OK, so I know this is a few days early but I was too excited about it to wait any longer before posting the article. I first saw this woman's lovely cover art on a web designated as The Kindle Homepage. Immediately, I was drawn to the gorgeous dance figure in the midst of clouds and had to know what the book was about. After I read the synopsis on Amazon I was hooked and purchased it with a quick punch of my finger on my kindle. The book I am gushing about is called The Angel and the Brown – eyed Boy and it is written by a fabulous woman, author, mother, wife, spiritualist, etc… who goes by the name of Sandy Nathan. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good paranormal romance with lots of action. Click here to purchase The Angel on Amazon.com.
Sandy Nathan is a heck of a writer and she has the recognition to prove it. I was really impressed with an article she shared with me recently. As a new author I found a lot of useful information in her words and decided I should pass on her wisdom here on my blog. So, with out further ramblings from me, I proudly present the wonderful and talented, Sandy Nathan…
How to Win a Book Contest
Book contests. You see them advertised everywhere, sponsored by book publicists, advertising agencies, consultants, “book shepherds,” and even book publishers. What will winning a contest do for you? And––how can you win a book contest if you enter it?
I know something about these topics. My first two books won a total of twelve national awards in contests for independent presses and self-publishers. An interviewer once exclaimed, “What! No one has won twelve book awards.”
Well, I have. I'm good at it.
What will a book award do for you?
I’ve read promotional materials that claim that winning an award will catapult your book into the ranks of best sellers and make your name as an author.
Hasn’t worked out that way for me. I do have a friend who read my earlier article on this subject, Win Book Contests –– Make Your Book a Winner! on Your Shelf Life. He took my advice and had his self-published book made into a hardback, entered it in a contest, and won. He was signed by a traditional publisher within weeks. Years later, he remains signed and happy and selling like crazy.
It can happen. (The other thing about my friend is that he’s a supreme marketer and his book sales were spectacular before and after the contest. Also his book is really good.)
While I don't promise life-changing results, here are a few reasons book awards are worth pursuing.
1. An award will increase the visibility of your book. My first book came out in 2006; the second in 2009. I’ve just brought out two more books. I’ve found it much harder to make sales and keep sales momentum going now than in earlier years.
I think that the difference is due to the phenomenal increase in the number of Indie books and authors and their marketing activities. Your book must stand out from and above the hordes.
An award can provide that essential difference, provided it's part of a marketing arsenal. The unspoken truth about book awards is that you have to put your winning book, with its pretty new sticker or badge, in everyone’s face and keep it there, or nothing will happen.
2. Goodies. Some contests have really good prizes. Money, publicity campaigns. Trips to holy places: Book Expo America, for one. These are worth competing for by themselves.
3. An award can be a badge of quality and reassure your buyers. I was participating in an on-line discussion the other night when a woman EXPLODED about how sick she was of buying poorly produced self-published books. Here’s a really good, though rude and insulting, blog article with an incredibly vulgar title that talks about this problem and presents an excellent critique of self-published books. (Read the comments and links beneath the article. They’re also good.)
We in the self-publishing/independent press world need to face this problem and police ourselves. I think that book awards can do exactly that. An award-winning book should represent the highest quality available in the indie/self-published book scene.
Now that we’ve established good reasons for entering book contests, how do you win?
I’m going to give it to you straight. Winning a book contest requires a huge investment of time and a relatively large investment of money. It takes years to prepare a book good enough to win. Getting the peripherals¬¬––your web site, blog, and press packet, with everything it includes–––can take more years if you do it yourself.
As an example, I started my new book, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
I’ve been in constant communication with book designers, proofreaders, editors, graphic artists, web people and more, for three years. I’ve even been in touch with Tecolote, the horse behind the book.
I don’t know how my new books will do in contests; the results aren't in. Because I did well at one time doesn’t mean I will again. No guarantees in life. I’m not guaranteeing you anything in this article, either.
Now that I’ve made you really happy, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of winning.
The key is: If you win a book contest, you already know how to set up a winner. You know what excellence is and you know how to bring it forth. Getting the result is a job of work, like mucking out stalls at our ranch.
I think I’ve done well in book contests because I used to show horses and win. When you win in a horse show, it's because you started with a winning horse, then schooled, conditioned, fed, bathed, and trained him to perfection. You know all the rules as to the type of equipment and attire you should be using, and you employ them. You know how to ride and enter the arena with all sails flying. The judge will recognize you the instant he sees you.
In a book contest, the judge faces an array of books. Your book has to leap out and SING. Also tap dance.
HOW DO YOU GET A BOOK TO TAP DANCE?
1. Hardbacks show up better. You’re a judge. Thirty or forty books are sitting on a table. You won’t be able to read all of them. You see a well-designed hardback with a killer cover. Your eyes and hands gravitate to it. Wow. It’s beautiful. The paper even feels classy. You put the book in the “keeper” pile. Hardbacks have more weight in competition.
This is changing. The hardbacks do show up better, but so much contemporary fiction is put directly into a trade paperback (and eBook) format that well-produced soft backs can also win.
(I have experience judging a book contest, which is one reason I know all this stuff. I can’t say anything about the contest except that the quality of the books was fantastic. And the winners showed up immediately.)
2. Your title and cover will make you a winner or sink you. Do you know how to judge a cover? Lewis Agrell of The Agrell Group, wrote a terrific article on what makes a winning book cover. Contact Lewis here. (He's really good, by the way. He did the covers and interiors of The Angel & Tecolote, plus other work for me. One sheets, etc.)
For a quick tutorial on commercial design, let’s look at phone book ads. Open the yellow page ads in any phone book. Scan the page quickly. Where do your eyes land? Note the ad. Do it again on another page, and another.
In all probability, the ad that draws your attention is simple. Uncluttered. Either black, white, or mostly empty. The ads that grab your eyeballs and hold them have attained page dominance. People hire consultants to create dominant ads for them.
Now go to a bookstore sale table and look at the books. Which books grab your eyes? Which do you pick up? Buy? A book contest is like that table. Clear, bold design that dominates the competition will win.
Your cover must have an emotional hook. Think archetypes. Primal images. Something that grabs the inner psychology of your reader/judge.
To win and much more importantly, to be purchased, your book cover and spine must dominate any table and any bookshelf.
3. Your title is really, really important. Your title embodies your book’s essence. It is the first text the reader sees. It should be engaging, easy to read, evocative, and compelling––it should set the emotional tone for your book. As should the subtitle or tag line (the one line description below the title). Also, most of the big catalogs of books will list your book by its title only. It better be memorable.
4. The words on your cover, flaps, and first few pages of your book, your book’s copy, should be unforgettable. These words are your prime real estate and are what will make your book succeed. The book contest judge, book store owner, and your buyer will make a decision about your book based on these words––in seconds. You want emotional hooks, ease of reading, and enchantment.
Writing copy is a skill. You can write text like an angel and not be able to pump out a winning tag line. Emmy-nominated screenwriter Laren Bright, the best copy writer I know,
I say: Hire it done if you can possibly afford it. Copy writing is like writing good poetry. You need to be able to produce succinct messages packed with meaning and emotional associations in a tight space.
5. Book design, interior & exterior: Your book should look like Random House produced it, no less. Every page and every word should be as well designed as your cover. Go to a book store and look at bestselling books. Get a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style––a gigantic book that lays out everything about books––and make it your best friend.
A very important note: Never have your title page on the left side of the book. Do not do that. (I saw books with this flaw in the contest I worked on. This is such a bad error that if you don't know how bad it is, you're in big trouble.) Know the proper order of pages in a book. Know what a half title page is and where it goes. The contest judge will know about these.
6. Self-publishing, small presses, template designs. Some contests are specifically for self-published books, by that I mean books put out by the big POD printers like lulu.com, iuniverse, createspace, and the rest. If this is your competition, let your lulu imprint show.
If you’re in open competition, hide any evidence that you are associated with these mass printers. You don't want their names on your book anywhere.
Some people/judges have prejudices against self-published books. There’s not as much of prejudice against author-owned small presses––after all, Benjamin Franklin had one. So did Mark Twain, DH Lawrence and tons of big literary names. If you own and operate a small press, that puts you in a different category, even if your book was printed by CreateSpace or Outskirts Press. Just make sure that nothing about the mass producers shows.
If you decide to set up your own small press, create a killer logo and press name, and have the book professionally designed and produced, you’ll be in good shape to compete.
Templates: Many of the big POD publishers set up their books' interiors using templates. Templates are standardized arrangements of a the elements of a book's interior and/or cover design. With a template, text blocks are a certain size, font choices are limited. Books designed using templates don’t show up well in contests. The text is set too tightly, and the margins are too small. There’s not enough variety in the overall design. In contests, judges may see several books with standard interiors and the same cover photo. If your book is one of thirty in a category, or one of three hundred, it has to stand out. A template won’t do it.
7. Professional production: The book contest judge may not have time to read all of your book, but he or she will sample pages and text. Typos, lousy interior and exterior design, cheap paper, all of it pops out. Hire a content editor, copy editor and proofreader. Hire a book designer. Believe it or not, they’re not all super expensive. Look at my blog roll on Your Shelf Life. Some great professionals are listed there.
Also, you can find independent book-making professionals who are cheaper than the design and other services offered by the big POD, author services. I was poking around on one of the major sites recently. They were offering a "big sale" on their "professional editorial and design services." The sale price was twice what I pay for my professionals and I get top quality work. I was on kindleboards the other night, and a number of old-timers advised newbies the same thing. Shop around; you can do better with your own pros.
8. Peripherals: your web site, stationery, & press kit. You did include those with your entry, didn’t you? I assure you, the winners did. The book contest judges are very likely to check your website, especially if you make it through enough of the hoops to stay in “the good pile” to the end. The “ad-ons” are breakers.
Two books might be ranked about the same, but if one author has an amazing web site and hosts a blog with a bazillion visitors a day and provides vital services to the world––who do you think will win? Ditto if an author provides copies of his book’s terrific reviews, testimonials, and advertising materials in a lovely custom folder.
Oh, yeah. What about the video for your book?
Is that linked prominently on your site? Mentioned in your press kit?
As a reality check, the press kits for Tecolote & The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy took me about four months' work, sandwiched between other book production tasks. The press kit for each book includes a one sheet (an 8.5” X 11’ glossy sheet advertising your book), custom business cards, over-sized custom postcards, and a Press Release, Author Bio, and Sample Interview specifically written for each book and designed with in Word with custom graphics. All are designed and printed professionally. These items were placed in presentation folders that matched the books' designs.
9. The book itself, as in––what’s between the covers? In your writing group, you concentrate on literary skills and arts. Word by word, you construct and deconstruct and reconstruct your masterpiece. Ditto working with your editor. You write, rewrite, slash and burn, and make your manuscript rise again. You struggle to express exactly what you want, and worry about pacing and plot and characters.
I was in two writing groups for a total of eleven years. I’ve worked with maybe six or seven good, tough editors. Almost all of this was grueling, painful, hard work. My writing has improved. The quality of the content of your book matters, especially if you want it to sell. If you want word of mouth to propel it. If you want to read it yourself in future years and not be embarrassed.
Most likely, the contest judge or panel of judges isn’t going to read all of your book. They’ll sample it and look at different aspects of it.
Does that mean you can skip the eleven years of writing groups and all those creative writing classes? No. Whatever random page a judge’s eyes fall upon will produce an impression. All the pages have to be good, since you don’t know which ones will be read. You need to know lots. For instance, what terms relating to race, ethnicity, or sexual preference are OK to use in modern literary and cultural circles?
Producing a book that wins contests is a big job requiring a commitment of time and money. It doesn’t have to be a HUGE commitment of money, but its going to cost something. Before you enter a contest, you should know what you’re up against. Hope this helped.
Copyright 2011 by Sandy Nathan. All rights reserved.
Sandy Nathan, award winning author
Numenon & The Bloodsong Series
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy; Tales from Earth's End
Contests for independent presses and self-publishers
SPR Self Publishing Review––Self-published Book
PUBLISHING BASICS––A Book Award Adds Value to your book
Reader Views––Annual Literary Awards
Sandy says, “Most of the contests are closed for this year––though you can still get into the Best Books of 2011 by USA Book News and the National Indie Excellence Award if you're fast. BB's is accepting books through April. Indie Excellence closes on April 10th.”
Oh, is that all Sandy? Piece of cake! Just kidding, seriously, I love this article because it is so brutally honest. So often, as writers, we are underestimated. The amount of time and effort that is put into our work is not comprehended and understood by the average person. All creative people are plagued with this misinformed notion. As an educator of the arts I am well aware of this type of ignorance. I work with intelligent, educated, professionally minded people on a daily basis. They have no clue about what goes on in my dance or theater classes. While I’m slaving away to give my students a meaningful and valuable education I have no doubt they imagine my students scattered around the room pretending to be trees or amoebas. (It was only that one time!). So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sandy for allowing me to post her wonderful article and give us a little more credence.
Wait! There’s more! Don’t miss out on my interview with Sandy. This is really good stuff!
The Angel's People and Places
Can you tell us a little bit about your self?
I'm a native of San Francisco CA raised down on the SF Peninsula. They call it Silicon Valley now. In my early years, I lived the life of wealth that's described in The Angel and my book Numenon. My dad was a residential developer. His company was 10th largest in the US at its peak. He was killed by a drunk driver and––poof! all the privilege, my horse, everything, disappeared. I'm still getting over it.
I spent a lot of years in school. I've got two MAs, one in economics, the other in counseling. I LOVED academic life. I worked as an economist for the Santa Clara County Planning Department and on a couple of special projects. Also worked as a negotiation coach for a professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. (Which explains a lot about Numenon, which has Stanford MBAs as main characters.) I loved that job. Did it for 20 years, every spring quarter.
The most difficult and rewarding job I've had is being a mom. I have three grown kids. They're wonderful, great people. I've got two grandkids. Family is the heart of my life. My husband and I have been together since 1974.
What else? Horses. Love them. I rode pretty much every day between ages 13 and 18. Lost my horse when my dad died. When I got older, I managed to get back into horses. We've had a Peruvian Paso horse (rare, easy-gaited breed from Peru) ranch for about 20 years, breeding, riding, showing horses. We're in retirement mode now, down to 6 horses.
How long have you been a writer and what inspired you to begin writing?
I've done something in the arts all my life. I was screened as intellectually and creatively gifted in kindergarten. I guess I must be, I'm absolutely miserable if I'm not creating. I drew and painted through high school and then took art and ballet in college. (The ballet sequences in The Angel come from this––I've spent a lot of time at the barre and loved it. My teacher wasn't like Madame Mercier, however.)
When I was in graduate school in economics, I produced and showed sculpture. Loved it! It kept me from going insane studying econ, which is known as "the dismal science" because it is.
I must add that working in the arts in any serious, committed way was absolutely forbidden in my family. My dad was a businessman and everything he did revolved around making money. Not that he was that greedy––he was so poor in the Great Depression that it scarred him. So, even though he died, I've had to fight with myself about being a writer, and about committing the time and effort to the work that I do.
So, I started writing full time in 1995 when we moved to Santa Ynez Valley and this ranch. I was invited into a writers' group led by published poet and literature teacher and joined it as a lark. I'd been writing all along, mind you, in academically and professionally. My first publications are in economics. But this was different. I started writing all the time, different stories running through my mind. I stayed in that group 9 years.
Also in 1995, I had a huge spiritual experience after a meditation retreat. (I talk about it in the Author's Note to Numenon.) An entire book was "injected" into my brain in about a second. I ran to the computer and wrote it down. Ran it by my husband, who said, "It's good."
That was the beginning of the Bloodsong Series. Numenon is its first book. I've got drafts for maybe 8 more books in that series on my hard drive. Not only did I get the plots of a book in that instant, I got the self-discipline to complete the works.
That huge "book injection" after the meditation retreat was me healing myself. Or the universe healing me. Writing is my way of healing.
Back to writing. I got involved in another writing group after the first one disbanded. I was in a group run by a professor of literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Most of the people in it were published authors. I found receiving the detailed feedback extremely stressful, though I learned how to write. Now I work with a very good editor. She's as tough and demanding of excellence as the professor's group was, but easier for me to handle.
What else? Well, I'll answer that below.
I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed your most recently published novel, The Angel and the Brown – eyed Boy. Can you tell us what inspired the idea of this book? I’m particularly curious to learn about your character choices for Eliana and Jeremy.
With the Bloodsong Series, I really thought that I had enough on my plate––or hard drive–– to keep me busy forever. And then my brother died unexpectedly. He was my little darling, my baby brother. I was grieving for him, trucking around looking normal, but hurting inside.
I had another one of those huge experiences that some spiritually inclined people do. I dreamed of a light, a perfect golden light hovering over me while I slept. This light was totally good and kind. She--the light was a she, I knew that––wished everyone well. Including me. She was like an angel, but without any form but golden light. The light settled down on me and then merged with me, so that we were one.
I could feel goodness and love coursing through me. I was a blessing. I woke up and walked around in that state for a few hours, then it faded away.
The light became the angel in The Angel. I don't know how, nor do I know where that book came from. My unconscious did it for me; Eliana was just there. The whole book emerged over the few days after the dream. It was my creative process's way of jumbling up reality into a story. Parts of Jeremy are characteristics of my brother, though no one who knew him would recognize him. Jeremy has a few things to say about the life he was dealt, and he says them.
When I finished The Angel, its sequel was there. When I write, scenes and plots, dialogue and locations, come to me so forcefully that I feel that I will die if I don't write them down. It's a compulsion, but a glorious one.
So when I finished Lady Grace, the sequel, its sequel pounced on me. I've got a draft of the sequel to the sequel down. It's a romance between the village headman, Sam Baahuhd, and the love of his life. And a fourth in the series is in my head. That's what happens after Lady Grace ends.
At least I know what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life.
I understand that there will be a sequel to The Angel. I know that I am personally trying very hard to remain patient for its arrival. Can you give us an estimated time for when you anticipate publishing it? What can we expect from the sequel?
Thank you for your patience, Amy! The sequel, Lady Grace, has just completed its second round of content editing. When I can stand it, I pick up the shreds of the manuscript's torn and slashed body . . . No, I'm being excessively dramatic. The cuts were necessary. Soonish, I'll get through my responses and rewrites and have the manuscript ready to go to proofreading. I would say Lady Grace could come out by the end of this year. (I need to say that my editor says LG is the best thing I've written. That's heartening.)
The sequel tells what happens when the radiation clears. That's all I'll say.
What's actually holding up Lady Grace's publication is Mogollon, the sequel to Numenon, my first novel and the first book of the Bloodsong Series. In Lady Grace, I do this cute thing where some of the characters from Numenon and Mogollon migrate over to Lady Grace. Yes, they jump series. It's hysterical, and it works.
I want Mogollon out so readers can have a chance to get acquainted with those characters. I've got the draft(s) of the Mogo manuscript and am planning a big rewrite when we go to New Mexico in May.
Things are cooking, they just take time. I'm hoping to have both Mogollon (which may be retitled) and Lady Grace out this year.
Who is your favorite character you’ve created and why?
Hmm. Well, I think my favorite is Will Duane, the "hero" of Numenon. Yes, he's an unscrupulous, money-mad bastard with terrible morals who makes Gordon Gecko of Wall Street look cuddly.
But I know him. I also know all that happened to him and what's going to happen. You mostly see Will's outside in Numenon. He's tormented, deeply wounded character who's on the brink of collapse––and rebirth. He's also overcome incredible handicaps to create the world's largest corporation, Numenon. If you think he got it bad in Numenon, wait until you see what happens to him in the sequel. (He's also a hunk––in his 60s.)
I also like Jeremy Edgarton, the boy with the brown-eyes. He's also had it very rough, and he's triumphed. He's very complex and he ends up being himself, despite everything. (A kinda nerdy little guy in his teens.)
And Sam Baahuhd, the village headman in The Angel. Another case of success over great over odds. (A hunk in his 40s.)
And Grandfather, of course. The shaman in Numenon. He's really had it rough, and not only triumphed, emerged ecstatic so that everyone around him feels better. (He's not a hunk, though spiritually beautiful, in his 80s.)
Guess I like complex men.
If you could give one piece of advice to new indie authors trying to promote their books what would it be?
Find your market and direct your efforts there. Do lots of introspection and looking at your work to see who your readers/buyers are. You may have one idea of your work, but readers may have another. Follow your readers, and your own heart. Ask for help.
If The Angel was made into a movie who would you cast for it?
Whoa. I don't go to the movies that much, so I don't really have actors' names/images in my head. I did do a video of people and places that I thought looked like the characters of The Angel. It's here:
Video on Animoto.com
I did some "casting.” Here's my lineup:
JEREMY EDGARTON: Very hard to cast. The young man in the video is my first choice by far. Jeremy is very sweet, though tormented. The kid in the video has that kind sweetness. I searched the 'net to find that photo. Will Smith at age 16 could play Jeremy.
ELIANA: Very hard to cast. Very fair with silver hair and eyes? The best dancer ever? Young teenage looking? Maybe a younger Natalie Portman with a makeover. I'd look for an unknown, a real dancer.
HENRY HENDERSON: Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, or Danny Glover
LENA HENDERSON: Phylicia Rashad (#1 CHOICE! She's so warm.), Alfre Woodard, Oprah Winfrey
VERONICA PIERMONT EDGARTON (Jeremy's mother): Elizabeth Taylor at 41 (maybe with a dash of Sophia Loren at the same age)
CHAZ EDGARTON (Jeremy's father): Only one choice–– Marvin Gaye He had a 4 octave vocal range, could play any instrument, and was gorgeous.
ARTHUR ROMERO: Benjamin Bratt, Jimmy Smit if he were younger, or Taylor Lautner but older, in his 30s. (Though Taylor is Native American, not Latino)
VALERIE ZANNER: Anne Hatthaway or Helena Bonham Carter (The latter is sort of a wild card. I'd love to see her play a heavy villain. Well, ditto Anne.)
MADAME MERCIER: I searched "wicked witch" and no one who worked came up.
What types of books do you like to read?
I read all types of books, compulsively, all the time. I'm currently reading Shantaram by David Gregory Roberts. This is a pretty auto-biographical novel about a guy who escapes prison in Australia, makes it to India, where he gets in worse trouble. I'm also reading Winter Light Winter Light and Clearing by poet Rose Black. And Richard Rohr's Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent, and Let Us Now Praise famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans. Plus a half dozen books by indie authors.
What is your favorite genre?
No favorite. I'll read anything from Romance to Literary Fiction. I do demand good writing. Words that entice and enchant me without needless fluff. I guess I like stuff like what I write best: emotionally involving books that have a message (but don't shout it), lots of action, and characters I love. And beautifully produced. Proofread. All of that.
Who is your favorite author?
Halldor Laxness, the Icelandic Nobel Prize winner. He's a superb writer. Independent People is a timeless masterpiece. I'm half Icelandic, so I have a bias.
Do you have a favorite book?
Probably Independent People, though I loved Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series. It's not at the same level of literature as Independent People, however.
What is your favorite movie?
Inside Job, the Academy Award winning documentary about the financial collapse of 2008 and what led up to it. Everyone should watch this.
Also I liked Ghost.
What is your favorite song/type of music?
Bill Miller is my favorite musician. I find him absolutely, totally, over the top. He's a Native American musician, artist and speaker. Winner of 3 Grammies. One of the most spiritually elevated people I've known. He leads a Native retreat in Tennessee every September, which I went to for three years and wrote about in my book Stepping Off the Edge. If you can get there, click here. If you can see him perform anywhere, click here.
This is what's going around in my head these days. This is Bill Miller and Arvel Bird performing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Very moving, very sad. Beautiful.
Please tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I wish I could work (on books) two or three times harder than I do. Unfortunately, I currently work all the time, so multiples of that are out.
I reached my peak intellectually in 1973, doing a math problem for a class in Mathematics of Optimization. That was the year I worked on a PhD and almost got an ulcer.
I work out almost every day and will jump in the car and go to the gym when I'm done with this interview.
I have three Cocker Spaniel type mutts, all black. I got them when my daughters left home and I was suffering from close-to-terminal empty nest syndrome. They really helped.
My son and grandchildren are arriving here in about 6 hours. They're staying for a week and I'm really excited, though I hope my son doesn't have an asthma attack. He's allergic to horses.
I truly hope you enjoyed this fabulous post and interview with Sandy Nathan! Please post and tell how fabulous you think it is, :)
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