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This Week’s Kindle Nation Sponsor, Novelist Deb Hosey White, Moves To Second Round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

In another case of sweet serendipity, it turns out that a new novel by this week’s sponsor for Kindle Nation’s free weekly email newsletter — Deb Hosey White, author of Pink Slips and Parting Gifts — has just been selected to advance to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. We asked Ms. White to submit a piece explaining how it all works, and she came through very nicely for us:

If you haven’t yet discovered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA), now’s your chance. Writers from around the world enter this contest, but what makes ABNA unique is the quality of the contenders and the camaraderie among contestants.
In the same spirit of shared experience offered by Amazon and Kindle Nation, the ABNA reflects a writing community interested in helping their peers. As the entry deadline approaches, the buzz on the ABNA message boards is all about writing a good pitch, editing excerpts, and guiding contest newcomers on the rules of the competition. Since the contest was conceived four years ago, the ABNA community boards have become a forum for sharing literary experiences and resources, peppered with humor, personal interest, and some clever writing. Amazon, CreateSpace, Penguin Group USA and Publishers Weekly collectively sponsor the ABNA.

With 10,000 entries, it’s great news that my novel Tales of the Sofa has made the cut and advanced to ABNA’s second round.

What happens next?
Between now and March 22, Amazon Vine Reviewers play an important role by reviewing the top general fiction and young adult novel excerpts to determine the contest’s quarter-finalists.
Then the real fun begins for Amazon readers.
Once the quarter-finalists are announced at www.amazon.com/abna Amazon customers can download, rate and review ABNA contest excerpts, providing feedback to Penguin editors about submissions. Finalists are announced in June.

If you decide to take a look, you’ll find more great reads from an amazingly diverse group of writers – there’s definitely something for everyone.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Pink Slips and Parting Gifts, which you might say has been mutually selected by Steve Windwalker and myself to serve as the sponsor of this week’s issue of Kindle Nation’s weekly blast!

Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert for Monday, February 8, 2010: Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda, and Nine Glitchy "Titles" to Avoid for Now

Here’s one we haven’t mention for a while – a classic of Eastern mysticism:

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda 

Meanwhile, you may notice that there are nine new “free” titles that you will want to avoid, for now, in the Kindle Store:

As we mentioned in a post yesterday, Amazon is beginning to venture into the world of book publishing with unique content that comes to it through programs such as the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, and it appears we’ll soon be able to read excerpts from works by the contest quarterfinalists, free, right on our Kindles. Perhaps we’ll even be invited to cast out votes, ratings or recommendations!

That’s all well and good, but currently there’s a bit of a glitch in the system, as nine of these “titles” show up in the Kindle Store with listings such as this one, and they are currently just placeholders:

Quarterfinalist 9 (Kindle Edition) by ABNA entrant9 (Author) 

If you click on the “Buy” button on any of these 9 pages, it will downloaded to your Kindle and your account will be charged $0.00 (or over two buck in most countries outside the US!), but for now all you will find if you click on the title on your Home screen will be what you see in the screenshot at the right.

No harm, no foul?

Not exactly. The problem is that eventually these “placeholders” will be replaced by free content that you may want to read, but you won’t be able to download the updated content as long as the placeholder is in your Kindle account. Merely deleting it from your Kindle yourself won’t be enough of a purge.

So, two suggestions here:

  • First, if you’ve already downloaded any of these “titles,” I recommend that you contact Kindle Support (Kindle Support Phone Number 1-866-321-8851 or 1-206-266-0927 outside the US) and ask that they be removed from your Kindle so that you will be able to download it later when the content is live. We’ll have a heads up here at Kindle Nation Daily when the titles are live.
  • Second, it’s for reasons such as this that I always recommend buying content via the computer (rather than via the Kindle) whenever it is convenient, because a quick look at the file size — 3 KB in this case — usually tells me whether I am getting a full book (generally over 100KB), an excerpt (generally over 20 KB), or something less.

Obviously, from the fact that all nine of these placeholder titles made the Kindle Movers & Shakers List yesterday, one can infer that a lot of people downloaded the placeholder page. So it seems that a third suggestion is in order, to Amazon, to fix this well-intentioned glitch, because it is eating up time for Kindle owners and will no doubt lead to a lot of wasted time for Kindle Support and unnecessary bandwidth usage, even at this tiny file size, for the downloading process.