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.


Ellen said...

Good luck, Don!

Is there a link where us fans can cast a vote for you?

Don Capone said...

Thanks Ellen! I believe fans get to vote in the second round, which begins on Feb. 25th. Here are the key dates:

January 25, 2010
Submission period begins; up to 10,000 Entries will be accepted

February 7, 2010
Submission period ends

February 25, 2010
2,000 entries moving to Second Round announced.

March 23, 2010
Top 500 (Quarterfinalists) announced.

Publishers Weekly reviewing Quarterfinalists full manuscript

Amazon customers can download, rate, and review excerpts on, providing feedback to Penguin Editors about submissions.

April 27, 2010
Top 100 (Semifinalists) announced.

Penguin Editors reading Semifinalists manuscripts to pick the 6 finalists

Amazon customers continue to download, rate, and review excerpts, and read Publisher's Weekly reviews of Semifinalists' full manuscripts.

May 25, 2010
6 Finalists announced
Amazon customers vote to pick the winners.

June 14, 2010
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award winners announced

Don Capone said...

The link is, but I will update my blog throughout and provide the direct links.

SusanD said...

Good luck, Don! This book deserves a much bigger audience. Can't wait to vote in the future rounds.

Don Capone said...

Just saw this on Even if you don't win the ABNA contest, it can still get your novel a lot of exposure, and open other doors:

Amazon to publish original manuscripts

26.01.10 Graeme Neill

Amazon will publish original manuscripts for the first time this spring with publication of four titles through its Encore programme.

The four books were entries to Amazon's 2009 Breakthrough Novel Award, which is open to unpublished or self-published writers. It is unclear whether the books will be sold through, or whether they will undergo any editing.

In March, Amazon will publish Pages from a Tennessee Journal, a debut novel from Francine Thomas Howard and Steffan Piper's Greyhound. Paul Reid's A Cruel Harvest will be published in April, while in May, Andrew Fukada's Crossing is due to come out. All four books will be available through the Kindle store as well as

Jeff Belle, vice president, Books, said: "Now in its third year, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest brings in many worthy manuscripts. We've identified these four manuscripts as examples of authors those work we think deserves a larger audience, and we're excited to help these authors find their readers."

Amazon launched Encore in May 2009 as means to promote overlooked titles, which typically had been self-published.