Well, I entered my “Tate” versions of my first 2 books in the “Writer’s Digest” self-published book contest and got the results back recently.
I didn’t win anything. I didn’t expect to but I got some good feed back from the judges.
They rate 6 areas on a 1-5 scale: Structure, Organization & Pacing; Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar; Production Quality & Cover Design; Plot & Appeal; Character Appeal & Development; and Voice and Writing Style.
“Crossbow Revenge” was rated better than “Alice Was Not Her Name” – Crossbow’s average points were 3.333333 while Alice’s average points were 2.66666. Not great but not that bad either.
I spent a lot more time writing Crossbow than Alice and it shows. I’ve got to work on character development – I knew that already. The judge didn’t care for the quality and design either. They mentioned the odd size of the printed books. That was a “Tate” decision. Since I’m doing my own publishing now, the size is bigger. Cover art is in the eye of the beholder. I’m sticking with my solid colors and black&white art work for now.
One thing self-publishing allows is the ability to update the books as necessary. I’m going to tweak them again and put out new version sometime next year. Character development is my top priority while making them read better is next. Lots of work to do on all three books. Oh well.