I'm new to ABNA and I've just been reading the guidelines and watching the videos.
One thing that has confused me is the Author biography. It's mentioned in the video, but not in the written entry guidelines. Do I need to write one? And if so, how long?
The videos also talk about a "synopsis" but this is not mentioned in the guidelines. Do we need to prepare a synopsis too?
You do need a biography. This goes is the section with your details. Once you have uploaded your pitch etc. If you get through, this is what the readers will see along with a synopsis about your book so has to be pretty well written. You will be able to preview it how they will see it and amend as necessary. . There are links on here which will give you advice on pitches, branding and grabbing your readers attention http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011
I watched the video (twice) about how to enter the contest. In that it says that the author bio is optional. Are you saying that this is required to make your entry valid?
From my understanding, following are the only three items necessary to make your entry complete. Am I wrong?
3) 5k words excerpt
Also there is a "Description" section and "pitch" section. Each of them is a 300 words max. Are we to enter the same text in each of these?
The biography may be optional but I think you need to spend a bit of time on writing it as if you get through, your readers will see this. I understand you have to create yourself as a product.
I also understand the description and pitch are different. The pitch is selling it to the judges, what your book is about and why would your audience would want to read it. I would have thought the description is an overview of what your book is about similar to what you read on the back of book. I may be wrong.
IMO the pitch is selling to the authors and the description is selling to the audience. So when writing a pitch you want to tell them why they should read it and what makes your story better than anything else. The description is the what is this and why am I reading it. So slightly different but I'm sure you could use the same thing for a description that you use for a pitch.... maybe.... Well that was my take on it.
An anecdote about bios:
Several years ago I had positive interest from an agent in regards to my first book, well-written, original, interesting characters, all that.
She instantly lost interest when I indicated I was sort of elderly, which I was, although not so much as today.
I saw her point. How could she know I would live long enough to be a worthwhile client?
I've now self-published three books, and have two more in the channel, which proves nothing except that if you're not young, don't mention.
So anyway, I don't bio more than a line or two, and those being total lies.
Now that's some interesting information. Geez, my bio is all over the place and it mentions my grandchildren. Guess there's no way to undo that. Hmm. You made me laugh with "and those being total lies." I'll have to go read your bio. Thanks for the info.