The hardest point of getting bumped during the pitch phase is that you get no feedback whatsoever. There's no explanation of why your pitch was rejected, so you're left scratching your head. I guess the people reading the pitches just aren't interested in what I write, for whatever reason.
This year, I had planned to submit "Virtual Domination" into the contest, it being the unpublished 4th volume in the Morgan Asher saga. However, in the last few days before submitting, I felt my pitch for Virtual Domination wasn't good enough and was certain for rejection. At the same time, I'd been tinkering with the promo for Prisoner of Time, which I self-published a few years ago, and seeing that the contest accepts self-published books I felt it was my best bet this time around. In retrospect, I doubt I'd have gotten any farther if I'd gone with my original submission plans, but we'll never know.
Anyway, here's the "pitch" I wrote for Prisoner of Time this year:
A dark entity lurks within a virtual environment, and he's trying to get out. A sorceress hell-bent on revenge inadvertently pits herself against him in her own quest for vengeance, and a jaded hero finds himself caught in the middle of an epic struggle of bad versus evil in "Prisoner of Time."
Morgan Asher hates virtual reality. While billions of people waste their lives on computer-generated fantasies, he desires a real life, but he finds himself drawn into a sword and sorcery program in search of a lost lover he long believed to be dead. Entering the world of Fantasan, he quickly finds himself in over his head, pitted against xenophobic elves, dastardly pirates, and sword-wielding monks hell-bent on his destruction. It seems everyone is out to get him.
All the while, a trap is being set by a mad sorceress, Josie Johansen, a woman who blames Morgan for the death of her best friend. Josie intends to make Morgan a prisoner of time itself, exiling him to the distant future, yet everything changes when a mysterious demon reveals himself—for the fallen angel Haloran seeks to escape his simulated prison and enter the real world! To stop the ascendance of Satan-incarnate, Josie must set aside her personal feelings and cooperate with Morgan, but will she ever be willing to forgive him?
I believe this is far superior to the current back-cover blurb I have for Prisoner of Time, and plan to start using this in the future on my website, and eventually on the back cover of the forthcoming 2nd Edition of the book. So it wasn't a total loss. It would have been nice to get somewhere with the ABNA again, but it's obvious that their literary interests lie in a different direction than mine—their loss.
Here's to failure! It looks like this is shaping up to be another one of those years...