Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest


TITLE: [ONLINE+MANUSCRIPT] Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest
PRIZE:

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Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest
OFFICIAL RULES

Please read these Official Rules before entering the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (“Contest”). By submitting an entry, you (and, if an eligible minor, your parent or legal guardian) acknowledge that you have read and agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsors and the judges, and that you satisfy all eligibility requirements. This Contest is intended to identify the “next great novel.” One winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin Group USA (see details below). Other prizes are detailed below.

1. ELIGIBILITY. Open to legal residents of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada (excluding the Province of Québec), China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States (the 50 states and D.C.), and the United Kingdom, who are 13 years or older at time of entry. ANY ENTRANT WHO IS A MINOR IN HIS/HER JURISDICTION OF RESIDENCE MUST HAVE PERMISSION OF PARENT (OR BOTH PARENTS WHERE REQUIRED BY LAW) OR LEGAL GUARDIAN TO ENTER. Not open to employees or independent contractors, or immediate family members (spouses, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and grandchildren) or those living in the same household of employees or independent contractors of Amazon Services LLC (“Amazon”), Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (“Penguin”), On-Demand Publishing LLC dba CreateSpace (“CreateSpace”) (collectively, “Sponsors”), Publishers Weekly or any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advisors, or advertising/promotion agencies. Also not open to any judges involved in the Contest, including reviewers who participate in selecting the Quarter-Finalists (as defined below).

2. HOW TO ENTER. To enter, you must submit an original, unpublished, fictional, English language manuscript, as more fully described below. Contest submission period begins February 2, 2009 at 12:01 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) and ends February 8, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), or when the first 10,000 Entries have been received, whichever is earlier.. To enter, go to http://www.amazon.com/abna and follow the instructions on how to register. Once registered, and following the instructions on the entry form, upload (1) the full/complete version of your manuscript (the “Manuscript”); and (2) up to the first 5,000 words (but not less than 3,000 words) of text of such Manuscript, excluding any table of contents, foreword, and acknowledgments (the “Excerpt”); and (3) a pitch of your Manuscript consisting of up to 300 words (the “Pitch”); and (4) personal information required on the entry form. (The foregoing four entry requirements are collectively referred to as the “Entry” or “Entries”.) Sponsors will NOT accept or review paper-copy Entries.

3. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. Completed Manuscripts must be novels between 50,000 and 150,000 words. Each Manuscript must be authored by a single, individual author. Any Manuscript submitted as an Entry written by two or more authors will not be eligible. Poems and short stories or collections of same submitted as Entries will also not be eligible. Manuscripts and Excerpts must (a) be the original creation of entrant; (b) be fictional; (c) be in the English language; (d) be of interior black and white text without images; (e) not have been previously published in whole or in part under the same title and with substantially the same text, and sold or distributed through any retail or paid distribution channel; (f) not currently or previously have been the subject of a publishing agreement with any publishing house; (g) not include the author’s name in the body of the Manuscript, in the Excerpt, or in the Pitch; and (h) meet the content guidelines found at http://www.amazon.com/contentguidelines (which are incorporated in to these Official Rules by reference). In addition to the foregoing, Manuscripts must be submitted digitally in Microsoft Word .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. All Entries determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion to meet the foregoing requirements will be deemed “Valid Entries.” Entries submitted by authors who are represented by an agent are acceptable, provided the author agrees to comply with these Official Rules. Sponsors’ servers and clock will be deemed the official clock for all phases of the Contest, and entrant’s proof of a submission does not constitute proof of receipt by Sponsors. Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for (y) lost, misdirected, late, incomplete, illegible, garbled, delayed or unintelligible Entries or for inaccurate entry information, whether caused by entrant or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of Entries; or (z) any printing, production, human or typographical or other errors in any materials associated with the Contest. Limit one Entry per e-mail address and per entrant. In the event any entrant submits more than one Entry, the first Entry received by Sponsors will be deemed that entrant’s Entry and any subsequent Entries submitted by such entrant will be void. Sponsors reserve the right in their sole and unfettered discretion to disqualify at any time any Entry containing obscene, offensive, pornographic or sexually explicit material, or libelous, disparaging or other inappropriate content or subject matter or that are otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules (as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion).

4. CONDITIONS OF ENTRY. All Entries must be the original creations of the entrants. By submitting an Entry, each entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) represents and warrants that his/her Entry (including the Manuscript, Excerpt and Pitch) is his/her original creation; has not been copied in whole or in part from any other work; has not previously been published as described in Section 3(e) of these Official Rules; does not violate or infringe any copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity right, or other proprietary or intellectual property right of any person or entity; is not defamatory, libelous, obscene, or otherwise illegal; and is the sole and exclusive property of the entrant. Each entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) further represents and warrants that he/she has complete, worldwide distribution rights for his/her Manuscript. Sponsors may disqualify any entrant whose Entry Sponsors deem, in their sole discretion, at any time not to comply with the foregoing representations and warranties. Entrants (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) assume all risk of lost, late, misdirected, delayed, incomplete, or illegible Entries.

5. GRANT OF RIGHTS. By submitting an Entry, each entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) grants Penguin exclusive first publication rights to the Entry if entrant is: selected as a Quarter-Finalist until such time that the Quarter Finalist entrant is eliminated from the Contest (see Prizes section below for publishing obligations of Grand Prize winner); or for entrants reaching the Semi Final Round, until June 30, 2009. If Penguin notifies an entrant (excluding the Grand Prize winner) that it wishes to publish such entrant’s work, entrant will negotiate exclusively with Penguin for a period of thirty (30) days on the terms and conditions of a publishing agreement. If at the end of that 30-day period, entrant and Penguin have not reached agreement, entrant will be free to offer the work to other publishers, provided that before entrant enters into an agreement with another publisher, entrant will afford Penguin the last right to publish the work on the same terms and conditions offered by any other publisher plus an advance against royalties ten percent (10%) greater. Penguin must communicate its decision to entrant within five (5) business days after written notice from entrant of the other publisher’s terms and conditions, and if Penguin declines or fails to act within that period, entrant will not have any further obligation to Penguin and may publish the work with another publisher. By submitting an Entry, until June 30, 2009, each entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) grants Sponsors and their respective affiliates and agents permission to use without charge excerpts from his/her Manuscript, Pitch or Excerpt along with his/her name and stated reason for writing the submitted book (if provided), for any purpose in connection with this Contest, in any and all media now or hereafter devised. In so doing, entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) also grants to Sponsors the right to edit the formatting and display of the excerpt and to create literary or any other types of effects in respect of the excerpt, all without seeking the approval of the entrant or making any payment to entrant. In addition, also until June 30, 2009, to the extent moral rights (for example, the right to attribution and the right to integrity) apply in the applicable jurisdiction, each entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) waives (and to the extent that these may not be waived, agrees irrevocably not to assert) his/her moral rights in his/her Entry for purposes of this Contest, including without limitation Sponsors’ use of excerpts from that Entry in connection with this Contest. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) represent that they have received the consent of any person (or parent or legal guardian if such person is a minor) whose real and actual name or likeness is used or featured in any Entry submitted, and failure to obtain such consent will disqualify the Entry. Sponsors will have the right at any time during the Contest to request proof of such consent and to disqualify any Entry for which such consent cannot be provided in a form satisfactory to Sponsor. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) agree to be solely responsible for and agree that Sponsors, Publishers Weekly and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies and any officers, directors, agents, employees and representatives of any of them (collectively, any “Released Parties”), will not be responsible for any action brought by a person whose consent entrant did not obtain. Excerpts, along with the author’s name, city and state of residence, and portions of his/her Entry selected by Sponsors which relate to the submitted Manuscript, may be posted on any Web site owned or operated by Sponsors or any of their affiliates (“Sponsor Site”), any other Web site or other online point of presence on any platform, through which any products or services available on or through the Sponsor Site are described, syndicated, offered, merchandised or advertised, in Sponsors’ sole discretion. Sponsors’ decision to post an Excerpt or any portion of an Entry on any Sponsor Site does not mean that the selected Entry has been selected as a winning Entry.

6. COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION/USE. Sponsors are collecting personal information primarily to process the Entries and to contact entrant if necessary, but also to potentially contact entrant for marketing purposes. If entrant does not wish to be contacted for marketing purposes, he/she will be provided with a method to opt-out from future communications. If an entrant would like to access or modify the information about him/her related to this Contest in Sponsors’ database, please send an e-mail to ABNA-admin@amazon.com. By entering the Contest, entrant agrees that Sponsors may share entrant’s information with third parties that have a need to know the information, such the Judging Panel or third parties that Sponsors retain to assist in administering the Contest; however, those third parties may only use the information for purposes related to this Contest. If you do not agree to these terms or to CreateSpace’s privacy policy located at http://www.createspace.com/Help/Rights/Privacy.jsp, Amazon’s privacy policy located at http://www.amazon.com/privacy, or Penguin’s privacy policy located at http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pages … olicy.html please do not submit an Entry.

7. CONTEST JUDGING PROCESS.

A. Submission Period (February 2, 2009 – February 8, 2009).The Submission Period begins February 2, 2009 at 12:01 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) and ends February 8, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), or when the first 10,000 Entries have been received, whichever is earlier.

B. Pitch Review Period (February 9, 2009 – February 20, 2009).From February 9, 2009 through February 20, 2009, Amazon editors will read the Pitch for each Valid Entry. Each Pitch will be rated based equally on the following three criteria; originality of idea, overall strength of Pitch, and quality of writing. Amazon editors will select the top 2,000 Entries based on the above criteria to advance to the Second Round (“Second Round Entries”). Sponsors reserve the right to advance fewer than 2,000 Entries if, in their sole discretion, they do not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries.

C. Second Round (February 23, 2009 – March 8, 2009).
(1) From February 23, 2009 through March 8, 2009, expert reviewers selected by Sponsors, including Amazon editors and at least one Amazon Top Reviewer (as defined at http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-revie … r-faq.html), will review and judge the Excerpt of each valid Second Round Entry. The expert reviewers will provide a substantive text review of each Second Round Excerpt as well as rate each on a scale of 1 to 5 on the following criteria:
a) Overall Strength of Excerpt
b) Prose/Style
c) Plot/Hook
d) Originality of Idea
(2) Each Second Round Excerpt will receive two reviews, and the top 500 Entries based on the average Overall Strength of Excerpt score will advance to the Quarter-Finals (each, a “Quarter Finalist”). Sponsors reserve the right to advance fewer than 500 Entries if, in their sole discretion, they do not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries. If tiebreakers are needed to determine the 500th Quarter-Finalist, they will be as follows:
a) 1st tiebreaker: Highest average Prose/Style score
b) 2nd tiebreaker: Highest average Plot/Hook score
c) 3rd tiebreaker: Highest average Originality of Idea score
d) 4th tiebreaker: Amazon editorial decision based upon Overall Strength of Excerpt.
D. Quarter-Final Period (March 16, 2009 – April 14, 2009).
(1) On or about March 16, 2009, the Quarter-Finalists’ Excerpts and their associated written reviews will be posted online at http://www.amazon.com/abna.

(2) Amazon customers may download and read any Excerpt, and then write their own review and rate the Excerpt using Amazon.com’s process for submitting online reviews (as described at http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-revie … lines.html).

(3) Publishers Weekly will read the Quarter-Finalists’ full Manuscripts, prepare a review of each Quarter-Finalist’s Manuscript, and rate each Manuscript on a scale of 1 to 5 on the following criteria:
a) Character development
b) Originality of idea
c) Plot
d) Prose/style
e) Overall strength of submission (a through e in this subsection D.3, “Judging Criteria”).
These reviews will be posted into each Entrant’s CreateSpace Account on or about April 15, 2009.
E. Semi-Final Period (April 15, 2009 – May 14, 2009).
(1) Penguin will select up to 100 Semi-Finalists (each, a “Semi-Finalist”) from among all of the Quarter-Finalists by (a) reading Publishers Weekly’s ratings and reviews of the Manuscripts; (b) reading the expert reviews and ratings of the Excerpts from the Second Round; and (c) evaluating customer feedback and ratings about the Excerpts posted online. All judging decisions will be final and binding in all respects. The exact number of Semi-Finalists will be at Sponsors’ sole discretion.

(2) The names of the Semi-Finalists will be posted online at Amazon.com, along with their respective Publishers Weekly review on or about April 15, 2009.

(3) The Penguin Judging Panel, consisting of qualified representatives chosen by Penguin, will review the full Manuscript and accompanying reviews of each Semi-Finalist to determine three (3) finalists (each, a “Finalist”). The Penguin Judging Panel will evaluate the Semi-Finalists’ Manuscripts using the Judging Criteria.

(4) On or about May 6, 2009, Sponsors will begin notifying potential Finalists by phone or e-mail. The Finalists will be announced on http://www.amazon.com/abna on or about May 15, 2009.
F. Finalist Period (May 15, 2009 – May 21, 2009).
(1) Voting. After the Finalists are announced on or about May 15, 2009, the voting phase to determine the Grand Prize winner will commence and will continue through May 21, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Daylight Savings Time). The Excerpt for each Finalist, which customers will be able to download and read, will be expanded by up to 5,000 additional words. The exact number of words by which the Excerpt will be expanded will be at Sponsors’ sole discretion. Each Finalist’s manuscript with be read and reviewed by a panel of experts consisting of two well-known authors, an agent, and an editor. In addition, all reviews of the Finalists’ Entries posted online up to the start of the Finalist Period will remain online and be available for viewing.

(2) Amazon customers will select the Grand Prize winner by voting for the best Finalist using the voting mechanism located at http://www.amazon.com/abna. The Grand Prize winner will be selected from among the Finalists based on the total number of valid votes received by Amazon customers. The Finalist receiving the most valid votes will be the potential Grand Prize winner, subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. An account on Amazon.com is necessary to vote. Limit one vote per Amazon customer during the Grand Prize determination phase, and Sponsors reserve the right to exclude votes from any customer who Sponsors determine – in their sole discretion – votes more than one time during the Grand Prize determination phase. Votes generated by script, macro or other automated means or with the intent to subvert the voting process will be void. Finalists are prohibited from obtaining votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including, without limitation, offering prizes or other inducements to members of the public, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. In the event of a tie, Sponsors will select the Grand Prize winner from the tied Finalists based on the Judging Criteria.

(3) Grand Prize Event. Prior to the announcement of the Grand Prize winner, the Finalists will be flown to Seattle, WA (or such other city Sponsors select at their discretion) (the “Venue”) for publicity/promotional interviews and for an awards announcement at which the Grand Prize winner will be announced. To be eligible to become the Grand Prize winner, a Finalist must be available to travel to the Venue for a three to five-night trip, which trip will commence between May 21, 2009 and May 25, 2009 (exact dates of trip to be determined by Sponsors). Sponsors may waive the requirement for a Finalist to travel to the Venue if, in Sponsors’ sole discretion, extraordinary circumstances outside the control of the Finalist would prevent the Finalist from traveling. Sponsors will pay for roundtrip coach class transportation to the Venue from the major airport nearest to each Finalist’s home, transfers to/from airport in the Venue, three to five nights’ standard hotel accommodations and an awards dinner for each Finalist and one (1) guest each. In the event a Finalist is not available for the trip and Sponsors have not waived the travel requirement, the Alternate Finalist (as defined below) will be invited to attend to replace the original Finalist who is unable to travel. Sponsors may choose to replace the Grand Prize event with another form of winner announcement at its sole discretion.

8. PRIZES. The following prizes will be available to be awarded:

A. One (1) Grand Prize, consisting of a full publishing contract with Penguin to market and distribute Grand Prize winner’s winning Manuscript as a published book, including promotion for such published book on Amazon.com. Upon the full execution of the publishing contract, Penguin will pay the Grand Prize winner US $25,000. (The approximate retail value (“ARV”) of the publishing contract is US $25,000 for the advance.) This US $25,000 payment is an advance against the royalties to be earned by the Grand Prize winner under the publishing contract. Penguin will determine the royalty rates to be paid under the publishing contract, which will depend on the format in which the book is published. Publishing contract with Penguin is not negotiable, and Grand Prize winner must sign “as is” upon receipt of the executable contract (as described in Section 9 below) if he/she wishes to enter into the publishing contract being awarded. For a summary of the terms and conditions of the publishing contract, see http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/ … =200183280.

Publishing contract will be governed by the laws of the State of New York.

B. First Prize (3) (three (3) First Prizes). Each First Prize will consist of a trip to the Venue departing between May 21, 2009 and May 25, 2009 (exact dates to be determined by Sponsors). First Prize includes (1) round trip coach class air transportation for two departing from the major airport nearest to each Finalist’s home; (2) three (3) to five (5) nights’ standard hotel accommodations (one (1) room, double occupancy); (3) transfers to/from airport in the Venue; and (4) One Hundred Dollars (US $100) in spending money per day for Finalist only. Total ARV of each First Prize is US $3,000. The actual value will depend on each Finalist’s city of departure. Sponsor may substitute surface transportation for air travel if any Finalist lives near the Venue, as they determine in their sole discretion. If the actual value is less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. All costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specifically mentioned herein as being awarded, including but not limited to any taxes, additional transportation/transfers, food and beverages, and gratuities, are the sole responsibility of each Finalist. Finalists must travel on dates specified by Sponsors, or may forfeit the First Prize and the opportunity to win the Grand Prize, unless a waiver to travel as described above is obtained from Sponsors. Any Finalist who is not a U.S. resident will be responsible for obtaining all required travel documents for travel to the U.S., including a passport and any visa that may be required. Finalists and their guests must travel together on the same itinerary. Any guest must be of legal age of majority in his/her jurisdiction of residence (and at least 18) unless child or legal ward of Finalist. If any Finalist is not of legal age of majority in his/her jurisdiction of residence (and not at least 18), he/she must be accompanied on the trip by his/her parent or legal guardian as his/her guest. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) warrant that they are unaware of any reason that they would be unable to travel during this period. Selected airline and hotel are at the sole discretion of Sponsors. Certain restrictions and blackout dates apply, and exact travel dates and arrangements are subject to availability. If Sponsors choose to replace the Grand Prize event with another form of winner announcement not requiring travel, a cash prize of US $3,000 will be awarded instead.

C. A Second Prize will be available to be awarded to each Quarter-Finalist (maximum of 500 Second Prizes total). Each Second Prize will consist of the Publishers Weekly manuscript review of each Quarter-Finalist’s respective Manuscript. The Publishers Weekly manuscript review may be used by a Second Prize winner in marketing and promoting the Manuscript provided the Manuscript as published does not materially change from the Manuscript reviewed. This prize has no cash value.

D. Total ARV of all prizes is US $34,000.00. Winners are responsible for paying all costs and expenses related to the prizes that are not specifically mentioned herein as being awarded, including, but not limited to, federal, state and local taxes (including any income and withholding taxes). Prizes cannot be substituted, transferred or redeemed for cash, except by Sponsors who reserve the right to substitute a prize (or portion thereof) of comparable or greater value. All prizes will be awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose). All prize details are at Sponsors’ sole discretion.

9. FINALIST NOTIFICATION/REQUIREMENTS. Sponsors will notify the potential Finalists by phone or e-mail starting on or about May 6, 2009. Each potential Finalist (or their parents or legal guardians if any Finalist is under 18 or a minor in the jurisdiction in which he/she resides) will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (“Affidavit and Release”) by May 14, 2009. Guests of the Finalists (or if a child or legal ward of Finalist, Finalist) will be required to sign and return a Liability/Publicity Release prior to departure to the Venue. Each potential Finalist (or their parents or legal guardians if any Finalist is under 18 or a minor in the jurisdiction in which he/she resides) will also be required to sign and return to Sponsors a non-disclosure agreement. The non-disclosure agreement executed by the Finalists (or their parents or legal guardians if any Finalist is under 18 or a minor in the jurisdiction in which he/she resides) must be returned to Sponsors by May 14, 2009. Failure to return any required document by the date stated in these rules will deem a Finalist as ineligible to proceed to the next stage of the Contest and he/she will be disqualified.

Each potential Finalist (or their parents or legal guardians if any Finalist is under 18 or a minor in the jurisdiction in which he/she resides) will also receive and be required to sign and return to Sponsors by May 14, 2009, a contingent publishing contract with Penguin, which Penguin will countersign only with the Finalist selected as the Grand Prize winner (see Section 9 of these Official Rules for information on the primary terms and conditions of the publishing contract). Penguin will only be bound by the publishing contract with the Grand Prize winner. If any documentation is not returned by the specified dates, Sponsors may, at their election, invite an alternate finalist (“Alternate Finalist”) chosen by the Penguin Judging Panel from the Semi -Finalists in the same manner as described in Section 7.E(3) above to replace the original Finalist who failed to timely return the required documentation. If notification to the Alternate Finalist is returned as undeliverable, Sponsors may, at their election, invite the next eligible Alternate Finalist. If any potential winner is under 18 or a minor in the jurisdiction in which he/she resides at the time the prize is awarded, such prize will be awarded to winner only after the winner’s parent or legal guardian signs the Affidavit and Release and such other documentation that may be required for the winner to claim the prize. Sponsors will notify winners of all other prizes by e-mail or phone no later than June 30, 2009. Prior to awarding a prize, Sponsors may, in their sole discretion, require any potential winner to sign such additional documents Sponsors deem necessary to confirm eligibility, to obtain a liability/publicity release, and to award any prize. The parent or legal guardian of any Finalist or Grand Prize winner who is under the age of legal majority in his/her jurisdiction of residence will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on Finalists and/or the Grand Prize winner set forth herein.

10. ADDITIONAL TERMS. The Contest and all accompanying materials are copyright © 2008 by Amazon Services LLC. All rights reserved. By entering, entrants (and their parents or legal guardians if any entrant is under 18 or a minor in the jurisdiction he/she resides in) agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Contest is void outside the eligible jurisdictions and where prohibited by law. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) agree that the decisions of Sponsors related to the Contest are final and binding in all matters. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to change these rules or cancel the Contest at any time, or to modify, terminate, or suspend the Contest should viruses, worms, bugs, unauthorized human intervention, or other causes beyond Sponsors’ control corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness, or proper play of the Contest or submission of Entries. Released Parties are not responsible for any human or other error that may occur in the processing of the Entries, nor are they responsible for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, theft or destruction, or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries, or for technical, network, telephone, computer, hardware or software, malfunctions of any kind, which may occur in connection with this Contest, including, without limitation, any errors or problems which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of Entries, the tabulation of votes, the announcement of the prizes or in any Contest-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for inaccurate transmission of, or failure to receive any entry information on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to any entrant’s or any other computer resulting from downloading any materials in connection with the Contest. Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual found to be tampering with the entry or voting process, the outcome of the Contest, or the operation of the Contest or Web site; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules; or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person and void all associated Entries. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSORS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE AFFILIATES RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES OR OTHER RELIEF (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

11. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY. Released Parties are not responsible for the unauthorized use of any Entry (or any portion thereof) by any third party. Entrants (and their parents or legal guardians if any entrant is under 18 or a minor in the jurisdiction he/she resides) agree (for themselves and their heirs) that the Released Parties, to the maximum extent permitted by law, are not responsible for any liability, loss, injury, or damage to property or to person, and reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by reason of participation in the Contest, or by reason of the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the prizes (including any travel or activity related thereto). Nothing in these Rules will limit any Released Party’s liability for death or personal injury caused by that party’s negligence, a breach of these Official Rules, or fraudulent misrepresentation.

12. GOVERNING LAW/DISPUTES. Contest is governed by the laws of the United States and the State of Washington. As a condition of participating in this Contest, entrants agree, to the extent permitted by law, that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Contest, will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in King County, Washington having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will entrants be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waive all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than entrant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (e.g. costs associated with entering), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

13. RIGHTS OF PUBLICITY. By participating in the Contest, entrants (and their parents or legal guardians if any entrant is under 18 or a minor in the jurisdiction he/she resides) consent to the use of their names, biographical information, and photographs, videos or likenesses in any manner and in any medium now or hereafter devised for any purpose in connection with the Contest, including worldwide, without additional compensation, notification or permission, except where prohibited by law.

14. WINNERS LIST. For a list of the Finalists and the Grand winner, send an e-mail request to ABNA-winners@amazon.com. Requests must be received by December 31, 2009.

15. SPONSORS. Amazon Services LLC, P.O. Box 400818, Las Vegas, NV 89140; Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014; and On-Demand Publishing LLC dba CreateSpace, 7290 Investment Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418.

How to Enter

Contest submission period begins February 2nd, 2009 at 12:01 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) and ends February 8th, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), or when the first 10,000 Entries have been received, whichever is earlier.

To enter on February 2nd 2009, go to http://www.amazon.com/abna or http://www.createspace.com/abna, register and submit your entry following the instructions on the entry form. In the mean time, go to http://www.createspace.com/abna to sign up for contest updates and valuable online content that will help you get your submission ready. To register and enter you will need to submit:

* The full/complete version of your manuscript (the “Manuscript”), which must be between 50,000 and 150,000 words;
* Up to the first 5,000 words, but no less than 3,000 words, of text of that manuscript, excluding any table of contents, foreword, and acknowledgments (the “Excerpt”);
* A pitch statement (cover letter/summary) of up to 300 word (the “Pitch”)
* Other registration information as asked for on the entry page (such as name, contact information, book title), and
* An author photo (if desired), which must be in .jpg format (at least 72 dpi and 500×468 pixels)

(The foregoing five entry requirements are collectively referred to as the “Entry” or “Entries”.) Sponsors will NOT accept or review paper-copy Entries.

The author of each manuscript must be an individual author. Any manuscript submitted as an entry that was written by two or more authors will not be eligible. Poems and short stories or collections of poems and short stories submitted as entries will also not be eligible.

Manuscripts Must:

* be the original creation of entrant;
* be fictional;
* be in the English language;
* be in Times New Roman and 12-point font;
* be double spaced and paginated with a 1-inch margin on all sides (in a manner enabling reformat to single-space display easily, i.e. no “hard” returns to achieve double spacing);
* be of interior black and white text with no images in the document;
* be a digital file of Microsoft Word .doc, .docx, or .rtf format;
* not have been previously published in whole or in part under the same title and with substantially the same text, and sold or distributed through any retail or paid distribution channel;
* not currently or previously have been the subject of a publishing agreement with any publishing house;
* not include the author’s name in the body of the Manuscript or in the Excerpt or pitch statement; and
* meet the content guidelines found at http://www.amazon.com/contentguidelines

All Entries determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion to meet the foregoing requirements will be deemed “Valid Entries.” Entries submitted by authors who are represented by an agent are acceptable, provided author agrees to comply with these Official Rules.

Sponsors’ servers and clock shall be deemed the official clock for the Contest and entrant’s proof of submission does not constitute proof of receipt by Sponsors.

Breakthrough Novel Award FAQ

* Where can I find rules for the contest?
* What are the prizes?
* What is the contest timeline and process?
* What are the terms of Penguin’s publishing contract?
* What kinds of novels are you accepting?
* How do I enter?
* How many entries will you accept?
* What are the submission requirements?
* What’s the word count limit?
* What is a Pitch, and why is it being used to judge my entry?
* Can I enter more than one submission?
* Is there a fee for entering?
* Can I submit a hard copy manuscript?
* What does “complete distribution rights” mean?
* Do I keep my content rights if I enter?
* Can I submit my manuscript after February 8th?
* Can I enter on behalf of someone else?
* Can I participate if I am represented by an agent?
* Is this an international contest?
* I have a manuscript I’d like to enter and I still own the rights, but it was previously self-published. Can I enter?
* What does self-publishing mean?
* What if I’m currently a member publishing with CreateSpace or BookSurge and self-publishing now?
* How will I know if my submission was accepted?
* How is the contest being judged?
* How does customer voting work?
* How do customer votes get counted?
* Can I vote for my own entry?
* Can anyone vote, even people who live abroad?
* How will I be notified if I won?
* I saw that I could participate in discussion boards and blog. How do I do this?
* What is CreateSpace?
* What is BookSurge?
* Can you tell me about the contest sponsors?
* If I choose to have my book published by CreateSpace or BookSurge after the contest, can my book still be published by a traditional publisher?
* Where do I go if my question is not answered here?

Where can I find rules for the contest?
Please see Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest Rules.

What are the prizes?
Please see Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Prizes.

What is the contest timeline and process?
From February 2, 2009 to February 8, 2009, registrations and submissions for entry into the contest will be accepted. Up to 10,000 entries will be accepted. Amazon editors will narrow these entries to a set of up to 2,000 submissions by reviewing pitch statements from the entrant. Amazon Editors and Amazon Vine Reviewers will then read 3,000 to 5,000 word excerpts from each of the remaining 2,000 submissions to narrow the field to 500 Quarter-Finalists which will be announced at http://www.amazon.com/abna on or about March 16th, 2009. Publishers Weekly will then read the Quarter-Finalists’ full manuscripts to rate and review them based on five Judging Criteria: originality of idea, plot, prose/writing style, character development, and overall strength. On or about April 15th, 2009, Penguin Editors will select 100 Semi-Finalists to be announced at http://www.amazon.com/abna. At that time Publishers Weekly reviews for the Semifinalists will be posted as well. Penguin Editors will then read each Semi-Finalist’s manuscript, and using the Judging Criteria will select three Entries from the 100 as Finalists to be displayed on May 15th, 2009. Amazon customers will then read excerpts and vote on the three finalists to select the winner who will be announced on May 22, 2009. During the Finals, an Expert Panel will weigh in with their comments on the three finalists’ manuscripts for customers to consider while voting. Please see the Contest Rules for more details.

What are the terms of Penguin’s publishing contract?
Penguin is offering a publishing contract and $25,000 advance against future royalties. Contract summary terms are available for review in the Prizes document. You will be required to accept the Penguin publishing contract “as-is” if you are selected as the Grand Prize winner.

What kinds of novels are you accepting?
We are accepting original, unpublished, fictional, English language manuscripts of any genre, provided they meet Amazon.com’s content guidelines. Please review our How to Enter information for a complete understanding of the submission guidelines.

How do I enter?
Please read How to Enter and instructions on the official registration website. To enter, starting on February 2nd 2009, go to http://www.amazon.com/abna or http://www.createspace.com/abna, register and submit your entry following the instructions on the entry form. Entries will be accepted through February 8th, 2009 or until 10,000 entries have been accepted, whichever comes first. During the entry process you will need to provide:

1. The full/complete version of your manuscript (the “Manuscript”), which must be between 50,000 and 150,000 words;
2. Up to the first 5,000 words, but no less than 3,000 words, of text of that manuscript, excluding any table of contents, foreword, and acknowledgments (the “Excerpt”);
3. A pitch statement (cover letter/summary) of up to 300 word (the “Pitch”)
4. Other registration information as asked for on the entry page (such as name, contact information, book title)

How many entries will you accept?
We will accept up to 10,000 Entries and each contestant may submit only one Entry. We encourage you to enter as soon as possible so as not to miss the registration limit.

What are the submission requirements?
To submit, you must have first registered at http://www.createspace.com/abna. Entrants must provide a full Manuscript (Between 50,000 and 150,000 words), an Excerpt from the beginning of your novel (Between 3,000 and 5,000 words), a novel Pitch of up to 300 words and accompanying contest and biographic information such as title, genre, book description, and contact information. (as well as an optional author photo). Please review How to Enter prior to entering.

What’s the word count limit?
50,000 to 150,000 words for manuscripts, 3,000 to 5,000 words for excerpts, and up to 300 words for the Pitch.

What is a Pitch, and why is it being used to judge my entry?
A cover letter or “pitch” which explains your novel’s concept is required. This must be less than 300 words. The pitch is more than just a summary, it needs to be a well written explanation of what the book is about. Talk about your novel’s strengths with respect to how it is being evaluated; Think about the elements chosen on which to judge your novel for the purpose of this contest; its overall strength, plot development, character development, originality of idea, and writing style or prose. Take the time to study your intended market and make sure your pitch demonstrates that you understand how your book fits within this market and how it will identify with your audience. Remember the book should resonate with who your readers are. The Pitch should be a concise explanation of your book and why the reader would want to read your novel.

Can I enter more than one submission?
No. You may submit only one entry.

Is there a fee for entering?
No, there is no cost to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Just register at the official registration website powered by CreateSpace.com, provide your book information, and upload your files.

Can I submit a hard copy manuscript?
No, we are only accepting digital copies. You must submit digital files in Microsoft Word compatible format (.doc, .docx, or .rtf files) for your manuscript and excerpt, and (.jpg) files for your author photo (an author photo is optional).

What does “complete distribution rights” mean?
Your manuscript must not have been previously published in whole or in part under the same title and with substantially the same text, and sold or distributed through any retail or paid distribution channel. This includes self-published works. In addition, your manuscript may not currently or previously have been the subject of a publishing agreement with any publishing house. If you engaged a designer to assist you with your cover, or if you incorporated a real person into your story, you must have obtained all the necessary permissions to do so and retain the ability to distribute your complete work in order to enter. Please refer to the Contest Rules for complete requirements.

Do I keep my content rights if I enter?
Yes, you maintain full content rights when you enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, though, if you are selected as a Quarter-Finalist on March 16, 2009; you will be required to provide Penguin right of first refusal on any publishing contract until you are eliminated from the contest, or if selected as Semi-Finalist until June 30, 2008.

Can I submit my manuscript after February 8th?
Submissions will only be accepted prior to the February 8th deadline. No late registrations will be accepted.

Can I enter on behalf of someone else?
No. In addition, minors should obtain permission from their parent or legal guardian before registering.

Can I participate if I am represented by an agent?
Yes, you may enter provided you hold full distribution rights for your submission. You must disclose your representation information in the registration process. Note that if you are selected as the winner you will be required to accept the Penguin agreement “as is.”

Is this an international contest?
Yes. There are more than twenty (20) countries whose residents can participate. These countries are listed in the Contest Rules. Submissions, however, must be in the English language.

I have a manuscript I’d like to enter and I still own the rights, but it was previously self-published. Can I enter?
You may enter provided your submission has not been previously published, including self published, in whole or in part under the same title and with substantially the same text, and sold or distributed through any retail or paid distribution channel. In addition, your manuscript may not currently or previously have been the subject of a publishing agreement with any publishing house.

What does self-publishing mean?
Self-publishing is a form of publishing enabling the author to retain full content and distribution rights to their work. CreateSpace, part of the Amazon group of companies, enables you to self-publish and sell your book on Amazon.com and other channels without paying setup fees. You set your own royalty and your book will be manufactured and delivered to customers as they order them. BookSurge, also part of the Amazon group of companies, offers full-service self-publishing services to help you create, publish, and sell your book on Amazon.com and other channels. BookSurge services include custom formatting, editing, cover design, marketing and more.

What if I’m currently a member publishing with CreateSpace or BookSurge and self-publishing now?
You may enter, provided the original manuscript you are planning to submit has not been distributed for sale in the past or currently.

How will I know if my submission was accepted?
You will be notified after you register and submit your entry in email and via your CreateSpace ABNA Account Page.

How is the contest being judged?
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award consists of a qualifying period in which Amazon editors evaluate the submission pitch, a second round in which Amazon editors and Amazon Vine Reviewers evaluate excerpts from the submission, a quarter-final period in which excerpts are posted online for customer feedback (through ratings and reviews) and Publishers Weekly review the full manuscript, a semi-final period where Penguin editors review the full manuscripts to select the finalists, and a final period in which Amazon customers vote to determine the winner. Please review the Contest Rules for more details on the judging process.

How does customer voting work?
Voting will take place at http://www.amazon.com/abna using a standard voting mechanism where Amazon customers will select their choice for the grand prize winner. Voters must have an Amazon.com account to vote. There is no charge for voting. Only one vote per customer during the finalist period (grand prize determination phase) will be accepted.

How do customer votes get counted?
A vote will be tabulated for each Amazon.com customer who selects one of the three finalists using the voting mechanism at http://www.amazon.com/abna. The finalist with the highest number of votes will be the Grand Prize winner.

Can I vote for my own entry?
Of course! Stay tuned – if you are selected as a semi-finalist in January, we will be providing tips for promoting your book to customers and friends.

Can anyone vote, even people who live abroad?
Yes, anyone can vote as long as they have an Amazon.com account.

How will I be notified if I won?
You will receive an email and/or phone call if you are one of the potential finalists. Quarter-Finalists and Semi-finalists will be notified by email.

I saw that I could participate in discussion boards and blog. How do I do this?
AmazonConnect is a program for authors whose titles are sold on Amazon.com. By keeping an AmazonConnect blog, authors can communicate easily and directly with an audience of known customers who have purchased their work from Amazon.com. To comment using AmazonConnect blog please see the Amazon Connect Frequently Asked Questions.

If you would like to engage in Discussion with authors and other customers at the same time, you can use the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Discussion Board.

What is CreateSpace?
CreateSpace, part of the Amazon group of companies, is a self-publishing platform that enables authors, filmmakers and musicians to create and sell books, DVDs and CDs on demand. CreateSpace manufactures packages and ships books, DVDs and CDs when customers order, so your title always remains “in stock”. There are no setup fees or minimum orders for the CreateSpace on-demand service. Members are required to purchase and approve a proof copy of their book, CD, and/or DVD before titles can be produced on demand. Books published via the CreateSpace Books on Demand service are printed with high-quality, full-color paperback covers. Black-and-white or color interiors in multiple trim sizes can be selected as options. Members can also order high-quality copies of their book, DVD or CD at competitive wholesale prices. For more information go to http://www.createspace.com.

What is BookSurge?
BookSurge, part of the Amazon group of companies, offers full-service self-publishing services to help you create, publish and sell your book on Amazon.com and other channels. These services include custom formatting, editing, cover design, marketing and more. For more information go to http://www.booksurge.com.

Can you tell me about the contest sponsors?
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is sponsored by Penguin Group USA, Publishers Weekly, and CreateSpace.com. Find out more about our sponsors.

If I choose to have my book published by CreateSpace or BookSurge after the contest, can my book still be published by a traditional publisher?
Yes, by publishing through CreateSpace and BookSurge you retain your rights to your book.

Where do I go if my question is not answered here?
There is a moderated discussion board at http://www.amazon.com/abna.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Prizes

One (1) Grand Prize will be awarded, consisting of:

* A full publishing contract with Penguin to market and distribute Grand Prize winner’s winning Manuscript as a published book, including promotion for such published book on Amazon.com.
* Upon the full execution of the publishing contract, Penguin will pay the Grand Prize winner US $25,000. This US $25,000 payment is an advance against the royalties to be earned by the Grand Prize winner under the publishing contract.

The publishing contract with Penguin is not negotiable, and Grand Prize winner must sign “as is” (as described in Rules) if he/she wishes to enter into the publishing contract being awarded. The publishing contract will provide for payment to the author of a non-refundable advance of $25,000 against anticipated royalties for world rights in all languages with hardcover royalties of 10% on the first 5000 units sold; 12 ½% on the next 5000 units and 15% thereafter. Trade paperback royalties are 7 ½% and mass market royalties are for 8% for the first 150,000 units sold and 10% thereafter. First US publication format (i.e., hardcover, trade paperback or mass market) will be determined in publisher’s sole discretion based on, among other factors, the type of book and market conditions.

Total ARV of the Grand Prize is US $25,000.

A First Prize will be awarded to each Finalist (three First Prizes total).

Each First Prize shall consist of a trip to Seattle, WA (or such other city Sponsors select at their discretion) (the “Venue”) between May 21, 2009 and May 25, 2009 (exact dates to be determined by Sponsors). First Prize includes:

* Round trip coach class air transportation for two leaving from the major airport nearest to each Top Three Finalist’s home;
* Three (3) to five (5) nights’ standard hotel accommodations (double occupancy);
* Transfers to/from airport in the Venue;
* Final awards dinner; and
* One Hundred Dollars (US $100) in spending money per day

Total ARV of each First Prize is US $3,000. The actual value will depend on each Top Three Finalist’s city of departure. Sponsor may substitute surface transportation for air travel if any Finalist lives near destination. If the actual value is less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. All expenses not specifically mentioned herein, including but not limited to any taxes, additional transportation/transfers, additional food and beverages, and gratuities, are the sole responsibility of each Top Three Finalist.

Top Three Finalists must travel on dates specified by Sponsors, or may forfeit the First Prize and the opportunity to win the Grand Prize, unless a waiver to travel as described above is obtained by Sponsors. Any Top Three Finalist who is not a U.S. resident will be responsible for obtaining all required travel documents for travel to the U.S., including a passport and any visa that may be required. Entrants warrant that they are unaware of any reason that they would be unable to travel during this period. Selected airline and hotel are at the sole discretion of Sponsors. Certain restrictions and blackout dates apply, and exact travel dates and arrangements are subject to availability.

A Second Prize will be awarded to each Quarter-Finalist, (five hundred Second Prizes total).

Each Second Prize shall consist of a professional review from Publishers Weekly which can be used in marketing and promotional materials for the entrants novel granted that there have been no substantive changes made.

Key Dates
Key Date Content Milestone
February 2, 2009 Submission period begins; up to 10,000 Entries will be accepted
February 8, 2009 Submission period ends
March 16, 2009 Up to 500 Quarter-Finalists announced;

Publishers Weekly reviewing Quarter-Finalists full manuscript

Amazon customers can download, rate, and review excerpts on Amazon.com, providing feedback to Penguin Editors about submissions.
April 15, 2009 Top 100 Semi-Finalists announced.

Penguin Editors reading Semi-Finalists manuscripts to pick the 3 finalists

Amazon customers continue to download, rate, and review excerpts, and read Publisher’s Weekly reviews of Semifinalists’ full manuscripts
May 15, 2009 3 Finalists announced

Amazon customers vote to pick the winner
May 22, 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award winner announced

DEADLINE: 8 February 2009
WEBSITE/URL: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/181-5371865-7991350?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200291600


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