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America's Next Author
America's Next Author is the first real social writing contest. Winners will be chosen based on a unique combination of votes from readers and publishing industry experts.

Like a Criminal

Mystery Writer (6)

We're not all cut out for a life of crime.

I have a confession to make. Last week, in my attempt to get to the top of the rankings, I did something that I'm not very proud of. 

I was all energized by the message I'd gotten from an agent inquiring about my writing. Everything was going fine enough, but my ranking still was way below the first page. And then I received a message on Facebook from someone who offered to get me a lot of votes. That sounded fishy, but it did start me thinking about "creative ways" to get more likes and votes.

One of my neighbors works in IT and he told me (after I bribed him with a beer) that there are lots of places online where you can pay as little as $5 for 50-100 Facebook likes.

He gave me a couple of links, and one site actually looked reputable. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but after thinking for about one second I got out my credit card and purchased 50 Facebook likes for my page. It was crazy ... my heart was racing, and I kind of felt like I was robbing a bank. You should know that I'm the type of person who drives all the way back to the store if I realize that someone gave me too much change. And now here I was, signing away my good conscience for a silly writing contest!

Wait. Did I say silly? Who am I kidding! I want to be nominated! I've worked for weeks and weeks to get to that number one spot. I deserve it, right?

After a scary few minutes, I got an email from the website saying that the Facebook likes would start coming in over the next 24 hours. It went even faster than that -- it started within an hour. I was reloading my page like a possessed woman, my F5 key creaking in protest. It was working! Two likes. Five likes. Twelve! It was crazy!

I actually yelled out loud, "I beat the system! I am SO gonna win this contest now!" The 50 likes came in swiftly. The next morning, I couldn't wait to see what was happening with my rank. If I had made a big jump, I'd buy another 50 likes, or maybe more. I opened the Author Ranking page, sure I'd see my face there on the first page ...

No. I clicked through to the second page. Still not there. In the end it turned out that I went up two positions in comparison with the day before. I did some quick math and realized I'd need to spend about another $350 to make it to #1, and that's only assuming that the same jump would happen with each $5 I put in. I've moved up and down as much as 20 positions each day, so it's doubtful that these Facebook likes had any real impact.

Not to mention the fact that if I got a nomination this way, I'd feel like a major cheater and I'd end up telling the contest organizers that I didn't deserve it. I decided that my budding career in Internet fraud would end right there.

I guess I'm better off writing about about crime instead actually participating in it.

December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
Goodbye For Now!
I won't be America's Next Author this year, but maybe next year ... [...]
Like a Criminal
Mystery Writer (6)
We're not all cut out for a life of crime. [...]
Big Breaks and Little Breaks
Mystery Writer (5)
How one Facebook message brought me from frustrated and upset to excited and motivated. [...]
The Future Bestsellers
Mystery Writer (4)
The wild ride continues ... who will be the first wildcard nominee? Will I learn enough about online promotion to get hired for a job in marketing? ;) [...]
Image Is Everything
Mystery Writer (3)
This week I put a lot of effort into improving my ANA author page, and I think it's starting to pay off. [...]
My First Week Experience
Mystery Writer (2)
Voting, reviews, Facebook, Tweets, links ... so busy! [...]
Seven more rounds!
Mystery Writer (1)
When I first got the email notifying me that my story was accepted for America's Next Author, I was really excited and even a little nervous. [...]
America's Next Author

#ANA2012 | What Fans Have To Say


America's Next Author is the first social writing contest. Friends, family, fans and publishing industry experts will read authors' submissions and nominate their favorite to be America's next major author. Everyone can participate!