Farewell to ABNA

Posted on April 30, 2010 (Subscribe to Blog)

You may have gathered by now that Island of Fog failed to make it through to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinals. It's a shame, but oh well. Good luck to those who did!

I was waiting for the review from Publisher's Weekly to be posted to my account so I could copy it here. But it could be another few days yet, so I'll just have to post again when it shows up. The semifinals (50 novels in each category) were decided by Publisher's Weekly; they used some kind of point system. So it'll be interesting to see what they say and where I failed.

The good news is that my agent, Whitt Brantley, can now go ahead and talk to publishers directly. While the competition was going on, the book was kind of "tied up" with Penguin (the publishing sponsors of the competition) and Whitt was unable to approach anyone. But now he's free again. There's always a bright side, right?

I miss being "in the running" now that it's over. I'd gotten used to the idea that my book might possibly, conceivably, hopefully win. But there are at least 50 ABNA novels that are better or more appealing than mine, so there you go. That's okay, I'm not bitter. No no no, not at all. Really, I'm not. Am I bothered? Look at my face, do I look bothered? I didn't want to win the stupid competition anyway. I'm glad I didn't win...

Ahem. On a brighter note, I got news from a friend in Australia that my books are being introduced to a school library system there. To quote snippets from Heather's email:

Just heard back from Doris. She ordered the first two books via Amazon just under two weeks ago, and they arrived yesterday. She highly recommended them to the grade 5/6 classes (11-12 year olds) yesterday in their library class, and she also recommended them to [a] teacher to read to the class next term. She couldn't stop raving about them! ... Anyway, she absolutely loved the book and said as soon as she finished Island of Fog she was immediately inspired, which is why she jumped on the website and bought them straight away without even mentioning it to me. She's reading Labyrinth of Fire as we speak.

Thanks, Heather! And closer to home, I delivered 30 copies of Island of Fog to a teacher at the local middle school as requested. 30 copies of Labyrinth of Fire will follow next week.

See? Who needs a publisher anyway? :-p

Comment by MING on Friday, April 30, 2010...

Bad luck about the semi-finals - but a wise man once told me that failure is the beginning of success! :-)

Comment by ANITA on Friday, April 30, 2010...

Sorry "Island of Fog" didn't make it to the semifinals, Keith. All authors have been through disappointments like that and the only thing to do is keep going!

Comment by STEPHEN on Friday, April 30, 2010...

Keith, you shouldn't be worried about this set back, after all, our own dear Enid Blyton never did win that many awards, yet, according to the statistics I have, she is still ahead of J.K. Rowling in the number of children's books sold. In addition, you seem to be vindicating the self-publishing industry with the amount of sales you are garnering. Nowadays, we may not need to wait on literary agents attached to "traditional" publishers. Yes, self-publishing is rough, but from the little experience I have had of it, I wouldn't do it any other way, especially in light of the fact that 'traditional" publishers may have rejected mine and your books. Nowadays, the many alternatives in publishing are going to rival and even surpass, in the future, the hitherto "traditional" modes of publishing.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Saturday, May 1, 2010...

Thanks, all, but don't worry, a little thing like NOT BEING PUBLISHED won't bring me down. :-)

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