C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

The Truth Will Get Out

My novel, Endemic, had a tough launch. To put it simply, Amazon screwed me over, and truthfully, that disappointment set me back quite a bit both financially and creatively. I haven’t been nearly as productive since. However, I am not reiterating or relitigating the past today. Today, I have something to celebrate.

The book has since won a Literary Titan Award and took first place in science fiction at both the Hollywood Book Fesitval and the New York Book Festival.

And now, another win!

The North Street Book Prize just announced the winners and Endemic took first in genre fiction! That’s a big one. Taste all that delicious validation!

Here’s the North Street Book Prize blurb for Endemic:

Genre Fiction winner Robert Chazz Chute’s Endemic gives the post-apocalyptic plague novel a fresh twist with a neurodivergent female book editor as an unlikely action hero. New York City is in ruins after a strange disease caused brain damage among most of the population. Can Ovid Fairweather save the day with her hydroponic gardening skills and hypervigilance from an abusive childhood? Count on it.

If you’ve encountered marketing obstacles (and who hasn’t?) persevere and be patient. The truth will get out. Your work can find an audience, even if it doesn’t happen right away.

I was disappointed. I retreated. I felt bad for a long time, but I am not done.


~ I am Robert Chazz Chute. Find links to all my apocalyptic epics and killer crime thrillers at my author site, AllThatChazz.com.

Filed under: awards, Endemic, publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11 Responses

  1. J.S. Pailly says:

    A valuable lesson for us all. Things don’t always go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Congratulations on your victory!

  2. How do you decide WHICH awards are worth applying to, and which will give you a decent ROI if you win – or place – in them. There are so many, and so many I’ve never heard of.

    Beyond the top awards everyone has heard of, I find it difficult to choose, because they’ve gotten very expensive, and I’ve had one bad experience where I removed the ‘Finalist’ badge from my website because when I saw I had made Finalist, and it seemed that 40 finalists was too many, and all you had to do to become one was to know basic rules of capitalization and punctuation – I felt both scammed and stupid for having applied to it. Possibly I need to revisit that one.

    The big prizes a reader will recognize – well, those you almost don’t have to push. But the others worry me – have they become another subindustry that exists for itself.

    Obviously, with your record, you know which ones are worth it – maybe I should just apply to the ones someone who is selling well advertises? Or selling well in my field – literary mainstream, but indie. Because the chances of winning ‘the big one’ is remote.

    • rchazzchute says:

      The easiest answer is to choose contests with decent cash prizes (though that wasn’t my only criterion.) There are sites that rate contests and warn of scams. I used Book Award Pro first, but I still had to narrow it down. If there are tons of winners, it doesn’t mean anything, and matching your targets with your genre is essential. Name recognition of the contest was less important to me since so few readers could name any writing contest beyond the Pulitzer.

      • rchazzchute says:

        Alicia, there’s also this page of scam busters: https://winningwriters.com/resources/category/scam-busting

      • Thanks, and for the list.

        I’m just starting to use Book Award Pro – except that I wasn’t impressed with the first bunch of suggestions because they did fit – maybe – a few of the keywords, but they did not suit the novels. I’m doing the free version right now, but won’t go on to a paid version unless at least one or two (after I refine those keywords) turn up I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

        I write literary mainstream fiction as an indie, and not many of us do, but traditional awards often don’t let us apply, so my choices are few. And I’m extremely slow.

        I like your realization that few readers know many awards, but, unfortunately, the more you aim for my kind of categories, the more likely a ‘name win’ is needed because the readers are already suspicious of SPAs, and DO know some awards for traditionally published books.

        The first novel in my mainstream trilogy was named 2021 Best Contemporary novel by Indies Today, and the second was a finalist for 2022. Applying to awards IF you win or place may be money better ROI than on a publicist or marketing firm; those are often out of my budget reach. But awards aren’t enough – neither seems to have sold more than a book or two when I mentioned them in blog posts and FB.

      • rchazzchute says:

        Yes, winning the award alone won’t move the needle much. You have to find ways to leverage the small wins to swing them into bigger wins, and writing purely literary works as a self-publisher is an uphill struggle, for sure.

      • Yes, except it’s much more like writing Gone With the Wind: it’s epic, and set in the worldwide business of movies and actors, and where that intersects with the writers who sometimes supply the stories.

        Thanks for all the advice – leveraging is what I’m trying to figure out HOW to do.

      • Oh, right: cash prizes. That’s a good qualifier I haven’t tried yet. Thanks.

  3. acflory says:

    Congratulations, Rob. Well deserved validation. 🙂

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