Good news, everyone! My novel just made it past the pitch round for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award! If you haven’t heard of the ABNA, it’s a contest sponsored by Amazon and Createspace. The grand prize is a $50,000 publishing contract with Amazon, and there are five smaller prizes of $15,000 each.
Here’s how it works:
- March 2: All authors must submit a 300 word (or less) pitch for their novel (This is a clear, concise explanation of what your book is about, and why someone should want to spend time reading it). Winners are announced on March 18th. Read my pitch here.
- April 14th: If a book’s pitch is chosen for the next round, Amazon reviewers then read and vote on excerpts from the novel (Usually the first 3,000 to 5,000 words). At that point, the top 500 quarter-finalists will be announced.
- June 13: From those 500 will come 25 semi-finalists, and those 25 full manuscripts (Between 50,000 and 125,000 words) will be made available to the entire Amazon marketplace.
- July 8: The final 5 finalists are announced (at this point, everybody’s a winner)
- July 21: The grand prize winner is announced.
Amazon has been holding this contest for the past few years, but most people aren’t aware of it. For one thing, Amazon rarely publicizes the contest, and they don’t have an ongoing dedicated schedule to confirm that it will continue in the foreseeable future (In fact, the 2014 contest was announced a month late, leading many to assume that it would not be held this year.) But for a few reasons, I’d like to recommend all aspiring novelists submit their work to ABNA.
- It’s Free: There are far too many contests out there taking advantage of writers who wish to have their craft acknowledged. “Reading Fees” or “Entry Fees” of $20 or $25 for short stories or poems are not uncommon. The most expensive contest fee I’ve seen was for the Writer’s Digest Best Self-Published Novel Award, which charged the ridiculous amount of $99 to enter a novel (and that’s the early bird fee).
- National Exposure: Even if you don’t win, there are still going to be plenty of agents interested in looking at Amazon’s castoffs. And if you’re already self-published, having your book available to Amazon reviewers will no doubt give your sales a boost.
- $50,000: Right now, I have a 1 in 2000 chance of winning $50,000 and a 1 in 400 chance of winning $15,000. And it didn’t cost me a dime (Sorry to keep harping on fees, but I’m kinda cheap. And really, $22.50 to read a poem? Are you crazy?)
The Quarter Finalists (top 500) will be announced on April 14th, 2014, and I’ll keep everyone updated on Seraphim’s progress. Until then: fingers crossed!