Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Amazon Breakthrough Contest Adds YA Category, Reduces Advances

For the third year, Penguin Group is joining Amazon in their Breakthrough Novel Award contest--which will now add a second prize for young adult fiction. The contest, which starts January 25, will also now be open to novels that have been previously self-published (to not penalize all those existing CreateSpace customers). Alas in a less heralded change the promised advance to the winners has gotten smaller: originally promising a $25,000 advance, this new contest's two winners are assured $15,000 advances each. (Sales of the three contest-related books published so far by Penguin imprints--Bill Loehfelm's FRESH KILLS; BAD THINGS HAPPEN by Harry Dolan; and THE WET NURSE'S TALE by Erica Eisdorfer; have been quite modest to date.

They will accept up to 5,000 entries each in the fiction and young adult categories. The "professional" judges evaluating the three finalists (selected by Penguin editors) are author Tana French, agent Julie Barer, and editor Molly Stern for general fiction, and authors Sarah Dessen and Nancy Werlin, agent Amy Berkower, and publisher Ben Schrank for young adult.

And the cheapening of publishing continues. Quite modest results indeed. Look for less this round.

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