I don’t usually enter competitions, but in the excitement of publishing my first novel, I decided to have a go. I was sent details of a competition by UK Creative Arts for an unpublished or self-published novel, so I sent it in.
I had an email a couple of days ago telling me I was on the shortlist. Wow! Final results will be in September, so I have a long wait.
This result is especially important to me because I am self-published. These days, when self-publishing is so easy, one of the main reasons for seeking a traditional publisher is vindication. You write for the love of it, but if you’re going to share it with the world, you want to sure it’s good.
A publisher accepting your manuscript says that someone in the business thinks your work is good enough to sell. When you self-publish, you have to believe in yourself, and you can see how many deluded people there are out there by the number of rubbish books there are on Kindle.
I used my writers circle to help me improve my work, I paid a professional editor, and I used beta readers. All designed to make sure the standard of my manuscript was high. Several people said they liked it, people whose opinions I respected. But there’s always doubt in the back of your mind, which can hold you back.
So getting this far in a competition is another lift to my confidence.