Friday, January 13, 2012

Pitches, Revisions, And A New Poll

Happy Friday the 13th!

I've been coming out of the slump this week, taking on some little writing projects to help get me back into the swing of things.  I started out working on a new promo for Virtual Domination, which I may enter into the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.  Earlier this week, I wrote 2 different versions of the pitch.  For those who aren't familiar with the contest, the "pitch" is the initial hook, much like a query letter.  With the ABNA, the first round is judged purely on that 300 word blurb, and nothing else.  I can't say I'm really satisfied with either pitch I wrote, so I might go a different route (depending on my instincts, and feedback from a couple of writer friends).

Bringing us to the "different route," yesterday I started looking at Prisoner of Time.  I self-published it three years ago, and in that time I realized there was something missing from chapter 2.  The first page was a dull narrative, used as a bridge to the previous volume, Virtual Wiles.  Reading it through, a new idea came to mind about how I could rework this hunk of text, and incorporate any relevant data into later conversations.  So, I made the first change to Prisoner of Time in years, and fixed what I believe was the book's only real flaw.  It reads smoothly now from beginning to end.

With Prisoner of Time newly improved, that has got me thinking.  Maybe I should enter it into the ABNA!  The contest does accept self-published titles, and Prisoner of Time is something I've thought about submitting for years.  I initially considered submitting it in 2009, but I instead went with The Guns of Mars, which subsequently became a semi-finalist.  Perhaps it's time to put Prisoner in the spotlight, and see what happens?

Again, the pitch is the problem.  I spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon writing up the Prisoner of Time pitch, working with the blurb on the back cover.  In retrospect, it isn't all it could be.  To advance in the ABNA, you really need to impress the judges, as only 1 in 5 books make it through the first round.  There are a lot of writers who fail to succeed, simply because they aren't the best at advertising.  Yes, there's also the luck factor, since there's no telling the tastes of the 2 judges you'll get to read your pitch.  If I can get through the first round, odds are I'll run straight to the semi-finals again, maybe even break through to the win, but that damn pitch needs to be perfect!

Okay, so that's what I'm doing right now.

Bringing us back to the blog, you might notice the new poll to the right.  It asks what your favorite Martin T. Ingham novel is.  It's a fun feature that'll stay there in perpetuity, allowing my readers to give a little bit of feedback.  Don't be afraid to vote!

Well, back to the grind.  Send me your hopes and prayers, and together we'll survive this experience.

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