I entered Beauty and the Barbarian into the Romance genre. In March they made the first elimination based on the book's pitch, and selected four-hundred entries from each category. Monday, they announced the quarter finalists, naming the top 100 in each genre. Amazon's Vine Reviewers judged 3-5000 word excerpts, and those reviews will be posted on Amazon's site soon.
The people moving to the semi-finals will each receive a review of their full manuscript from Publisher's Weekly....but here's the rub...only five people from each of the categories will move to the semi-finals, and only their manuscripts will be reviewed by the Amazon Publishing judging panel.
In the final round, the number one candidate in each genre will receive a $15,000 advance and a publishing contract from Amazon Publishing, except for the grand prize winner who will receive a $50,000 advance and publishing contract.
Holy smokes! Honestly, I'm happy to be in the quarter finals. As I mentioned, the excerpts will be posted on Amazon for customers to read and review (soon). Regardless if I advance, I'll get a PW review that I can use for marketing purposes, and the little bit of advertising by being in the top 100 can't hurt.
I'm always nervous about entering contests. They are subjective, and sometimes the feedback can be deflating. But this has been fun and fairly painless--definitely an adventure I can recommend!