Friday, April 2, 2010

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest... An Update!

Thanks to a few good friends who understand these things a whole lot better than I do, I just learned that you don’t have to own a Kindle to read an excerpt from Running Secrets and to write a customer review on books. That’s good news since nobody I know has a Kindle and because the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is one really weird contest... a bit like American Idol for books!

Here’s how it works… they accepted 5,000 general literature submissions. 1000 moved to the Second Round. Then 250 Quarterfinalists were chosen (my first novel, Running Secrets, has made it this far – yeah!). Now the complete manuscripts of those 250 are being reviewed by Publishers Weekly (the magazine that can make or break a book!) and they choose 100 semifinalists. Of those 100 (and I won’t know if I make this next cut until the end of the month), editors from Penguin publishing will choose 6 finalists.

You can go on-line to read the two Reviews and a Production Description. You can also access a short-short excerpt and write review “providing feedback to the Penguin Editors about the submissions.” They only give you the first page of the manuscript, but at least it’s free! I suppose they figure that’s all most agents or editors will read, so it’s enough. If it gets the reader’s attention, that’s what matters. And here’s the good part… as I mentioned above you don’t have to own a Kindle to submit a customer review. There’s a really simple way to download Kindle software to your PC (not MAC, I’m afraid). Just click on “Available on Your PC” right there in the right column next to the book info. I did it last night and if I can do it, anybody can!

Of those 6 finalists that the Penguin editors will select, only 1 manuscript is chosen for publication. Amazon customers will choose the winning manuscript through on-line voting!! The winning manuscript will be published by Penguin books. It does sound a bit like American Idol, doesn’t it?

Anyway, if you’d like to help me get my first novel published, or if you just want to see what I’ve been up to lately, please check it out at books. Just type in my name or Running Secrets. And, of course, I’d love it if you’d write a review!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest

Some exciting news today!

I just learned that my first novel, Running Secrets, has been selected as one of the 250 quarterfinalists in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.  As a quarterfinalist, the full manuscript will be reviewed by Publishers Weekly.  The Top 100 Semifinalists, to be announced on April 27th, will be read by Penguin editors who select the 6 finalists.

Are any of you Kindle readers?  According to the contest guidelines:  “Amazon customers can download, rate, and review excerpts on, providing feedback to Penguin Editors about submissions.”

So if you go to books and type in Running Secrets - Kindle, this is what it looks like (or you can just click on the Running Secrets link below):

Running Secrets - Excerpt from 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entry by Arleen Williams (Kindle Edition - Mar. 23, 2010) - Kindle Book
Buy: $0.00

I’d really love to get some reviews… especially if they’re good!