That's the (somewhat complicated) contest logistics. I found this information (posted by Amazon) on the contest entrants interesting:
* Registered authors represent nearly 2,000 different cities worldwide and 22 countries (including South Africa, Denmark, Malaysia, Argentina, and more)
* There is at least one author from every one of the 50 states (and the District of Columbia, too) registered for the contest
* Of the novels submitted for consideration, 42% fall into the general fiction category; 25% are mystery, thriller, and suspense; 18% are science fiction and fantasy; 8% are historical fiction, and 7% are romance.
I found the breakdown by genre to be the most interesting statistic. My perception from attending the Pikes Peak Writers Conference for four years is that a huge percentage of aspiring writers are writing speculative fiction. But in this contest, only 18 percent of the m.s.s. were classified as science fiction or fantasy. Did I somehow attract my own ilk more at PPWC? (Could there be a spec fic pheromone?) Was that conference not representative of the general writerly population? Or did spec fic writers not try to enter this contest, somehow assuming that genre didn't have a chance? I can only assume the romance writers thought that, because I believe there a huge number of them.
Difficult to say for spec fic.