Wednesday, September 19, 2012

GUTGAA Round One Results

Whew! What a tense few days! Gearing Up to Get An Agent Round 1 was a resounding success, and I had a blast watching my four judges agonize over their votes--and tweeting them the second they were made!

To help me keep track, I made the following spreadsheet, which is just too pretty to keep to myself:

See how pretty?

Since you might not be able to read the thing, here are the ten finalists from my blog, with links to their awesome entries and the number of votes they got. All 2-votes in the finals also received a tie-breaker vote:

#1 A CITY IN THE AIR (2 votes)
#5 EXISTENCE (3 votes)
#9 THE LONG-TIMERS  (2 votes)
#10 AGAINST THE FALLING MOONS  (2 votes)
#16: THE DESIREE (4 votes)
#23 THE BEAUTY OF DESTRUCTION  (2 votes) 
#27 AFTERLIFE (3 votes)
#32 BETWEEN THE CURRENTS (3 votes)
#34 DIVINE (2 votes) 
#36 WATER LILY  (2 votes) 

Congratulations to all the finalists! We're all going to be rooting for you in the agent round!

I was going to do a post with everyone's real name, etc, but I think it will be best if you all just reveal yourselves in the comments on your own entries. That way I don't out someone who would rather have remained anonymous.

I think I'll also get permission to tell you the real identities of our judges, soon, so stay tuned.

And now a word to those who didn't get any votes. There were 17 of you right here on my blog and more scattered throughout the contest. I was one of them: I didn't get any votes, either, though a couple agents said they would have voted for mine if only they had more votes. (They didn't really say how many votes they would have needed to vote for mine....) :) There are a few reasons your perfectly awesome book might not have been honored with a vote: 
  1. The query and first page don't yet reflect the awesomeness of your book.
  2. The judges were in the mood for a different kind of awesome.
  3. Your competitors's entries were three-tenths of a hair more awesome than yours.
Whatever the reason, don't you dare give up. There were one or two trolls on the #GUTGAA twitter feed who thought it would be fun to gripe and complain about the judges, the set-up, the fact that Deana wasn't able to pull in actual agents to read the first 200... yeah. Nothing worth listening to.

Don't be like that. Take your comments, improve your query, and come back for the next contest. There's always another one, just around the bend.

Meanwhile, check out my compilation of everything I don't know about writing a query in the How NOT to Write a Query tab at the top of the page. Also, it looks like I'm going to be hosting a #GUTGAAlosers bloghop to help us all improve our queries--unless you're planning to enter the GUTGAA Small Publisher contest--in that case, the unofficial pitch polish blog hop is here.

So how was your experience? Learn anything? If I do a losers bloghop, are you going to play?

30 comments:

  1. Hi Robin!

    What a spectacular spreadsheet you have there! Had to open it twice to appreciate it's awesomeness. (And squint. Squint a lot.)

    I'm happy to reveal myself as the writer of #1 A CITY IN THE AIR. Thank you so very much for all the work you put into hosting us Steampunk, Sci-fi, Paranormal, and Dystopian entries. I was so stoked to be on your blog.

    It's so true about fiction being subjective. I read some amazing work that didn't get any votes, but I hope those authors keep at it because I want to read their books. (Seriously, I'm not happy I have to wait.)

    I can't wait for the second round and I wish everyone the best!

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    1. And I wrote it's instead of its. Wow, what kind of writer am I?

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    2. I was stoked to have such awesome entries! I'll be rooting for you all in the agent round!

      Sorry about the squinting--I had to fit it all on one screen before I took the screenshot... and my screen is not all that big. :)

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  2. I'd be happy to sign up for a losers' bloghop. I wished I'd gotten more comments on mine (not on your blog but on Cassie's), but I'm painfully aware of how historical isn't as hot in YA right now as, say, fantasy or paranormal. It's the genre I was born to write, so I'm going to keep writing in it no matter how popular or unpopular it is.

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    1. You keep on writing it Carrie! Almost every comment I got on my steampunk was about how they aren't into steampunk. Even from the judges who voted me on.

      I didn't look at the other blogs too much since I concentrated on this one. Which number were you on Cassie's?

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    2. Cool--I'm thinking of waiting until after the Small Press round starts, since I don't want to compete with them. Also, need time to figure out how to do that linky list thing. :)

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    3. Carrie-Anne, keep on with the historical. You never know. Katherine Longshore's GILT, Libba Bray's THE DIVINERS--two big historicals that jumped out of my head. Robin LaFever's GRAVE MERCY is a fantasy/historical.

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  3. I was #37 on Cassie's blog, right on the front page. I keep hearing comments about how historical may be gaining traction in YA, and hope it's true.

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    1. I think that, like with fashion, what is "trendy" changes so much, it's bound to come around again. :)

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    2. Thank you Carrie for sharing your pitch with me! I commented on it and wish you the best!

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  4. Congrats to all those advancing on to the next round! You guys have amazing stories! Can't wait to see them on my book shelf someday!!!

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  5. I came to this blog from one of the contestants who made it through. It's wonderful that you're giving this opportunity to people, and anyone who's a Koontz fan is a friend for life! :-D
    New follower here.

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    1. Odd Thomas just might be my favorite hero ever. :)

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  6. LOVE the spreadsheet! Thanks so much for hosting this, Robin. You rock!

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    1. You're so welcome! Spreadsheets are my crack. What can possibly be better than organizing information into a cute chart? *might have missed her true calling when she became a lawyer*

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  7. Thanks again for being an outstanding host, Robin. That spreadsheet kicks butt! I'm envious of your organization skills. You got skills, man. ;)

    Contests are so subjective, and altho they can help determine an unpubbed author's success down the road, they're more a fun way to meet other writers and put your work out there for feedback. It's been such a blast so far! This is really a great group of writers.

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    1. Exactly--just because these four judges preferred other entries (like yours--congrats again!), doesn't mean the rest of these books aren't awesome.

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  8. As a judge, I can tell you that this was a very challenging task. VERY. CHALLENGING.

    There wasn't a *bad* submission in the batch. For me, It boiled down to either preferences in writing styles or a premise that seemed truly unique. It was, unfortunately, that painful word we all hate: SUBJECTIVE. And being on the other side of that word for once was difficult.

    If you weren't selected to go to the next round, PLEASE don't get down on yourself. Take the comments you were given, tuck them under your hat to use if/when they feel right, and forge ahead.

    I am living proof that what one person (agent/publisher) dislikes in your work, another will love. It really is just a matter of sticking with it long enough to find the person it resonates with.

    Robin, you were an absolutely delightful host.

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    1. Aww--thanks so much! And thanks for your efforts in judging. Such a hard job!

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  9. That spreadsheet is out of this world great! I couldn't even begin to be that awesome. So happy I made it through! Mine is #5 if anyone is interested. Thank you judges for being awesome and helping all of us out. Kisses and hugs!

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    1. Okay, I'll confess: I make spreadsheets because I can't do math reliably. I'm okay at working it out once, but if I do too much with numbers, I'm going to make a mistake. So telling a spreadsheet which calculations I need is perfect for me! :)

      Congrats on moving on--I'm so excited for you!

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  10. Thanks for hosting Robin and for sharing that rockin' spreadsheet! As one who doesn't *get* spreadsheets(they make me dizzy!), I'm impressed! It's like a rainbow of information.

    Thanks also to the secret judges--looking forward to learning your true identities...if that information is revealed :)

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  11. Thanks, Robin. You were an awesome host. I didn't get any votes, but managed to get useful info on my query. I have to admit I was a bit down, but that's how it rolls. You just pick yourself up and keep going, learning from others and taking advice (when appropriate).
    I'd love a losers' bloghop, by the way, to polish the new, hopefully improved, queries.
    Again, thanks for the experience.

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  12. Congratulations to those going on, and congratulations to those NOT going on. You all did great work, and everyone got feedback on their entries. The choices were really hard to make, and you're all brave for putting yourselves up for judging in such a public forum.

    Robin, you've been an amazing host! (And yeah, I love that spreadsheet, too. It makes me want to make a spreadsheet of something. I just have no idea what.)

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  13. i love your chart! i will be copying you during my week to host!

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  14. I can send you my chart, if you like. It's too pretty to only be used once! :D

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  15. Seriously, a girl after my own heart with the excel spreadsheet. Great job on the hosting!

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  16. You are such a spreadsheet queen, Robin. Congrats to the winners and to everyone who participated. It takes guts to put yourself out there like that.

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  17. I love your spreadsheet! Thank you so much for being such a fabulous host!! I was glued to your tweets and would literally jump every time you tweeted something else. I was #23 THE BEAUTY OF DESTRUCTION. I was last to be picked and had to read your tweet 3 times before I realized it was me - ha! There was such stiff competition on your blog, I really didn't think I'd make it. Best of luck to everyone who entered!! I will be cheering for all of you and look forward to hearing about your future success stories!! Some of these pitches I'm just dying to read!!

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