Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Novel-Award-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=332264011 opened to entries this week, and is accepting them through February 6th. The instructions are easy to follow, and if you’ve got a finished manuscript sitting around gathering dust in the bottom of your desk drawer, pull it out and put it to work. If you follow the links in the instructions, it takes you to a self-publishing site called CreateSpace www.createspace.com/abna where you upload your manuscript. It’s easy to do, and took me (a complete newbie) about 20 minutes. They even have an intuitive cover design application you can use to design your book cover. I was a little bit worried that I’d lose control of my manuscript once I loaded it, but there are several review and edit steps along the way, so you don’t have to publish your manuscript if you don’t want to. And it’s free!
Once you’ve created your CreateSpace membership and uploaded your dashboard with your novel, you finish applying to the Amazon contest. You’ll upload an excerpt of your novel, your pitch, and you’re pretty much done. I’d say that part took another 20 minutes, also free.
It wasn’t until I talked to someone that had entered the contest last year, that I even considered entering. If you’re like me, and been reluctant to enter anything you’ve written into a contest, think about the advantages of entering this one:
· It’s free (did I mention that already?); you don’t even have to put a stamp on the durn thing!
· You don’t even have to win to mention that you entered (or even better, were a semifinalist) in your agent and editor query letters. If you haven’t been published yet, every little bit helps.
· You’ve already put all that time and effort into writing and editing this manuscript; isn’t it about time it did more than lay around? Isn’t it about time to wake it up again and put it to work?
I entered my novel.
I don’t have any illusions about winning. The winners the last three years are all ‘literary’ fiction writers and my genre is totally different–political thriller.
1. It’s free;
2. Maybe one of the judges (agents) might take note of my entry and decide on their own that it’s worth a look.