Amazon has revealed a "diverse" six-strong shortlist for its first UK Kindle Storyteller Award, with finalists' books spanning genres from non-fiction and crime thriller to historical fiction and lesbian romance.
To enter, authors were asked to upload an original, previously unpublished English-language book to Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk. The shortlist was narrowed down from thousands of entries after books were rated based on their "commercial viability" for the UK market.
One winner will now be selected from the six finalists based on the originality, creativity and quality of the book's content, to be announced at a ceremony at the Ned in London on 25th July.
On the line is a cash prize of £20,000, as well as a dedicated marketing campaign supporting the book on Amazon.co.uk, access to mentoring and the chance to have their book translated.
Jono Dunnett is shortlisted for non-fiction entry Long Standing Ambition: the first solo round Britain windsurf. The author said he considered it "a letter that explained ‘who I am’".
David Leadbeater made the cut for The Relic Hunters, an archaeological mystery mixed heavily with the adventure genre.
Joanna Mazurkiewicz is meanwhile shortlisted for YA science fiction and fantasy novel Wyvern Awakening about a "dragon shifter" ready to avenge her parents' death.
The last three titles are: historical fiction title Henry Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches, science fiction and fantasy title Tombyards & Butterflies, featuring an immortal private detective in NYC, by Orlando A. Sanchez and lesbian romance novel Lost In You by Jade Winers.
She said: “I am thrilled to be shortlisted for the Kindle UK Storyteller Award, not only because my work has been recognised, but also because I’ve been given the opportunity to showcase a genre that isn’t mainstream."
Alessio Santarelli, EU Kindle Content Director, Amazon added: “The Kindle Storyteller Award was created to celebrate great stories that resonate with readers. It is great to see that readers have chosen books across such a range of genres and we are excited to see which book our judges select as the winner of the inaugural English language Award.”
The panel of judges includes actress and literacy campaigner, Lily Cole; best-selling author Rachel Abbott; Irish author, former literary agent and founder of the The Alliance of Independent Authors, Orna Ross; the Metro’s books editor Claire Allfree; and members of the Amazon Books team, UK head of Kindle Singles and chair of judges, Andrew Rosenheim; UK Kindle content director, Amy Worth; and UK editorial director for Amazon Publishing, Emilie Marneur.
Rosenheim, chair of the judges, said: “It is a remarkably diverse shortlist, ranging from a non-fiction chronicle of one man windsurfing around Britain’s coast to historical fiction that provides an intimate view of a little known king, Henry VII. I look forward to reading all the shortlisted books, though I imagine it will be no easy task to select the winner of this year’s Kindle Storyteller Award.”