Monday, January 14, 2013

Are You Entering ABNA?

Amazon Publishing is the sponsor of Amazon Breakout Novelist Awards(link) this year.

In case you haven't heard, here's their blurb:

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest is right around the corner. You won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to win a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing. Now in its sixth year, this international contest promises to be the best yet. Here’s what’s new:
One Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract with an advance of $50,000, and four First Prize winners will each receive a publishing contract with an advance of $15,000. Visit the Prizes page for the full list of prizes and details. 

We’ve expanded the categories to include five popular genres: General Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror and Young Adult Fiction. And we’re accepting entries from more countries than ever before. For complete eligibility details, view the official contest rules, or read details on how to enter.

Amazon Publishing is the official publishing sponsor for 2013 -- which means a faster publishing timeline, higher royalties, ability to launch the books in multiple formats (print, audio, ebook) and worldwide distribution. Visit CreateSpace to learn more. 

 As an Indie Author, I've had mixed feelings about entering this contest in the past, primarily because I'm not convinced a 15,000 advance from Penguin is a great deal (last year's prize). I still entered because I know of author indie authors who made it to the semi-finals and came away with great review quotes from other well-known authors: such blurbage would be nice. (alas I didn't make it to the semi-finals, so was also in no danger of getting an unwanted publishing deal with Penguin (ha)).

This year the bar is much higher. AMAZON is sponsoring. Why is this different? For one thing Amazon Publishers have a reputation of giving their authors better, fairer contracts that are current to the publishing world of today, rather than locked into to a world that worked 50 years ago (or 5 years ago.) Plus, they were champions for indie authors before it got trendy to be one.

(You do know we're the cool kids now, right?)

Last year I entered the YA category. YA covers so many genres, I personally feel it's too wide, so this year I'm going to enter the general fiction category even though it's more popular, and I may not make the cut. (Actually, General Fiction is also wide...)

And if I make the cut, I know changes of my winning are slim to none. There are a lot of very talented writers out there!

Why bother entering then? Well, like my grandmother used to say, you can't win if you don't enter. She entered contests as a hobby and over the years won a trip to Hawaii and a Winnebago among a lot of smaller prizes. She didn't win every contest she entered, but she entered often.

My best hope really, is to come away with a good review, but who knows?

How are about you? Are you entering?

~Elle Strauss

Elle Strauss writes fun, lower YA fiction (time-travel and fantasy). She is fond of Lindt’s sea salt dark chocolate and hiking in good weather. Elle is married with four children and divides her time between British Columbia, Canada, and Dresden, Germany. She also writes upper YA (historical and science fiction) as LEE Strauss. To find out more about Elle and her books check out her facebook page, and follow her on twitter. To find out about new releases sign up for her newsletter at .


  1. Yes, I entered ABNA this year in the Mystery category. Like you, I don't expect to win. But the attention would be nice for my self-published comedic mystery. Good luck!

  2. It is some tough competition but that's part of what hones us and makes us better. I entered this year too! Best of luck to all!

  3. I'm taking a chance. Might as well. I don't lose anything by, yeah :-)

  4. I did it a few years back, made the first cut and not the second, bigger one. It's harsh, but at the same time, I got some fantastic feedback on that novel. I'd do it again in a heartbeat... you know, if I had a ready manuscript.

  5. This is a great contest. My concern is you really appear to sell the rights to your novel. Do they own the movie rights too? I would love to know what everyone thinks about that.