I've been fishing around in the Amazon forums, and reading postings and previews. I've seen an article that likens the contest to "Survivor" or "Idol" and justifies the comparison. I'll reserve judgment on that for now, see if the contest has improved over the last two years. I'll bet it has, Amazon is a giant company, they can afford to kaizan a process until it works.
I know 4 other people who entered, two in Bards Corner, two from Forward Motion. I know the quality of work that I posted wasn't up to snuff. I did a panic edit and cut my first chapter in half without time to edit, so there are rough spots.
What have I learned so far?
Forward Motion was the biggest, most powerful influence on my writing to date. I put my novel up as a crash-test-dummy and got the worst skinning of my entire life. I can NEVER thank those people enough! Dale, Jeff and Karen have taken me from a 'wannabe' to an 'also ran' which to my mind is a huge leap forward.
Why do I say it that way? Because I'm seeing a lot of 'wannabe' level writing that really, really needs help in the Amazon previews. My heart goes out to them, I've been there, and didn't know how to get to the next level.
But to be fair to everyone on Forward Motion, (I don't want the forum flooded with trolls and tricksters) I'm not going to plug FM on Amazon. It takes all kinds to make a forum work, but right now, I think I'll play my cards close to my chest until I see where we all pan out.
That doesn't mean that I can't give credit where it is due here, in my private blog.