Amazon’s 2014 Breakthrough Novel Award


Bolstered by my recent entry prize in the 2013 YA Discovery Contest (yes, I am excited to win a book just for entering – no, that doesn’t make me feel pathetic – and yes, I blogged about it here), I decided that I’m going to enter Amazon’s 2014 Breakthrough Novel Award.  Yay!  The entry date runs from February 16, 2014 to March 2, 2014, or until they receive 10,000 entries.  You can see all the nitty gritty contest details here: Official Rules.

I didn’t decide to enter this contest on a whim.  I read ALL of the Official Rules, including all the small print, and I talked it over with the hubby since to be ready to submit my entire manuscript means I have to knuckle down and finish this round of manuscript revisions pronto.  That translates into less time in the evenings with him and more time in the basement banging away on the keyboard. 

Another big consideration is in section 6 of the Rules entitled “MANUSCRIPT SHOPPING” where it states:

Manuscripts submitted as Entries to the Contest cannot be actively shopped by agents during the contest period, which runs from February 16, 2014 to July 21, 2014.

This time period is problematic since my plans were to finish this round of edits, spiffy up my query letter, and begin the process to land an agant (again) during this time period.  Further, I entered another contest where the grand prize is a pitch session with an agent, and I don’t find out the results of that until February 21st.


What’s a girl to do?  Here’s what! I’m going to wait until February 22nd and make sure I don’t win the 2013 YA Discovery Contest (which is a long shot – but I’m ever the optimist!), and enter on the Amazon contest on the 23rd.  Hopefully they won’t reach the 10,000 submission mark by then – but I think that’s a relatively low risk.  Although completely possible.

What about “the manuscript shopping prohibition?” you ask savvy reader!  I have a solution for that too!  The first round of cuts on submissions, narrowing the number of entries from 10,000 to 400 will be on (or about) March 18th.  So if I don’t make the first cut, I figure I’m free to query away unrestrained!  From February 23rd to March 18th isn’t even a month’s time.  I can afford to wait a month.  It’s worth it to me when I consider the risk versus reward of entering.

Speaking of!  What is the reward of which I speak? 

The Grand Prize is a full publishing contract with Amazon Publishing to market and distribute your Manuscript as a published book and  a $50,000.00 advance against the royalties to be earned under the publishing contract.

Each Finalist (excluding the Grand Prize Winner), will be awarded a full publishing contract with Amazon Publishing to market and distribute his/her Manuscript as a published book and a $15,000 advance. 

Quarter-Finalistist will receive a Publishers Weekly manuscript review of their Manuscript.

In case you’re asking me what kind of publishing contract Amazon is offering – let me assure you, I read all that too.  My thoughts on it are that I’m amenable to unnegotiable terms (and that’s what they are) on the first book, just for the publicity of winning.  I plan on writing an entire series, and if I don’t optimize my return on my first book, it’s worth the risk for the publicity.  Hopefully that will create a market for the series, and pave the way for a succesful second book and the entire series.

Look at that strategic thinking!  My college professors would be so proud!

No, Professor Langdon wasn't actually one of my college professors.  Mostly because he's fictitious, but also because I didn't go to Harvard, nor did I major in symbology!

No, Professor Langdon wasn’t actually one of my college professors. Mostly because he’s fictitious, but also because I didn’t go to Harvard, nor did I major in symbology.

Now to work!  I’m a little over halfway through revisions at this point.  I’ve got 23 days to finish them!  To the boats!  Or, in my case it’s, “To the Basement!”


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