for writers and readers….
August 31st is the deadline for the Kindle Storyteller Award which Amazon celebrates the best self-published story in the UK with a £20,000 cash prize.
I know that is still a month away, but you have to do an awful lot of work to make sure your story qualifies and readers are a crucial part in helping to choose the shortlist. Customer feedback is based on such factors as quality of reviews, sales and pages read in Kindle Unlimited. I underlined the word quality because Amazon seem to be flagging up that 50 ‘It’s really great‘ reviews won’t cut it. What you really need is quality AND quantity.
To qualify you need to publish on KDP, Amazon’s publishing arm in both eBook and paperback versions. The paperback version of your book must be at least 24 pages long and the qualifying period for this year was between May 1st and August 31st. So you can see why I think time is not on your side for this year.
But you can always plan for next year. Lots of entry conditions apply and you can find out about them HERE. They include inserting “StorytellerUK2020” (without quotation marks) in the Keyword section when you publish. If that doesn’t mean anything then you probably have a fair bit to learn about self-publishing, but none of it is insurmountable. Or expensive. Amazon provide the software so you can learn how to do it all by yourself if you don’t want to pay someone to format your book or design the cover, although having said that amateurish covers can be a real turn-off to readers.
Look at this year’s shortlist when it is announced (and winning entries from previous years) to see how it’s done. In fact you can see all this year’s entries HERE (There seems to be 4000 of them which is a bit of a gulp-making figure, but how many of them are as good as the best you can do…? that’s the question). Do your homework and check back to see who makes the shortlist and eventually wins. It should be a guide to the kind of fiction that does well on Amazon and may help you decide whether it is right for you.
Of course, it’s always possible that Amazon won’t run the competition in 2021. (This is it’s fourth year.) Or that they will change the rules. So you have to keep alert to what’s happening. But if you haven’t found a traditional publisher for your writing self-publishing might still be an option worth considering.
Or, if you had already decided to go down that route, you might want to make sure that your book qualifies for Amazon’s competition.