As an aspiring novelist, I've always felt that if I could just get a little exposure for my work, people would enjoy it and want to read more. I'm just guessing here, but I would imagine most writers feel the same way, otherwise what's the point? You might just as well keep a diary, it you're only going to write for yourself.
So when I happened through sheer luck to see the information regarding Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award contest (ABNA), I figured I had nothing much to lose. I had failed to interest an agent in the work and was nearly finished with my next manuscript, so there was no reason not to give it a shot.
Of course, there was a problem - isn't there always? The entry period for the contest was only six days long, from February 2 through February 8, and it was already February 6! So I had two days to write a pitch and a profile, and format an excerpt for submission, then get everything transmitted in less than two days.
Of course, after months of querying agents regarding this novel, I had plenty of material to work with. Anyway, I got it all in before the deadline and then waited. The deadline for announcing the quarterfinalists was supposed to be March 16, but I waited on pins and needles all day yesterday and heard nothing. Then I got up this morning and discovered my novel, PASKAGANKEE, had made the cut!
The contest is run by Amazon in conjunction with Penguin Books as the publishing sponsor and Publishers Weekly as the reviewing sponsor. Out of 10,000 initial entries, the editors at Amazon narrowed the quarterfinalists down to 500, broken up into eight categories of novels, including Thrillers, the category in which my entry resides.
Excerpts of all five hundred entries still alive in the contest are available at Amazon to be read and reviewed by anyone. The novel excerpts consist of up to the first five thousand words of the manuscript.
The next step in the American Idol-like process takes place on April 15, when the five hundred remaining manuscripts are winnowed by the editors at Penguin Books down to a Final 100, and out of those 100 books, a Final Three are selected on May 15, with the winner being announced on May 22.
The winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award receives a $25,000 advance and a contract to have his or her novel published by Penguin. Obviously, this is the goal every unpublished author is working for and it goes without saying, this is MY goal.
I need your help. If you have any interest in reading fiction, I would very much appreciate you taking the time to go to Amazon and download my excerpt. The novel is titled PASKAGANKEE and the download is free. After reading the excerpt, please post a customer review on the site, which will then become available for everyone to see. It's really easy to do and it's FREE.
If you're interested, here's the link to my entry at Amazon. If you'd like to check out some of the other great quarterfinalists too, here's the link to the contest home page, where you can get to all 500 excerpts.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to check it out if you choose to do so, and thank you for your help!