A local author is making a concerted run at the big time, and he's looking for help.
John Oehler has written a book called Papyrus, a thriller that deals with modern and ancient Egypt in what seems like a not-exactly-un-Da Vinci Code way. But hey, if you're looking to be a best-selling author, there are worse books to emulate.
Papyrus has finished in the top 15 out of 10,000 books entered in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award contest, which includes public voting.
"I've worked in places like Somalia and Angola, where there were wars in progress," Oehler says. "But trying to break into the ranks of published novelists has been way tougher. This contest is a unique opportunity, because the winner gets a publishing contract with Penguin Books."
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In the next phase of the contest, authors will be judged not only on the ratings their books receive on Amazon, but also on the sheer number of reader reviews put up on the site.
We see no way this contest could be engineered by computer-savvy people hustling up friends through every social-media network available, so luckily the winner will indeed be the best book, and readers will have read all 15 quarter-finalists before rushing to any hasty judgments.
But hey, he's a local guy, he's gotten this far...why not lend him a hand?
You can read an excerpt and enter a review at Amazon. Whether you decide to play fair by reading the entire book and at least five or six competitors is up to you.