is holding a contest to find the best unpublished debut novel. The winner will be published by Penguin Books, and Publishers Weekly will assist in judging entries. As Publishers Weekly reports, it’s a complicated and expensive-sounding process:

Amazon, which will accept up to 5,000 entries, is assembling a panel of customers who have posted the most, and best, reviews on its site to serve as the judges for the first round. After the submissions have been cut to 1,000, a team put together by PW will give a full review to each manuscript, and the review and excerpt will be posted on the Amazon Web site where customers can read, rate and review the offerings. . . .

Penguin will pare the 1,000 manuscripts down to 100 and those will undergo "a full editorial review process," said Penguin director of online sales and marketing Tim McCall. Once Penguin cuts the submissions to 10, excerpts will again be posted on the Amazon site where customers will vote for the winner. Voting will close March 31 and the winner announced April 7.

The author of the winning novel will receive a $25,000 advance on royalties from Penguin. Entries can be sent to at and will be accepted through November 5 of this year.