Wednesday 25 January 2012

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award - And Why It's Great For Aspiring Authors

It's that time of year again! The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The competition takes 10,000 entries in two categories - young adult and general fiction. Over a few rounds they whittle down the entries to pick one in each category.

The first stage is based on a pitch that you write for your book. This simulates a reader browsing in a book store, the pitch is like your back jacket copy. The second round is based on your first chapter, and the third on your book as a whole.

Five reasons why it's great for aspiring writers:

1: It's free. Most contests aren't, so this is a big plus in its favour. If you have a completed novel, you've nothing to lose. (You can enter self-published novels, but not book that have been traditionally published)

2: It helps you learn how to market your book. You can get help writing and polishing your pitch from other writers on the ABNA forum. Even if you don't win, you can use this to write your query letter to agents and publishers.

3: If you progress beyond the pitch stage you get relatively impartial feedback on your writing.

4: You get to know lots of people on the forums. There's great camaraderie in the writing community, which makes a mostly solitary occupation a little less lonely.

5: There's always the chance you could win, and get a publishing deal with Penguin worth at least $15,000. Not to shabby...

What have you got to lose?


  1. Wow, this sounds awesome! Are you entering?

    Also, gave you an award over at my blog!

  2. I had no idea they have this for authors. What a great idea! I assume you're entering, right? Good luck!

  3. I entered a YA novel that I rewrote last month....just for fun! Good Luck Christine!!

  4. If you're entering, good luck Christine

  5. If you are going to enter again this year, good luck!!! i hope you are doing alright today!


  6. I'm entering again this year--isn't that how I met you last year? I'm curious if you're entering YA or General Fiction this year.

  7. Sorry guys, still can't work out this threaded comment thing!

    @Caitlin: Yeah I think I'm going to enter, it was a great experience last year.

    @Emily: Yeah, I'm entering a YA novel this year. Thank you!

    @Johanna: Losing Beauty was so good, I'd say your writing style transfers across to YA really well.

    @Krista & Lisa: Thank you!

    @Heather: I'm feeling ok today, thanks for asking!

    @Jeana: It was indeed! I'm entering YA again, with the same novel as last year actually.

  8. Good luck! I know how scary it can be to put yourself out there. :)

  9. I've never heard of the ABNA, so thank you for the tip! I'm going to check it out. I've got two finished, unpublished novels....

  10. Good luck. I'll be watching for your title!