Amazon and Penguin Group USA, launched the campaign today, to encourage writers around the world to begin preparing their manuscripts for entry into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, which begins February 2, 2009 at 12:01 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) and ends February 8, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), or when the first 10,000 Entries have been received, whichever is earlier.The winner will be published by Penguin Group (USA).
Last year's winner Bill Loehfelm emerged from 5,000 entrants. G. P. Putnam's Sons (a division of Penguin Group (USA)) published his novel, Fresh Kills, in August 2008. Loehfelm said, "The opportunity to enter this contest and share my manuscript with two publishing industry innovators like Penguin Group and Amazon was thrilling enough -- but to go from longtime struggling writer to nationally published author in nine months is an aspiring writer's dream."
Between Feb. 2 and Feb. 8, 2009, writers can submit their unpublished English-language novel manuscript at www.amazon.com/abna. Up to 10,000 initial entries will be accepted, from which Amazon editors will select 2,000 to advance to the next round. Expert reviewers from Amazon will then review excerpts of these 2,000 entries and narrow the pool to 500 quarter-finalists. Reviewers from Publishers Weekly will then read, rate and review the full manuscripts, and 100 semi-finalists will be selected. Penguin editors will evaluate the manuscripts from this group of 100 and choose three finalists. A panel of esteemed publishing professionals -- including bestselling authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press Editor-in-Chief Eamon Dolan -- will read and post their critiques of the top three manuscripts on www.amazon.com. Amazon customers will then have seven days to vote for the Grand Prize Winner. The winner will be announced on May 22, 2009, and will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $25,000 advance. More details on the terms of the prize can be read here.
"We are excited to once again team up with Penguin to help authors break through and to introduce millions of Amazon customers to great new books," said Jeff Belle, Amazon's vice president, U.S. Books. "Authors last year quickly formed one of the largest communities on Amazon.com around the contest and exchanged views on writing and publishing."
Sponsors include Amazon.com, CreateSpace (on-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.com), Penguin Group (USA) and Publishers Weekly.