Gotta be in it to win it…

… trouble is there’s a lot of competition, and I’m not even ‘properly’ entered yet!

There’s not been an awful lot of publicity, but I’m assuming that most of my indie writer mates are probably aware that Amazon, or to be specific KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) have been running a StorytellerUK2017 contest. I think they’re probably running the competition in other Amazon ‘territories’ as well because it was an American friend who first put me onto it, so it’s also running in the US at least.  The deadline is midnight tomorrow, Wednesday 17th May 2017.

So, I wasn’t going to go in for it, but then had a rush of blood to the head and misread the rules – I thought you just had to enter an eBook and decided that I’d give it a go and do the print version at my leisure. I had a handy piece of off-canon, never written by the original author fan fiction lurking on the forum and decided that I’d do a Freebooter’s treatment of it. Now, before you go saying ‘plagiarism’ or, even worse, 50 Shades of Bullsh*t – this is a franchise that borrows really heavily from Norse, Atlantean and Arthurian myth.  And, as they say, there’s nothing new under Sun, even if you don’t have that celestial object in your created world – yet. Especially where Elves are concerned – they’re all over the place, and nobody has copyright on them. As long as you don’t use other people’s famous names. So I didn’t! 😀

Anyway, long story short, I had a whale of a time using Google Translate in Irish, Welsh, Scots Gaelic, Icelandic and various other Scandinavian roots to look up things like bright, starry folk, dark woods, great oceans and cruel angels, etc. The result is a cobbled together alternative Tolkienesque universe, where my Dark Lords do all kinds of nasssty things to Elveses to make Orcses (only here I’ve used a translation for ‘undead’ and called them Troichann). If you’re a Silmarillion junkie (I’m not, but it’s a fantastic resource for fantasy roleplay! 😉 ), you’ll probably know of this origin story. But, the great thing is – Tolkien never actually wrote anything much about what Morgoth and Sauron got up to in Utumno and Angband, back when the Elves still had to migrate into the West. So it’s not plagiarising, so much as surmising, extrapolating and getting well in touch with your inner megalomaniac demon… 😛

The result is as shown above, and it’s a very dark fantasy with strong, though not graphic, adult sex scenes. The gore and psycho horror are pretty nasty though, so this isn’t for the squeamish, or fans of the PG PJ films.

Anyway, off I trundle to Amazon yesterday tea-time and merrily put the little 70K opus through the KDP eBook wringer, after checking the entry procedure for the contest. Still, I didn’t twig but saw the usual disclaimer about accepting the terms and conditions, with a handy link, which I duly clicked like a good girl.
Horror of horrors, almost the first thing I saw was that you had to put an eBook AND paperback through KDP. Not either/or… After about 5 mins of inventive cursing,  I calmed down and remembered that Amazon/Createspace use Ingram/Lightning Source templates – which I always use for my titles.

Problem sorted. It was hairy, but I put up a quick and dirty print version using the eBook stylesheets in PDF and had a rather testy walk out with the KDP cover creator (very disconcerting doing RGB previews of CMYK visuals – talk about Technicolor on acid!). I got it all through KDP Print this afternoon, and, with luck, it’ll make it onto Amazon for the midnight deadline tomorrow.

Of course, gentle and enlightened reader, you’ll have gathered by now that this is essentially a come on by KDP to get more indies to put their paperback versions through them as well. Which means that Befouled, the print version may become a collectible in years to come, because I’m not going to use KDP for my  regular print work as I’m more than satisfied with Lightning Source’s quality and POD production – they’re worth the modest sum you pay if you’re able to shift for yourself with the typesetting and they’re Amazon’s main POD distributor worldwide anyway.

Oh – and of course, here’s the sales pitch… 😀 It’s an Amazon family competition, so sales and reviews will be part of the judging criteria.

Here’s the link for

Befouled by Siân Glírdan


And if you’re able to leave me a review between 20th May 2017 through 1st June 2017 – I’d be very grateful! There’s so far over 1600 people gone in for this (there’s a £20K prize up for grabs and a swanky literary award ceremony in London), so there’s a lot of competition, but not a lot of reviewing going on yet.

You gotta be in it to win it!

17 thoughts on “Gotta be in it to win it…

  1. Jan, first of all, congratulations on your new book. Let me remind you about listing it on our #RRBC catalog. When I read and reviewed your Dreamless Roads…I missed getting credit for it because it was not listed. So please hurry up and list this book. 😀
    I also got the notice about this Kindle competition, but I discarded it. I will now go back a take a closer look at it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joy – sorry about Dreamless Roads, but it can’t be listed on RRBC as it includes several authors who are not members…. 😦 Good news is that I’ve put details for Befouled through for the RRBC catalog today, so that should on by the time you get around to a review! 😀
      Sadly, though it’s open to worldwide entries, the competition finishes today at midnight – I nearly missed it myself but just scraped in yesterday.


  2. I haven’t heard of this competition….next time! I will attempt to read and review your book by the deadline! Good luck!

    I use both Ingram Sparks and Create Space and like both of them, but I think the quality is better at Ingram.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whew! A whole bunch of that was Greek to me, but it sounds like you are one determined author! I wish you the best with the competition. I’ve only ever formatted one print book (with CreateSpace) and am still not sure of all the options out there. My publisher does use Lightning Source for my POD titles but I think that is different from KDP.I get confused, LOL.

    I like the title Befouled. It does sound like a dark read, but one of old worlds and old powers.


    • Better than the original title – The Last Vanya, Mae! 😛 It’s very much a ‘classic’ fantasy inspired by the Tolkien universe, but something that Tolkien only touched on in his sprawling creation myth for Middle Earth. Because he only lightly sketched it, it’s fair game for fan fiction, so I only had to make slight changes to rejig it! 😉
      Lightning Source is part of the Ingrams global empire who do most of Amazon’s distribution worldwide – KDP is Amazon but uses Lightning Source/Ingrams Spark templates, so I was able to cannibalise one of my earlier titles to do the paperback edition for Befouled. 😀


    • Thanks, Craig 😀 It may not be going by the same name in the USA of course. The prize money’s similar though, so I’m told. I did get one of their circular emails through a few days after she told me about her plans, so it kind of stuck.
      At least I’ve got another book out there if nothing else! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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