Enter StoryBundle's NaNoWriMo Bundle Contest!

Greetings, indie authors and storytellers! Each year thousands of writers challenge themselves to do the seemingly impossible; write a fifty thousand word novel from beginning to end in just thirty days. We call this test of literary endurance National Novel Writing MonthNaNoWriMo for short—and like most great challenges, many choose to tackle it simply because it’s there. Well this year, StoryBundle would like to give you a little more motivation.

If you are writing a sci-fi or fantasy novel as your 2013 NaNoWriMo project, we would like to invite you to submit your finished product to StoryBundle for our first ever NaNoWriMo mini-bundle. Your book will be read by a series of judges, and the top three will be included in a DRM-free, name your own price mini-bundle in 2014.

What's StoryBundle?

If this is your first introduction to StoryBundle, it is a simple but powerful concept that has been applied to all sorts of digital goods. Just as the popular Humble Bundle has done for indie developers, indie musicians, and yes, even indie authors, StoryBundle gathers up the best of the best from indie authors of all kinds and assembles them into limited time bundles. Each bundle features a handful of books available at a price of your own choosing. If you chip in just a few dollars more, you get access to a few bonus books, too! A portion of the proceeds goes to charity, and you even get to choose how much goes to the site and how much goes to the authors. What do authors like me get for our trouble? An even split of the earnings based on the number of books in the bundle, plus the peace of mind that no exclusivity is required and all rights remain ours. What do the readers get for their money? Hand-picked, quality screened e-books in all popular formats and completely free of DRM. What’s not to like?

I have been a part of three bundles, and I can tell you that each one has been well worth it. The bundles have earned me thousands of dollars, introduced me to plenty of new fans, and put me in contact with a bunch great authors I might never have met otherwise. StoryBundle has helped me find a place in the libraries of a whole new audience, and it can do the same for you! We’re offering a place in an upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy themed bundle reserved specifically for NaNoWriMo participants, and entering is a snap.

So How Do I Enter?

The rules are simple:

Enter and complete this year’s NaNoWriMo

This is a NaNoWriMo bundle, after all, so you have to be in it to win it. That means writing a complete story of at least 50,000 words from scratch during the month of November.

How do you achieve such a feat? Well, for me it was a matter of setting goals, sticking to them, and not giving in to hopelessness when I started to fall behind. Shoot for 2,000 words a day, and if you get stuck, switch to a different scene or a different character for a while. Nothing is to be gained from banging your head against a wall. Find little nooks and crannies of the day where you can sneak in a few hundred words. (A smartphone and a long train commute were responsible for probably a third of my novel last year.) Above all, don’t heap on useless words for the sake of boosting your numbers. The real achievement for NaNoWriMo isn’t writing 50,000 words in thirty days, it is writing a 50,000 word story in thirty days. Always try to write something that someone will want to read. Not only will it make for a better finished product, but it will be more fun to write.

Make sure it fits the theme

The StoryBundle NaNoWriMo bundle is focusing on Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, so only enter if your story falls somewhere under that umbrella.

Polish your novel

StoryBundle prides itself on hand-selecting the best of the best, and its readers have come to expect it, so make sure you’ve taken the time to make your novel as good as it can be. You should proofread your novel and be sure it is error free. Professional editing for content is not necessary, but copyediting is encouraged. If you are not confident in your ability to catch all of your typos and smooth out your grammar, then consider having a pro look at it. At the bare minimum, make friends with some thorough beta readers.

Format your novel

Submissions should be made in standard e-book formats; either ePub or mobi. Don’t know how? Trust me, it isn’t that hard. Take a few minutes to get familiar with Calibre and learn a few tricks from great sources like the Smashwords Style Guide (two of my favorite resources) and you’ll have an e-reader ready file in no time.

Submit by the deadline

Once your book is finished, read, re-read, beta-read, revised, corrected, perfected, error-free and packaged up, make sure to submit it by the deadline of January 31st, 2014. That’s two full months after NaNoWriMo wraps up, so there should be plenty of time to get it done right.

Send your book to nanosubmissions@storybundle.com with the following:

  • A copy of your novel in .epub or .mobi format
  • A paragraph describing of your novel
  • A paragraph describing your background and previously published works, if you're an author with previously published works

That’s it! Once you’re in the contest, StoryBundle will look at your book and if it is one of the best, then it is in the bundle!

Once again, like all StoryBundles this is a non-exclusive arrangement. Win or lose, you are free to publish your book before, during, or after the bundle, and all rights to it remain yours. Just make sure you don’t enter into an exclusivity agreement with anyone else (Kindle Select, I’m looking at you...) until after the bundle wraps up.

Happy Writing!

Joseph Lallo