery of contests.  For every legitimate contest there are 1000 that are the typical poetry tricks.  You know the ones, submit you poetry for a contest.  Everyone wins and then they want to sell you the poetry book.  How many people really read that crap poetry?  No one.  The contest was a way to get your money--so unless my publisher puts me in a contest or recommends a contest to me, I ain't playing. 

That doesn't mean there are no legitimate contests out there.  I'm certain there are.  I just haven't found any.  So if you find one, tell me about it. 

To me, contests are just one place to stay away from.  If you win--what do you really win?  A chance at publication?  Copy?  Let me tell you, the paper in my town runs a couple of writing contests every year.  The winners usually write something cute and nice--maybe publishable, but most contests aren't looking for great writing.  They might not be able to pick great writing from a list.  They are looking for something that sells newspapers (in this case).  They want smaltz.  So if you don't mind writing smaltz--go for it.  Also, most of these contests are for non professionals.  If you are a published author, you don't count.
I'll move on to interviews, tomorrow.

I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples:, and the individual novel websites:,,,,, and

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