Now there is. Amazon, Penguin Publishing, and Publisher's Weekly have banded together and have created something called the Amazon BREAKTHROUGH Novel Award!
As if there are thousands of truly great novels out there trying to pound their way through the concrete ceiling of the New York publishing world. As if we were all doomed before, but now Americans finally have a chance to BUST THROUGH THE PHONY SHIT and take their novel pitches directly to the public.
As if, as if, as if...
The executives at Amazon sat around and did line after line of good cocaine and suddenly there was a moment where everything went quiet and Jeff Bezos was quietly masturbating and everyone was watching him and trying to give him space to pop out his Amazin' Amazonnaise and, instead, he sat up, dropped his cock, and said: "OH SHIT, WE COULD PULL OFF A NOVEL CONTEST! THOSE ASSHOLE WANNABES LOVE TO REVIEW OUR SHIT FOR FREE!"
Penguin checked their till and saw that they were bankrupt and, since Amazon raked in 20% higher profits last year than the year before, Penguin sold them their good name and nice offices and now Penguin is like Salacious B. Crumb, the alien monkey-lizard in Jabba the Hutt's palace who must make Jabba laugh once a day (every day) or he will be eaten.
Writers are often extremely competitive, but even the most dull and dimwitted professional authors recognize that good writing comes from a life spent struggling against the INTERNAL CRITIC and the INTERNAL HELLFIRE, and that when a publishing contract finally comes, it is no shock and it is no lottery prize, but it is instead a pittance to make up for a wasted life, alcoholism, broken relationships, and the crippling, constant agony of a wide-open imagination.
However, for the next five days, Amazon and Penguin Publishing will be accepting submissions. Publisher's Weekly will write reviews.
Here's how it works:
1). You need to get together a 300-word pitch, an excerpt of the first 3,000 to 5,000 words of your novel, and a manuscript that is somewhere between 50,000 and 150,000 words long. You'll send them all to Amazon after you "createspace" an account.
2). First they will judge your pitch. They are accepting 10,000 submissions, and 8,000 people will be cut based on their pitch alone. A bad pitch is something like:
"It's a book about a spy with magic powers!"
A good pitch is something like:
"It's a book about a spy with magic powers who returns to her high school graduation in Kansas, only to find that the town has been taken over by terrorists. Emotional terrorists! Using her CIA training and Crowleyan high arcana, our heroine teaches the passive aggressive town leaders a thing or two about keeping small town folk down, while learning to laugh, love, and settle old scores along the way."
3). The next step is your excerpt, which must be the first part of your book. Your excerpt is reviewed by people who review books on the Amazon website. This narrows the field down to 500.
4). Then Publisher's Weekly steps in. Publisher's Weekly reviews 500 full manuscripts, and narrows them down to 100.
5). Penguin USA reviews these 100 manuscripts and narrows them down to 3.
6). Finally, the three manuscripts are REVIEWED by "famous authors and the industry elite," including the authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd.
7). But then these manuscripts are shuttled back to Amazon, and actual Amazon customers select the remaining winner.
Out of curiosity, I sent in a .doc file containing nothing but the URL to my latest novel ("www.rocksatthecuts.com"). Anybody with a spare novel lying around should enter this contest! Why not, right? Make them suffer! Make them wonder! Roger Rabbit slash fiction! Send it in! Half-finished drug diaries! Type them up! Clog their servers with your florid abortions!
Here is an essay by a former judge about how sad the whole thing is (KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE):
"Reality Publishing," by Darryl Lorenzo Wellington
And here is last year's winner (KNOW THEIR TASTE):
"Fresh Kills," by Bill Loehfelm
Posted by miracle on Wed, 04 Feb 2009 01:20:18 -0500 -- permanent link