Throwing My Hat Into The Ring

And so, here we go again!

It’s time for entries in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. For the past few years, Amazon.com has been throwing their weight around as a major publishing force and encouraged unpublished authors to enter their manuscripts for this writing contest.

It’s more than just sending in your book. As in last year’s contest, you have to craft a 300-word or less pitch (kind of like a query) that sells  your manuscript. It’s kind of like a book blurb cut to the bone. If you make that first round cut, then the first 5,000 words (two chapters or so) will be read by editors and Amazon’s own book editors. AND if your manuscript make it past that, then your whole work is read and reviewed by the folks at Publishers Weekly. Then, the finalists are picked and the whole WORLD gets a chance to read your excerpt, read your pitch and VOTE for the winner. The prize? 50,000 bucks and a publishing deal .

The contest and the breakdowns are slightly different this year. The contest dates have been sped up. Penguin is no longer the publisher associated with the contest. Amazon will use one of it’s four different imprints as the potential publisher. Last year, the choices for entries were either Young Adult fiction or General Fiction. Now there are four different general fiction categories and Young Adult.

Yes, it’s ridiculous. There will be up to 10,000 entries. That’s my story versus 9,999 others. I entered ZAK CORBIN: MASTER OF MACHINES last year and it made it all the way to the semi-finalist level. Which totally surprised me. I couldn’t get any agents to read ZAK, much less considered it, but there was something about it that got the reviewers’ and  readers’ attention.

This year, you’re going to hear me chirp up about my entry and how it’s going. I can’t identify the story by name yet, because in the first round of the contest the authors names are not attached to the pitches. One thing is for sure: I worked really hard on this one. It’s not like anything I ever did before. I don’t even know if I’m going to make it past the pitch round. A lot of good authors say they’ve entered and never got it past that point.

So fingers and body parts are crossed. By midnight tonight, my hat is ready to be tossed into the ring!

 

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