When David Leadbeater first embarked on the life of an author, he had been working at a builder’s merchant shop while writing novels in the evening. After 4 self-published novels, the British writer was eventually earning enough money to devote himself to writing full time. It seems like that decision has paid off: Leadbeater’s archaeological thriller ‘The Relic Hunters’ is now the recipient of Amazon’s first-ever Amazon Kindle Storyteller Award.
Image courtesy of lovesuspense
The award, which comes with a £20,000 cash prize, is open to all writers who publish their work on the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Using customer reviews, ratings and sales data, the retailer was able to whittle down thousands of contest entries to a list of just six. From there, Amazon enlisted the help of a typical panel of judges, who read each book before picking ‘The Relic Hunters’ for the gold.
Image courtesy of Goodreads
The prize—and Leadbeater’s immense success as an independent publisher of more than 20 thrillers—speaks to mainstream publishing’s growing awareness of authors who use platforms like Kindle to reach readers.
Trapeze editor Sam Eades said, “It’s a huge part of our jobs now, and a lot of the snobbery that used to exist has disappeared. What these writers have is a track record – customer reviews are incredibly important, and they have an existing fan base. So we’re all looking at the charts, and at the prize, seeing it as a talent pool.”
Along with the money, the award also provides a marketing campaign, opportunities to translate into other languages, and mentorship for writers.
Featured image courtesy of Entertainment Focus.