This post is an update to getting Far Flung, my sci-fi book long-in-progress, finally published. It should also help writers know more about the BookLife Prize, and what you’ll get for the entry fee (89 USD for me, after using a coupon). The draft I submitted stands at 50,000 words – my editing will extend that somewhat, but it will still be in that uncomfortable territory between “novella” and “novel” that is difficult to get published under the best conditions. I want to move ahead anyway, and I’m eyeing indie publishers in Canada and the US who don’t mind dealing with shorter books. Professional editing is too expensive for me to handle alone, so for now, I really don’t want to self-publish it. I also want somebody to help me with marketing, and I definitely won’t have that help if I publish it myself!
Anyway, on to what I actually got out of that entry fee. Far Flung did not place in the quarter or semi-finals of the contest, so the result is only a critics report (and a short one at that). Here is the report they gave:
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10
Plot: This exciting and well-developed sci-fi adventure sees a space vessel and crew stranded in an unknown galaxy.
Prose/Style: While this narrative occasionally becomes overly technical, which tends to somewhat slow the plot, the author ultimately crafts a believable world in an easy flowing manner.
Originality: With appealing alien characters and a vividly realized world, this futuristic story has some surprises in store for readers.
Character Development/Execution: The characters display change and growth through the novel and readers will be invested in their outcomes.
What am I to take away from this? Well, for the longest prose I’ve written so far, and for what will be my very first book, I think that it can be edited into something very good. If I try BookLife again with an updated draft next year (an option that is available), I might boost that score. But honestly, I’ve already put money into this particular book idea (just look back at my Inkshares experience), and I really shouldn’t take any more out of my own pocket if I can help it. I’m not expecting any great sum of money out of it once it’s published, but there’s got to be some traditional or indie publisher who’ll take it on.
I’ll do some editing I’ve thought up since submission, and I’ll continue the search for a publisher.