faceless Through to Semifinals (Top 50)

I’m delighted to announce that faceless has made it into the Semifinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest in the Young Adult Fiction category (because the main character is 17 years old).

The list of the 50 semifinalists is here. It’s fun because it’s alphabetized by first name so it looks like I’m already leading the pack (which I’m not). There are only two more stages left to the contest:

  1. Penguin editors pick their top 3 books.
  2. The general public votes on the top 3.

But I already feel like I’ve won because making it to the top 1% from an original pool of 5000 books is a huge honor. And also, to have real editors from the publishing world read my book (which is what is going to happen at this stage) is an accomplishment in itself.

I’m reminded of the three factors for success in a subjective contest like this (as opposed to an objective contest like running 100 meters):

  1. Your own performance (the book I wrote).
  2. Your competitors’ performances (the quality of the other books in the contest).
  3. The judges’ decisions (what they like, their biases, background, etc.).

Of those three, only the first one is in my control. So success or failure in a subjective competition is, at most, only 1/3 my fault.

But I feel strange even taking full credit for my own performance. Did I force myself to have the idea for the book? Was it by dint of my own diligence and effort that I imagined the plot as it is? Was I the one who convinced my friends and family members to encourage me to keep writing? When I think honestly about this wonderful accomplishment, the actual percentage I’m willing to take credit for drops down to about 1%. All I did really was follow through.

So I’d like to say thanks to everyone who helped get the book this far. God knows it wasn’t all my doing.

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