May 6, 2005 The 500 year-old book publishing industry looks set for some digital shake-ups given our story on Momento's high-quality, one-off coffee table books and now this latest offer from Xerox. Xerox Corporation is kicking off the Xerox Aspiring Authors fiction contest designed to stop the cycle of rejection letters that keep so many from seeing their work in print. The grand-prize-winning novelist will receive 100 published copies of his or her story, US$5,000 in cash, and a possible opportunity to launch a new literary career. In addition, Xerox will demonstrate the power of on-demand book-publishing technology - which makes it cost-effective to digitally print books in quantities of one to 1,000 - by printing a free paperback copy of every novel entered.
According to Standard and Poor's Publishing Industry Surveys, about 450,000 manuscripts go unpublished each year.
"Xerox digital technology helps writers realize their dreams by providing them with more opportunity and choice," said Quincy Allen, president, Xerox Production Systems Group. "This technology is also helping our printing customers experience the value and profitability of the digital book-publishing business."
Xerox digital book-publishing technology lets people who want to self-publish to print their books the way they want to - from choosing a cover design, to choosing a book size, to printing the number of copies. Xerox digital presses and "book factories" are used by publishing companies around the world to help revolutionize the economics and availability of book publishing and to create compelling books with photos, full-color capabilities, and hardcovers or softcovers virtually indistinguishable from offset print technology.
In this contest, aspiring authors will have their books printed and fully bound in paperback by ColorCentric Corporation, a Rochester-based commercial printer and Xerox Premier Book Partner that produces more than 25,000 books on-demand every month.
How To Enter
Xerox is working with Lulu.com, a Web site serving independent authors, whose on-demand publishing tools will support the contest submission process. Writers can enter the contest by visiting www.xerox.com/aspiringauthors. Lulu.com's technology makes the publishing and submission process fast and easy.
Step-by-step instructions will guide contestants through the process. To be eligible for the contest, writers have to digitally submit a full manuscript no longer than 450 pages, a summary of their story and a short biography.
A panel of independent writing and publishing experts will judge the submissions using eight criteria: creativity of plot, character development, innovative use of language, distinctiveness of voice, control of tone, consistency of theme, grammar and acceptability for mainstream audience.
Entries must be received by July 1. To qualify, participants must be legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Only one entry per person may be submitted. Winners will be announced in September. Complete contest rules and submission details are at www.xerox.com/aspiringauthors. The first 1,000 qualifying entries will be considered.