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Monday, March 10, 2008's Unpublished Writing Competition - The Contest that Pays You to Enter

Photo by Ian Wilson Creative Commons is a website that partners with authors to sell their books online. The website keeps 60% and the author gets 40%. All books are priced between $2.50 and $5.00, with sale price determined by the popularity of the novel.

Now they are hosting's Unpublished Writing Competition. From now through May 5-11, writers can upload their book to the website and the 5 most popular books of the week plus one wild card go through to a 2nd round of the contest. Ten books from Round 2 go on to Round 3, where the winner is selected by a panel of judges. The books earn points during the first rounds from reader ratings and number of downloads.

The best part - you get paid.
All readers have to pay to download your book, and you share in the revenue. Is this an attempt to drum up more downloading readers for Bookhabit as you beg all your friends and family to download your book? Plus get the website a double serving of publicity from every author who promotes on their blog or website? I'm pretty sure it is. But the prize is $5,000 and depending on your book, you may earn yourself enough for a nice steak dinner - or at least breakfast at Mickey D's.

What should you enter?
So if you have a manuscript that you think is too quirky, too long, too short, or too niche for the publishing world, you might want to consider entering. They're taking both fiction (any genre) and non-fiction. Manuscripts must be at least 50,000 words long.

For example, one winner this week is a romance novel, and one is a how-to book for new motorcyclists. Self-published books can be entered as long as they sold less than 500 copies. I wouldn't enter a book you haven't shopped around first to agents and editors, but if you feel your baby was misunderstood when you sent it out into the cold, cruel publishing world, you might want to bypass big publishing and go straight to the people - at least those willing to pay. Power to your peeps! Uh, not the yellow, sticky ones - your people. Good luck to everyone who enters.

Query on.

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