There’s another new contest bringing the Web 2.0 concept to the publishing world. Here’s a blurb, “Publishers seek talent online” that ran in yesterday’s New York Times:
Joining the growing list of publishers that use public votes to decide what to publish, Penguin Group is teaming with Amazon.com and Hewlett Packard for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. From today through Nov. 5, contestants from 20 countries can submit unpublished manuscripts of English-language novels to Amazon, which will assign a small group of its top-rated online reviewers to evaluate 5,000-word excerpts and narrow the field to 1,000. The full manuscripts of those semifinalists will be submitted to Publishers Weekly, which will assign reviewers to each. Amazon will post the reviews, along with excerpts, online, where customers can make comments. Using those comments and the magazine’s reviews, Penguin will winnow the field to 100 finalists who will get two readings by Penguin editors. When a final 10 manuscripts are selected, a panel including Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the current nonfiction paperback best seller “Eat, Pray, Love,” and John Freeman, the president of the National Book Critics Circle, will read and post comments on the novels at Amazon. Readers can then vote on the winner, who will receive a publishing contract and a $25,000 advance from Penguin. Separately, Borders Group, the bookstore chain, is teaming with Gather.com, the social networking site, and Court TV to solicit unpublished manuscripts from mystery or crime writers. A panel of judges that includes the writers Harlan Coben and Sandra Brown will crown the winner from a pool of finalists selected by voters on Gather.com. The winner will receive a $5,000 advance and will be published by Borders itself.
Go to Amazon for more info. and to register. Send your entry asap, they’re only taking the first 5,000 submissions!
And please keep me posted if you’re planning on entering this contest. What a fabulous opportunity for a new novelist. Best of luck to all who enter.