So I was messing around on Google, which I don’t do nearly as much as my husband thinks, and I came across a hit several pages into the search results for myself that piqued my interest. It involved the eFestival of Words and my very own novel, Shattered.
Having working knowledge of eFestival of Words and respecting some of the authors who have been nominated/won their categories in previous years, I was more than intrigued. So I clicked on the link, learning that the nominees for 2015 had recently been named. In order to access the complete list, I had to register for an account, which I did.
Lo and behold, somehow Shattered has been nominated for Best Chick Lit / Best Women’s Lit.
Okay, so I understand how the nominating process works. People with ties to the publishing industry (authors, editors, bloggers, etc.) nominate their peers in order to celebrate the best in indie publishing. All nominations are made anonymously, and authors cannot nominate a work that they are intimately connected to. So no, I didn’t toot my own horn.
Which means that someone out there somewhere respects my work and that’s extremely flattering. Or they had absolutely no idea who to vote for in that category, so they just named me instead.
In any case, of the three books that were eligible for the nomination (Changed was released too late for consideration), Shattered is the one that I would never have guessed would be chosen. While I’m proud of all of my books, I realize that Shattered is the red-headed stepchild of the series. It’s forever lurking in the shadows of the first book, which it’s a companion to. Though some have read and enjoyed it as a standalone, it really isn’t. And it doesn’t pack the emotional punch of the third novel, which can be read on its own.
What comes next in the grand scheme of things is that a committee selects the finalists in each category, then those finalists are voted on by the general public beginning July 1st.
A number of factors are considered in choosing finalists: book cover, book blurb, quality of reviews and social media presence among them.
I realize that Shattered doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Why? Because what works for me as an author bucks tradition. I am the epitome of someone who does everything wrong according to conventional wisdom.
1. Book cover – I love my covers personally, but they don’t look like other people’s covers. No half dressed man candy, or couples almost nearly kissing. Granted, in the Chick Lit / Women’s Lit category, there’s a bit more leeway on this than in the broader romance genre. My covers are artsy and definitely recognizable as being tied to the series, but some people hate them.
2. Book blurb – Okay, Shattered probably has the best blurb (in my opinion) of any of the books in the series. But blurbs are harder for me to write than the actual book, so what do I know?
3. Quality of reviews – Out of all four books I have released, Shattered has the fewest reviews on Amazon. On Goodreads, it has a few more than Designed. They are all honest and genuine though, so that’s a plus.
4. Social media presence – Yes, I have a Twitter, Facebook, Tsu, Google Plus and Goodreads account. I have a blog (duh). Google me and tons of stuff pops up. But my experience with all of this is that the less I post, the more I sell. No kidding. This past month, I’ve been virtually silent and it’s been my best month yet. And forget about a street team or a PA.
So, I’ll take my nomination and run with it, being happy that I can forever associate a fleeting token of recognition with something that I wrote. It’s really more than I ever expected, or than most authors like me ever get.