The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards have reached the next stage in the process, the quarter finals. Here, the overwhelming number of entries was cut down to 100 entires in each of the five categories, and in this stage, the authors who have made it this far receive something a little extra for their accomplishment: a Publisher’s Weekly review.
Author Kelly Stone Gamble, whose book Ragtown is still in the running, had this to say about the process:
“Ragtown took several years to research, over two years to write and another two to edit. I’ve had so much interest in the subject area during this time, receiving messages and emails from people all over the world about their interest in the subject, and that kept me going on this project. I hadn’t really thought about the popularity of the Hoover Dam, but it is the number one off-Strip destination for Las Vegas visitors, and that means millions every year from all over the world. So while I of course want to write the best story possible, I’ve felt some kind of responsibility to these people, the ‘Dam fans,’ to make Ragtown a great book. Making it into the quarter finals not only validates the years of hard work I’ve put in to the novel, but also lets me know that I’ve done exactly what I set out to do. Write a good book. A good dam book.”
“Many contestants, myself included, enter the ABNA simply hoping to make it to the quarter finals stage since win or lose, you walk away with a Publisher’s Weekly review of your manuscript. For those who have already self-published or who are planning to self-publish in the future, that can be a very powerful marketing tool. Even if the overall review isn’t stellar, there’s usually something you can pull out as a potential tweet or addition to the back cover. When the PW reviews were posted last year and I saw the words ‘Katniss Everdeen of time travel,’ my first thought was that it was perfect for marketing. Only after that happy thought had settled in did I realize that it also meant Timebound was still in the contest and had a shot at one of the publishing contracts.”
The next level of selection will come on June 13th when the contest organizers announce the semifinalists. The complete list of quarter finalists can be found HERE.