Contest entries and e-books.

Its the end of the year, and I’ve been busy trying to meet some deadlines for entering Crimson Sky in several writing contests. Last October, I decided to publish my newest novel exclusively as a self-published e-book, and the experience has had a certain learning curve. I wasn’t particularly surprised to find that many writing contests don’t accept entries of self-published works, although this appears to be changing. One contest official told me that their organization was actively reviewing this policy, I suppose in response to the growing number of established authors who are discovering the advantages of self-publishing in the digital age. In fact, I was pleased to find that a number of notable contests do accept self-published works, and I’ve been preparing entries for several of these.

Another thing I’ve found is that while some contests are willing to consider e-books entries, they still require a paper copy for contest judging. Although most will accept an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) in a spiral binding, submitting several paper copies can boost contest entry costs considerably. My ARC of Crimson Sky is 75 pages long set in 10 point type and copied front to back. With binding, this runs me about $13 a copy in printing costs. Some contests want three copies and these have to be sent via snail mail. When you add up copying, mailing, and entry fees for several contests, the costs add up. Hopefully, more writing contests will soon join the epub revolution and allow entrants to e-mail in electronic submissions. This would not only save the contestants time and money, it would also save a few trees. Not only that, but I’m convinced judges would find electronic entries easier to manage.

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About glcraig

Gretchen Craig’s lush, sweeping tales deliver edgy, compelling characters who test the boundaries of integrity, strength, and love. Told with sensitivity, the novels realistically portray the raw suffering of people in times of great upheaval. Gretchen was born and raised in Florida. She’s lived in climates and terrain as diverse as the white beaches of the Gulf Coast, the rocky shores of Maine, and the dusty plains of Texas. Her awareness of place imbues every page with the smell of the bayous of Louisiana, the taste of gumbo in New Orleans, or the grit of a desert storm. Rich in compelling characters and historical detail, Always and Forever is a sweeping saga of Josie and Cleo, mistress and slave. Amid Cajuns and Creoles, the bonds between these two remarkable women are tested by prejudice, tragedy, and passion for one extraordinary man. Gretchen’s first novel won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence for Mainstream with Romantic Elements and was chosen as an Editor’s Pick in the Historical Novel Society reviews. Ever My Love, winner of the Booksellers Best Award from the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America, continues the story of Cleo and Josie’s families, of their struggle for principle, justice, and love in a world where the underpinnings of the plantation culture are crumbling. Crimson Sky, inspired by the pueblos, mountains, and deserts of New Mexico, evokes the lives of people facing neighboring marauders and drought. Now the march of Spanish Conquistadors up the Rio Grande threatens their homeland, their culture, and their entire belief system.
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