So, I've decided to enter The Goldenwealth Light into the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I thought the 10,000 entry spots would fill up fast so I stayed up until midnight on opening day to ensure a spot, but it appears five days later they are still taking entries. Don't procrastinate much longer if you plan to enter, though!
What should I expect? Can't say. I think it's best not to "expect" anything from a contest, but ABNA at least has the kind of noteriety to walk away with a feather in one's cap, just for making it as far as the quarter finals. Can't hurt to try, right? I have always been a believer in the addage that the worth of a book cannot be judged by its author, but...well, so far so good. People seem to like The Goldenwealth Light. That's enough of a push to give it a go. I've heard some horror stories about excessively harsh reviewers trashing people to tears, but I've heard just as many reports from people who were still eventually eliminated that it was a worthwhile experience. Maybe the reviewers are harsh. Then again, maybe the writers making those claims were poor writers. Who can say?
I can't. And so, I throw my hat in the ring.
You can't look away from an opportunity just out of fear of a poor review. You know what? Some random person you never met could buy your book at any moment, read it, hate it, and then write a bad review. There's nothing you can do about that, unless you plan to only sell you book to friends and family. Sometimes, the odd critical review (if thoughtfully written) can actually add credibility to your work, because it helps people make an informed decision, and it keeps the impression of (Atlaria forbid) "sockpuppeting" away when people see nothing but a bevy of glowing five-star awesomenes. Still, like dark chocolate, bad reviews are only healthy if taken in small doses.
How do you keep them away? Just write the best book you can write, and let the people speak. They'll tell you if you knocked it out of the park.
The only negative reviews I won't take seriously are ones that include swearing (if you need to use foul language your point is probably weak to begin with), defamatory remarks that have no bering on reviewing a book, remarks that state something was disliked but don't say why (useless), or remarks that show the reviewer missed the point of the story - for example, disliking Harry Potter because it's too juvenile, when the book was intended for younger readers to begin with.
Bu then...who says it will go badly? Gotta put your heart into it and hope for the best!
Those are my two cents on the issue. What do you think?