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Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition Underway

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Nov 29 – Dec 5, 2010 Edition Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition Underway

SEATTLE, NEW YORK/AUTHORLINK/Dec 1, 2010–Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Penguin Group (USA) (NYSE: PSO) today announced the fourth annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, the international competition seeking the next popular novel. Due to the popularity of the additional young adult category in 2010, the competition will again award two grand prizes: one for general fiction and one for best young adult novel. Each grand prize winner will be published by Penguin Group (USA). The 2011 competition will again be open to unpublished and self-published novels. Writers around the world are encouraged to begin preparing their manuscripts for entry into the competition, which will launch on Jan. 24, 2011.

“The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is a great way for unpublished or self-published authors to reach an even wider audience for their work,” said Jeff Belle, Amazon.com’s vice president, U.S. Books. “We are looking forward to working with Penguin again on the contest and seeing a new crop of books by talented authors.”

“Penguin is delighted to be the publishing sponsor of this contest for the fourth year running,” said Tim McCall, Penguin’s vice president of Online Sales and Marketing. “Our mission to discern, nurture and amplify exciting new voices is being served by the talented writers that have entered the competition.”

Eligible writers with an English-language novel manuscript can submit their work between Jan. 24 and Feb. 6, 2011. Submission details can be found at www.amazon.com/abna. Up to 10,000 total initial entries will be accepted, with up to 5,000 each in the general fiction and young adult fiction categories. Amazon.com editors will select 1,000 entries from each category to advance to the next round. In the subsequent round, Amazon.com editors and at least one top reviewer on Amazon.com will read excerpts of the 2,000 entries and narrow the pool to 500 quarter-finalists (250 in each category). Reviewers from Publishers Weekly will then read, rate and review the full manuscripts, and 50 semi-finalists for each category will be selected. Penguin editors will evaluate the manuscripts of the 50 general fiction and 50 young adult fiction semi-finalists, and choose three finalists for each award.

The top three manuscripts in each category will then be read and reviewed by two panels of esteemed publishing professionals. The 2011 panelists for the general fiction category are: Lev Grossman, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Magicians” and book critic for Time Magazine, literary agent Jennifer Joel of ICM and Marysue Rucci, Vice President, Editorial Director with G.P. Putnam’s Sons. The panelists for the young adult fiction contest are: Gayle Forman, journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller “If I Stay,” literary agent Julie Just of Janklow & Nesbit and Jennifer Besser, Vice President and Publisher, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers.

In the final stage of the competition, Amazon.com customers will have seven days to vote for a Grand Prize Winner in each category. The two Grand Prize Winners will be announced in New York on June 13, 2011. Each winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.

The 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition drew thousands of entrants, representing all 50 U.S. states and 23 countries around the world. The winning novel in the general fiction category, “Farishta” by Patricia McArdle, will be published in June 2011 by Riverhead. The winning novel in the young adult fiction category, “Sign Language” by Amy Ackley, will be published in August 2011 by Viking.

CreateSpace.com, part of the Amazon group of companies and a leader in self-publishing services, will again host the contest entry platform, which includes a community for authors that will keep them up to date on the contest and help them prepare their entries by soliciting feedback from the community and accessing online content through CreateSpace’s free Preview tool. CreateSpace will also offer all entrants one free printed proof copy of their novel and 10 percent off any one service for a limited time. “For the fourth year, Publishers Weekly, the international magazine of book publishing and bookselling, will work with Amazon and Penguin for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award to select and review the best undiscovered fiction of the new year,” said George Slowik Jr., President, Publishers Weekly. “Since 2008, we’ve been impressed by the quality and variety of the entries, and we look forward to getting to know the class of 2011.”

For complete terms and conditions for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and more information about the contest, please visit www.amazon.com/abna. For more information on the CreateSpace self-publishing service or to connect with the CreateSpace Community, please visit www.createspace.com.