Amazon is apparently to create its own literary prize, with £20,000 going to an author who has self-published their work on its Kindle platform. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London in July 2017 and the prize will include a marketing campaign supporting the winning book, plus the opportunity to have it translated for international sales.
Amazon have presumably been moved to do this because self-published works are ineligible for Britain’s major prizes (including the Man Booker and the Costa Book Awards), being seen by some as the poor relation of books with the weight of a major publishing house behind them.
The new award will recognise authors who are popular with the public, with the winner being decided by a panel of ‘expert judges’. Sales figures and online reviews will be taken into account.
Time was, when serious writers avoided self-publishing because it seemed synonymous with vanity publishing. No longer. And a good thing too…