I had planned on entering D&B into a couple of contests this year to see how it fared and to get some feedback from judges. I narrowed down my choices to ones who had final judges that were editors I wanted to get my work in front of. Picked two from that list where I thought I could best showcase my work and was about to prepare my submissions when I stopped.
Something didn't quite feel right. Not with my submission, but with entering. Part of it was the money. The cost of exchange, shipping to the US, photocopies, etc, can really add up and things are pretty tight right now. But there was something else nagging at me. Did I really want to spend my time preparing my first three chapters? Or did I want to get on with the business of writing the rest of the book?
So, after much deep thought, I ultimately decided to concentrate my efforts this year on finishing D&B and revising The Outlaw Bride. If D&B is ready in November I will consider The Golden Heart again, but I think this year I should be focusing on getting things done, on finding an agent and editor and not on entering contests. Don't get me wrong, I think contests are great. They can be used as a measuring stick and provide valuable feedback on where you are going wrong and what you are doing right. I've had great experiences with the contests I have entered. But this year, I think my time would be better spent elsewhere.
And my bank account has breathed a sigh of relief.