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Amazon and Penguin Group (USA) Announce 100 Semifinalists for Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
Semifinalists from 33 States and Seven Countries Are One Step Closer to Landing a Publishing Contract with Penguin Group (USA)

SEATTLE & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 15, 2009--, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Penguin Group (USA) (NYSE: PSO) today revealed the 100 semifinalists in the second-annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, the international writing competition in search of the next popular novel. Penguin editors are now evaluating the manuscripts from this group of 100 semifinalists and will choose three finalists, to be announced on May 15, 2009. Amazon customers will then select the Grand Prize winner from these three finalists.

The 100 semifinalists were chosen based on ratings from Publishers Weekly and Amazon expert reviewers. They hail from 94 cities, 33 U.S. states and seven countries. The semifinalists’ entries are comprised of a wide assortment of literary genres, including general literature, science fiction, romance and mystery, among others. New York City boasts the largest number of ABNA semifinalists with four, and the semifinalist farthest from Seattle – over 9,000 miles away – comes from Duncraig, Western Australia.

“This year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award drew compelling entries spanning a broad range of literary fiction from an extremely gifted pool of writers,” said Jeff Belle, vice president, U.S. Books, “While reviewing excerpts, we were impressed with the amount of untapped writing talent out there. We are pleased to collaborate with Penguin to help bring these authors’ works to the reading public on”

Once Penguin selects the three finalists, a panel of esteemed publishing professionals—including bestselling authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press Editor-in-Chief Eamon Dolan—will read and post their critiques of the top three manuscripts on Friday, May 15, at Amazon customers will then have seven days, from May 15-21, to vote for the Grand Prize winner. The winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $25,000 advance.

“The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award has energized the competitive world of writing and publishing, and Penguin is delighted to partner with Amazon again in this exciting venture. We look forward to discovering a great new voice and bringing the winning novel to readers everywhere,” said Tim McCall, Penguin’s vice president of online sales and marketing.

This year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, which began Feb. 2, 2009, drew a talented pool of entrants representing all 50 states and 21 countries around the world. The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is co-sponsored by Amazon, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace.

For complete terms and conditions on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, the full list of semifinalists and to view free excerpts from their novels, please visit

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 ( is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

About, 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., 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. 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,,,,, and

As used herein, “,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include, 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, indebtedness, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

About CreateSpace

CreateSpace is a business of On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). A leader in manufacture on demand services for independent creative content owners, CreateSpace was originally founded as CustomFlix Labs, Inc. in 2002 and acquired by, Inc. in 2005. The company's mission is to connect its members to a worldwide audience through multiple channels, including CreateSpace provides inventory-free, physical distribution of Books, CDs and DVDs on Demand, video downloads via Amazon Video On Demand and music downloads via Amazon MP3.

Source:, Inc., Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180
Penguin Group (USA)
Marilyn Ducksworth, 212-366-2564
Stephanie Sorensen, 212-366-2576
Amanda Wilson, 843-789-5163

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