Amazon Brings Back Their Breakthrough Novel Award

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Last year started a publishing contest called the Breakthrough Novel Award. This was a simple novel submission contest that was judged not just by professionals but also took into account votes that people would submit through the site. Well it seems that Amazon has brought it back for another round.

If you visit this page on Amazon, you can get all the juicy details and a timeline on the submission process. Here is the basic rundown:

Today: Visit CreateSpace and sign up to receive contest updates and submission guidelines
February 2 – February 8: Submit your novel for the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
March 16: Quarterfinals begin, qualifying excerpts are available to read and review
April 15: Semifinalists are announced, early reviews provided by Publishers Weekly
May 15 – May 21: Finalist round begins, reviews by our expert panel are posted, and customers vote for the Grand Prize winner
May 22: Winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is announced

I would love to participate in this contest with Spirit Hackers but I honestly doubt that I will have the novel finished in time for the submission deadline. In addition to having a finished novel, you have to have a pitch and an author’s biography. The winner gets published by Penguin Publishing and during the process they reserve first-refusal rights to anyone making it to either the first or second round (I forget which). Additionally, all submissions must be unpublished including self-publishing. For anyone interested in throwing their completed work into the ring, head on over to the link above to check it out. Perhaps I’ll try this next year!


  1. I thought about doing that but read somewhere their contract is very strict and not very good for the author. I’m sure it’s a great competition, but I’m going to sit out this year.

  2. Melanie, I didn’t know about the contract items. Very interesting!

    Colby, I think your dream is a good one. I hope to have a similar one in the near future.

  3. The negative comments focused on advance and royalities. So I broke it down.

    The contract is strict because no negotiations are permitted. I say so what. The advance for winning is $25,000. The average novel sells at 5,000 – 7,500. So unless the writer has a killer novel on their hands the fact that the advance is nonegotiable is a nonissue for me. Also, the royalities seem standard.

    That said, I’d never participate because I don’t like the American Idolesque feel.

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