Self published author David Leadbeater is thrilled to have won the £20,000 inaugural Amazon Kindle Storyteller Award for his novel The Relic Hunters, an archaeological thriller.
Leadbeater has been publishing his own work online for about five years, having published more than twenty thrillers to take. Now writing full time, Leadbeater estimates he has sold more than 750,000 ebooks and is thrilled to be the first winner of the Amazon award, describing it as ‘a dream come true’.
The new Amazon Storyteller Award received thousands of entries, and those were then whittled down to a shortlist of six using sales data, user ratings and customer reviews. The retailer then switched to a more traditional report, using a panel of judges to eventually settle on the winner.
The prize opens up traditionally self published authors to the view of established publishing houses, making the £20,000 prize much more valuable than you’d expect. A lot of the snobbery surrounding ebooks and self publishing is falling away and many self published authors with a good track record, are now finding deals with publishing houses for print books.
As well as the $20,000 cash prize, the winner of the Amazon Storyteller Award also receives a dedicated marketing campaign, the chance to have the winning book translated for other languages and receives access to mentoring.
This is the first year for this new award, but it’s likely to attract attention from both readers and publishing houses as Amazon’s voice becomes all the more respected in the literary world.
The hall of fame for sci-fi and fantasy has been going since 1996 and Lee will be the first comic book writer to be included. Both he and Rowling have made a significant impact on the world of pop culture this past decade, with a stream of books and movies and an ever-expanding universe for both Marvel and the Potter fandom.
The scandal continued with many members resigning in protest, leaving the Academy in crisis due to its own rules. It looked as though the entire Nobel Prize Academy might have been disbanded forever but it was ultimately saved, although 2018 will be the first year in 69 years that the awards have not been given.
Tim Waterstone, founder of the eponymous book shop chain has been recognised with a knighthood for services to bookselling and charity. Author Kazuo Ishiguro has also received a knighthood for services to literature.
500 Words 2018 has set another record for entries: this year saw over 135,000 people enter with their stories. The stories were read by a team of 5000 volunteers- librarians and teachers from around the UK- before being pared down to the Top 50 by The Reading Agency. The panel of judges, Charlie Higson, Francesca Simon, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Malorie Blackman and Honorary Judge, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, had the gruelling task then of selecting three winners from two age categories (5-9 years and 10-13 years).
The final was presented by BBC’s Chris Evans, and was an exciting and glamorous day of live music and story-telling. The six winners were announced on BBC Radio 2 by British and Irish funnymen, David Walliams and Dara O’Briain. There was also music from John Newman, Alexandra Burke and Bastille to round off the celebrations.
The 16 original books were read and discussed by the panel of judges- Sarah Sands, Katy Brand, Anita Anand, Catherine Mayer, and Imogen Stubbs- and whittled down to a final fantastic 6. After much deliberation those 6 were discussed and debated until one winner was decided upon.
Congratulations to the winner- Kamila Shamsie with Home Fire.