Well, there I was looking forward to a quiet blog about finishing Iain Banks’ The Crow Road and doing losts of reviewing for the Front List, when an email popped up telling me I’m a semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Woohoo? Well, actually, maybe not!
First of all, the elaborate procedures for ABNA mean that there are over 900 ‘semifinalists’. Well, that’s still better than a rejection, and hey, I can now find myself in the biggest book-shop in the world – Amazon.com. BUT there’s a snag. To progress to the next round, my novel (or the extract I uploaded) has to be read, reviewed and rated by readers on Amazon. Okay, I can summon up a few family and friends to get the ball rolling, but only readers with a purchase history on amazon.com (not, as it stands, amazon.co.uk) can actually post a review. Even having an account is not enough, you have to have actually bought something.
This is clearly going to disadvantage any non-US entrant as we can hardly insist our friends buy something in order to post a review. To be honest, I assumed the odds were stacked against writers from outside the US, but it is meant to be an international competition!
Meanwhile thanks to Lynne Barrett-Lee for campaigning on the competition forum (yes, you need a purchase history for that too!) to get somethng done about this.
Oops! Nearly forgot to tell the world that my extract on Amazon is here. Do review it if you can!
(Will save The Crow Road for another time – and may have to remove all my links to Amazon in protest!)