Amazon (and You) Honor Breakthrough Novelists!

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Here’s a special announcement. There’s more exciting new ebooks to read on your Kindle! Once a year, Amazon hosts a contest to discover a “breakthrough novelist”. Thousands of new novels were entered this year, but after several rounds of judging, they’ve finally narrowed it down to just six awesome finalists!

“The quality of the entries continues to climb…” one Amazon official announced this week, citing reports from their panels of expert judges. The novels get better every year, making this the most competitive contest yet, and he warns that when it comes time for Amazon’s customers to choose a winner, “they’ll have have a challenge picking a favorite.”

That’s right — you get to pick the winner. Amazon’s collecting votes through a web page at , and they’re keeping things honest with a one-vote-per-account rule. You can also read what the judges have already said about each entry, and there’s even a “Meet the Finalists” page, where you can read each novel’s reviews. And – of course — you can also download a free excerpt for your Kindle.

There’s three finalists each in two different categories — “General Fiction” and “Young Adult.” Here’s the three “breakthrough novels” that made it into the finals in the “general fiction” category.

   The Beautiful Land by Alan Averill
   Grace Humiston and the Vanishing by Charles Kelly
   A Chant of Love and Lamentation by Brian Reeves

And here’s the three “breakthrough novels” that reached the final round in the “Young Adult Fiction” category.

   Dreamcatchers by Casey (Cassandra) Griffin
   Out of Nowhere by Rebecca Phillips
   On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

Two grand prize winners will be selected — one in each category — and each winner will receive not only a publishing contract with Penguin Group, but also a hefty $15,000 advance! Amazon and Penguin teamed up with CreateSpace to deliver this event, and Publisher’s Weekly also played a role, providing reviewers for each novel that reached the semi-finals. And Amazon’s even promoting the creation of “local chapters” supporting new authors and offering events “to cheer each other on as the contest progresses.”

Amazon will announce the winners on June 16th at an awards ceremony in Seattle. (So remember, Amazon has to receive your votes by Wednesday, May 30th.) This is the fifth year that Amazon’s held the event, but it seems like a fun way to discover fresh new talent at the start of their career. I’ve always wondered if self-publishing will change the kind of fiction that authors write.

And if it does, it’s possible that they’ll find their first audiences through Amazon’s breakthrough novel contest!

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