Saturday, November 15, 2008

2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Early next year, Amazon.com and Penguin Group will launch the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, an international competition seeking "the next popular novel." In a press release, Amazon calls the first contest "enormously successful," despite the tepid response from the marketplace to the August release of winner Bill Loehfelm's Fresh Kills. (Loehfelm's book has sold approximately 4,000 copies through outlets tracked by Nielsen Bookscan.) Fortunately, the award benefits more than just the winner. Last year, Penguin acquired rights to four of the other ten finalists: Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan (Amy Einhorn Books, July 2009); The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer (Putnam, August 2009); The Butterflies of Grand Canyon, by Margaret Erhard (Plume, January 2010); and Casting Off, by Nicole Dickson (NAL).

Writers with an unpublised English-language novel manuscript can submit their work between February 2 and 8, 2009. Up to 10,000 entries will be accepted (double those accepted last year), from which Amazon editors will select 2,000. Reviewers from Amazon will then cull the best 500 of these 2,000 entries. Reviewers from Publishers Weekly will then select 100 from that group. Out of those 100, Penguin editors will choose three finalists. At that point, authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press editor-in-chief Eamon Dolan will read and post critiques of the three finalists on Amazon.com. Amazon customers will then have seven days to vote for the winner, who will be announced on May 22. The winner gets a publishing contract with Penguin and a $25,000 advance.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Hmm - that's interesting. I've never heard of Fresh Kills.