Today is RITA entry day! I've managed to make my way through the new form - a bit longer this year but not too confusing.
After finalling last year, I can tell you that my outlook on the contest is much the same. One always hopes that maybe, if the stars are all aligned correctly, a book will final. It is a Big Deal being a finalist. You kind of feel like a rock star during conference.
But the chances of finalling aren't high. They really aren't. It's kind of like writing. If you look at the numbers, the chances of selling are quite small. If you look at the number of submissions and then number of requests, then number of acceptances it's enough to make you wonder if it's worth it. So why write? Well, there has to be a longer, better reason. For me it's because I kind of have to. I have stories to put down, I love doing it, and I'm grumpy when I don't. That's what kept me going through rejection. So why enter the RITAs if the chances of finalling are so small?
1) Because I can. Because I was blessed to have qualifying books out during 2012.
2) Because each year means I get my book in front of 5 peers who maybe, just maybe haven't read anything of mine before. Maybe they really like it. Maybe they'll go buy more of my work. Maybe they'll tell other people about it. Writers are readers. This is another way to grow my readership!
3) Because I judge. I also find other authors that I love, which is awesome. I found one of my autobuy authors the very first year I was eligible to judge. Also - I learn from judging. I learn from things done really well and things done...not so well.
4) And finally, because maybe the odds are against me but SOMEONE has to final and why not me? You can't win if you don't play. You really just never know, especially in this biz. And in my eyes, the RITA still stands for something.
Anyway my forms are printed and I'm getting my books ready to ship. And crossing my fingers, because it'd be kind of cool to make it to Atlanta next summer.