2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Have you written a novel? Do you like money? This may be for you.

From Amazon’s website:

The Seventh Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest is right around the corner. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to win a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract with a $50,000 advance, and four First Prize winners will each receive a publishing contract with an advance of $15,000. Visit the Prizes page for the full list of prizes and details.

The categories include five popular genres: General Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror and Young Adult Fiction. For complete eligibility details, view the Official Contest Rules, or read details on how to enter. Visit CreateSpace to learn more.

This is the home of the Foil & Phaser writers workshop, a spin-off community website for fans of the Sword & Laser book club and podcast who want to develop their writing skills.

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Posted in Announcements, Contest
10 comments on “2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
  1. I was really excited when I got this notification in my email. Then I read a little more. Amazon does not release the terms of the contract and its a take it or leave, no negotiations situation. That sort of thing makes me nervous especially since i write series books and want to make sure to keep rights to those thing.

    • True enough. Many publishing companies have been guilty of shenanigans in the past, but I doubt they would screw over someone who was being used as a promotional device. Still it’s not for everyone, especially if you want to hold onto rights. Exclusivity has long been a feature of book contracts, and they are not likely to give you money without you granting them control over the title. For a new writer with a stand-alone title, however, this could be the difference between writing full time and working as a dishwasher.

      • As with everything there’s a give and take. A book deal is no different. For me, I would hate to get all the way to the end of the voting rounds to find out their was something in the contract I did agree with.
        Of course I’m a bit of a control freak and winning this, for many, no matter what the stipulations, is a dream come true.
        Keep spreading the good words.

        • Jacob says:

          There are many ways to look at this, and, honestly, I feel that your concerns are valid. They have exclusive first publication rights for your entry (in all formats), which can be daunting, as well the ability to edit your piece in an effort to make it more marketable. It’s kind of crazy, but honestly, for a first time book deal, I feel most publishers would offer the same thing. That’s why self-publishing is so popular, the control, the ability to be you.

          This brings up an interesting point though, entering the contest brings about many benefits, even if you do not win. Aric Davis, for example, was disqualified early on when he submitted to the contest, but his manuscript was read by many literary agents, and he ultimately ended up with a book deal. While he is the only author I know personally that this has happened to, others have had their lives influenced in the same way, and are grateful for it..

          Publicity is a huge boon, getting your name out there is difficult even with the vast amount of technology we have at our disposal. By entering you expose your writing to hundreds, even thousands, of people who wouldn’t have given it a chance before. If you fail after the second round at least a professional editor has gone over your work and listed things the areas in which you can improve.

          Still, I can understand why you would not want to enter. As someone who also writes with multiple installments in mind, I get it. They can come in and force you to change the world you’ve so lovingly created, to influence or destroy the characters you’ve come to adore. Unfortunately, this can happen no matter what publishing house you work with, because it all comes down to marketability. At least in this case, Amazon may be less adamant about it, because by winning, or making it into the final rounds, your novel already stands on it’s own two feet, and there is evidence that it works in it’s current incarnation.

          • Interesting information. You have me rethinking my stance.

            • Jacob says:

              Yeah, I’m trying to finish up a short manuscript for it, hoping to at least gain some much needed momentum and interest, but I don’t think I can win with the deadline looming before me.

              • See that confused. A lot of people talk about it as good promotion, but the submissions are supposed to unmarked, right? No title, no author’s name. I remember last year seeing people asking their friends to vote for them.

                • Jacob says:

                  Yeah, it isn’t until the later rounds that your name and such is revealed to the public. There are a number of publishers and other individuals in the industry who can come across that information easily enough, just by asking Amazon.

                  The whole asking your friends to vote for you thing is frowned upon, but it comes down to whether or not the contest personnel catch the individual in the act. Still, if your work is strong enough to stand on it’s own, you don’t need to worry about that.

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January 2014
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