Sunday, January 24, 2010

Into the Sunset entered in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest

Amazon is holding their third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, and this year they are opening submissions to previously self-published books. Winner of the contest gets published by Penguin USA and a $15,000 contract. There are two categories this year, general fiction and young adult. The contest begins on Mon., Jan. 25 at midnight, EST.

And you, the Amazon reviewer, get to vote! There is the First Round, where the Amazon editors will read a 300 word pitch for each entry. The top 1,000 entries in each category will move to the second round.

The Second Round will be narrowed to 250 entries (in each category) by you, the Amazon reviewer, based on a 5,000 word novel excerpt.

The Quarterfinals are next, where Publishers Weekly reviewers will read the full manuscript. The top 50 move on from here.

The Semifinals follow, where Penguin USA editors will read the full manuscript and select three finalists in each category.

Then the ball is thrown back to you, dear Amazon reviewer, in the Finals, to vote on the three finalists to see who wins the grand prize!

I've decided to enter my comic novel, Into the Sunset, in this contest. I published it in the summer of 2007, and I am totally, 100% happy with the final product. But, you know, self-published books don't get any respect, and no one wants to review them. Though I did get a good review from Romantic Times Book Review, where they said, "Capone has a vivid imagination and a unique voice." My novel doesn't have to win this contest. What I'm looking for is more exposure for the book, a wider audience, and maybe the book will even catch the eye of an agent or editor.

I will update this blog throughout the contest. Hopefully my novel will move through some of the rounds, and you can then vote for me!

UPDATE 1:13 AM, Mon. Jan. 25
Boy, that was insane. The online equivalent of people getting trampled at Walmart on Black Friday. I was all logged in and ready to go with my Word files at 12 midnight. The entry page wouldn't even load for me until 12:27. Then the four steps took forever, just watching a spinning wheel after I hit Save. Finally my submission was complete at 12:52. Whew! I'm in! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tom Saunders interview

You can read a compelling interview with one of my favorite authors, Tom Saunders, at Eclectica Magazine. His novel, Inappropriate Happiness was one of my favorite books of 2009. (Read my review of it here.) Here is a little taste of the interview:

"It took me many years to begin writing. I wish I'd started sooner. I was just an ordinary kid brought up on a council estate, an 11-plus reject sent to a Secondary Modern school rather than a Grammar. No-one was expecting anything of us and we were educated accordingly. Writing wasn't something you'd remotely consider as a career. It was so out of the question it didn't even occur to me, to be honest, although I've always been a big reader."

You can order the book directly from the publisher, Reuben Books, or at Amazon UK.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lost Art

If you are a Lost fan, you may be interested in The LOST Underground Art Show. Here you can buy original art work based on the hit TV show, which begins its final season on Tuesday, Feb. 2. Personally, I like the "Lockeness Monster" (below) by Alex Pardee, which has already sold for a cool $1,200.