Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reflections on the past 5 months in the Dorchester - Textnovel Next Best Celler contest

Tomorrow, the top 20 semi-finalists will be selected from all the entrants in the Dorchester/Textnovel Next Best Celler contest, and I'll admit I'm a bit nervous. My entry, my debut romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady, is currently in #3 Most Popular place, but I've seen people whiz by the forerunners in a day. Like they say, it ain't over til the fat lady sings!

So today will be spent hoping for more votes to secure my place and most of all thanking everyone who has supported me in this 5 month "marathon". :-) THANK YOU! I couldn't have come this far without your support.

I've been getting emails and DMs asking what this contest has been like. First of all, I have to tell you, I've entered some contests, but not many during my career as a novelist. I'm just not big on them. It's not that I'm afraid of competition; I'm not. In fact, I seem to do some of my best work when I'm forced to compete in some way, whether it's versus someone else or the ticking of a clock. I thrive on the latter kind of competition, the one where I'm really competing with myself.

This has been the longest contest I've participated in. Or at least it's felt that way. Kind of like a writing triathlon--write, edit and get votes. The first two I revel in. Writing fulfills me in a way that no other career ever has. And I've had a few. The getting votes part has been the most difficult part. Not because I can't promote my novels. I CAN. In fact, I'm known as "Shameless Promoter" and I speak at writers conferences on book marketing. However, in this contest, I found 5 months a bit long to be begging for votes. 3 months isn't so bad. And this contest isn't over yet. I really need to keep my votes going until the winner is chosen--which will be in early February.

With my background in sales, advertising, promotion and motivational speaking, I find my skills learned years ago really complement my life as a writer and a promoter of my work. I love that I'm not only creative in constructing my characters and stories, I'm also creative in the ways that I market my work.

I was one of the first contest entrants on Textnovel to offer a contest to reward my fans for their loyalty. From August to November, I've offered Giveaways, with prizes of signed novels and $75 Starbucks cards. While some may think this is a bribe of sorts, I look at it as a fun way to engage my fans and thank them. I also held an interactive contest, one I've done in the past. For my "Create a Corpse" contest, I asked fans to supply me with a name of a character that would be killed off in Lancelot's Lady. The winner, Waheed Rabanni, gave me the perfect name--Winston Chambers. Winston has proven to be one of my most interesting and well-hated characters ever, and I love that!

I've talked about the Next Best Celler contest and Lancelot's Lady on a radio station and I've been a guest at various blogs where I've talked about how Lancelot's Lady was "born", and how I chose my new romance pen name Cherish D'Angelo.

Someone asked me "why" I chose to enter this contest. My answer is simple. One writer is going to win a publishing contract with Dorchester Publishing, a publisher that I've been very interested in. In fact, I believe they are still considering my suspense thriller Children of the Fog. Something I've heard about Dorchester from a few of their authors is that being one of their authors is like being with family. That really appeals to me. I view every publisher who takes on my work as a partner in my success and I want to share that success with them.

Links about my debut romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo:

Please check out LANCELOT'S LADY. If you enjoy my new novel, please consider clicking on the blue thumb circle and blue phone circle beside the title. This gives me 2 points in the contest. Thank you so much.

1 comment:

Eileen Schuh: said...

I hope you win your publishing contract, Cherish D'Angelo!