On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Awards Addiction -- Reasons for Entering Constests

First, I had an appointment with the sr. editor of Luna yesterday and the news was interesteing. I want to mull it over a while.

I didn't attend any workshops and didn't get out of the hotel area (though I did step out of the hotel).

Next, I WAS cranky yesterday morning. Wow. I must have had Awards Addiction, like reviews addiction or fanmail addiction -- again all that is OUTSIDE VALIDATION and like a drug. You need more and more of it every time and it has to be BIGGER. Anyway, I didn't win National Readers Choice awards and I took 3rd in the Daphnies and got a really cool silver (pewter?) bookmark engraved with "Third Place, Paranormal 2006" which is nice and solid.

Yes, I was disappointed, but I forgot why I entered the contests, which wasn't Award Addiction, but for business reasons -- ok, the RITA (which I didn't final in), and the Daphne (in which I took third) were for recognition, to spread my name around a bit more.

The Booksellers Best (in which I didn't final) and the National Readers Choice was to get my work in front of Booksellers and readers who hadn't heard of me and hopefully grow my readership. That's it. So those I will continue to enter.

AND WRITING CONTESTS ARE ALWAYS, ALWAYS SUBJECTIVE...so consider that my rationalization.

I was, and am, surprised and pleased that Heart Choice -- a middle-of-the-series book with murder lite -- even made the finals of the Daphnies, so that's a triumph itself.

And there's always next year. I think Heart Quest might have a good shot. It has a larger mystery....

I missed Moonlight Madness which is where you can get all sorts of fun things made by the chapters (like the t shirt I'm wearing as my pjs "Romance Writers, Turning Frogs Into Princes On a Daily Basis). But I attended a small welcoming gathering after the awards as I usually do, and it soothed me very much. I completely forgot about the Harlequin PJ party, which is a shame since it would have been good promotion for me.

I'll see if I can get to some seminars today...the big event are the publishers parties tonight. I guarantee I'll dance from 8 to midnight with all the other loud and crazy Harlequin authors. Nothing like being part of a 200 women mass dance. I should be able to talk to a couple of my favorite authors at the Berkley party, and I had a good conversation with Angela Knight, her husband, and Diane Whiteside at the Daphnies yesterday.

May you all have fun in your writing today.
Robin

4 Comments:

Blogger moonhart said...

Ah the bittersweet contest circuit. I am in the midst of judging one and I don't think it is much easier than entering one.

I want to offer insight even if it is not what an author wants to hear.

Having been on the winning and losing end of contests, I truly understand.

moon

8:26 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, Moon, totally understand that. I'm going to keep trying for the NRCA and the Daphne, the Booksellers Best and the Bookbuyers Best. If I pick up a judge or two who likes my books, it will be worth the entry fee, and that's what I must remember.

Robin

6:50 AM  
Blogger Jeri said...

The way I see it, the main reason to enter a contest is for the exposure. I judged the PRISM this year (dark paranormal) and discovered two new authors I loved, Susan Squires and Joy Nash. I talk about the books all the time and plan to buy their new ones (snagged an autographed BURNING from SS on Friday, but need to buy COMPANION first).

Even the two entries I didn't love, I'd still recommend them to people who might like them more than I did.

So it's not about winning. It's about paying people to read your book.

Hmm, that didn't come out right.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

EXACTLY, Jeri, you want the most exposure you can get for your book, the most word of mouth, and entering specific contests can do that.

Robin

5:49 PM  

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