Amazon.com and Penguin Group (USA) Announce Third Annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition

Third annual competition introduces new young adult category and is open to previously self-published works

SEATTLE, NEW YORK – Dec. 9, 2009 – Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Penguin Group (USA) (NYSE: PSO) today announced the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, the international competition seeking the next popular novel. For the first time, the competition will award two grand prizes: one for general fiction and one for best young adult novel. The 2010 competition will also now be open to novels that have been previously self-published. Writers around the world are encouraged to begin preparing their manuscripts for entry into the competition, which is scheduled to launch on Jan. 25, 2010.

"We are looking forward to working with Penguin again to engage a whole new group of novelists for the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award," said Jeff Belle, Amazon.com's vice president, U.S. Books. "By offering two grand prizes and providing additional opportunities for self-published authors, we'll be able to support an even larger group of talented authors and their work."

"The success of the competition in discovering new writers has led to exciting growth and new directions in this third year, including the addition of a young adult prize. This development is in response to the writing community, and it enables Penguin and Amazon to discover new fiction for readers of all ages," said Tim McCall, Penguin's vice president of Online Sales and Marketing.

Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7, 2010, writers with an English-language novel manuscript can submit their work 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 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 semi-finalists, and choose three finalists for each award.

Two panels of esteemed publishing professionals will then read and post their critiques of the top three manuscripts on www.amazon.com. The panel for the general fiction category includes Tana French, New York Times-bestselling author of "In the Woods"; Julie Barer, of Barer Literary, LLC; and Molly Stern, editorial director and executive editor of Viking Books. The panel for the young adult category includes New York Times-bestselling authors Sarah Dessen ("Along for the Ride") and Nancy Werlin ("Impossible"); Amy Berkower, president of Writers House, LLC; and Ben Schrank, president and publisher of Razorbill. In the final stage, 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 Seattle on June 14, 2010. Each winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.

The 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition drew several thousand entrants, representing all 50 U.S. states and 21 countries around the world. The winning novel, "Bill Warrington's Last Chance" by James King, will be published in August 2010 by Viking, a division of Penguin Group (USA).

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 Preview. CreateSpace will also offer all entrants one free proof copy of their novel, and 10 percent off any one service for a limited time.

"We're thrilled to once again be working with both Amazon.com and Penguin on the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award—and for the first time to be including authors of fiction for young adults. As the foremost book review publication for the publishing industry, Publishers Weekly sets the standard in offering early insight on the work of new authors. It's a pleasure to bring our expertise and perspective to bear on the new talent that will be a part of the 2010 competition," said Brian Kenney, editorial director, Publishers Weekly.

For complete terms and conditions for the 2010 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 visit the CreateSpace Community, please visit www.createspace.com.

 

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as books, movies, music & games, digital downloads, electronics & computers, home & garden, toys, kids & baby, grocery, apparel, shoes & jewelry, health & beauty, sports & outdoors, and tools, auto & industrial.

Amazon Web Services provides Amazon's developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Examples of the services offered by Amazon Web Services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), Amazon Mechanical Turk and Amazon CloudFront.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca and www.amazon.cn.

As used herein, "Amazon.com," "we," "our" and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

About Penguin Group (USA)

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Viking, G. P. Putnam's Sons, The Penguin Press, Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books, Gotham Books, Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne, among others. The Penguin Group (http://www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

About CreateSpace

CreateSpace is a leader in manufacture on-demand services for independent content creators, publishers, film studios and music labels. CreateSpace provides inventory-free, physical distribution of Books, CDs and DVDs On-Demand, music downloads via Amazon MP3 and video downloads via Amazon Video On Demand. CreateSpace is a brand of On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

About Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is the leading publication serving all segments involved in the creation, production, marketing and sale of the written word in book, audio, video and electronic formats. A 135-year-old magazine, PW is the leading publication for international and U.S. book publishing needs.

Media Contacts:
For Amazon.com:
Amazon Media Hotline
206-266-7180

For Penguin Group (USA):
Marilyn Ducksworth
212-366-2564
marilyn.ducksworth@us.penguingroup.com

Stephanie Sorensen
212-366-2576
stephanie.sorensen@us.penguingroup.com

For CreateSpace:
Amanda Wilson
843-760-8165
amandasu@createspace.com