“Why Votes And Stickers Don’t Prove Your Book Is A Winner.”

#IndieAuthors #BookAwards #Scams #Rant

My junk-mail/spam folders runneth over with invites to enter my self-published book in award contests. I’ll state up front that I’m a natural cynic. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve already entered a few of the forty dollars or less ones – I’ve even placed well – but I urge those of you who are just starting out not to get caught up in collecting the shiny stickers. I encourage you to research the company, read up on what you’ll win, who has won in the past, and what you may be giving away before you pay for it by hitting ‘send’.

I advocate that people check this site out and familiarize themselves with some of the info that’s there.
Links checked/Page updated: 2/7/17
Except for graphics, and where specifically indicated, all Writer Beware® contents copyright © Victoria Strauss

while we’re still on the subject of book awards

Here’s how NOT to approach me to support your book.
In the last week I’ve had random author friends of authors I know send me friend requests on FB and then hit me up for a vote for their book on a site/virtual convention in the next breath. FYI – I prefer to have read the material I’m promoting before I give it a thumbs up. I’ve up-voted a few books for longer-term friends in the last two weeks, but if I’m being honest it’s left me feeling a tad hollow.

“You’re taking it way too seriously.”
No, I don’t think so. I’m old and I believe a vote should mean something; if I vote, I’m giving something my seal of approval. What I offered up was a meaningless gesture when all is said and done, and that does both the author and the book a disservice.

“How is it a disservice?”
Simple. I didn’t read it – I have no clue about the content. With no way to verify that the people voting have read the book in question, what does the vote really mean? The Facebook comments section doesn’t carry the same weight as a thoughtful and non-biased review – it’s filled with ringers. These are “book awards” they’re about the quality of the book, not the popularity or marketing skills of the author and their street team… oh yeah, while I’m thinking about it, I’d like to suggest that three new categories be introduced to future ‘Virtual Conventions’.

  1. “Best Social-Media Marketing Campaign”
  2. “Best Fans”
  3. “Best Street Team”

Sadly, self-publishing is still not considered equal to traditional publishing and ‘award-winning indie-book/author’ doesn’t carry the same weight with readers as ‘Hugo, Nebula, or Peabody Award winner’ does. Virtual Convention Book Awards are a step in the right direction, but to dispel the myth that our community isn’t professional we need more. It’s time we created awards that showcase our best and brightest and give our community (and fans) what they truly deserve – an award they can trust.

Cheers, all.
J. I. Rogers.

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4 thoughts on ““Why Votes And Stickers Don’t Prove Your Book Is A Winner.”

  1. I agree with you about the online vote awards. They’re a popularity contest that I want no part of. Some sites claim they’re a bit of fun, and sometimes I get suckered in, then the second it’s all about the vote I just give up. I’m old fashioned and I view an award as a panel who read and judge books and hand out a prize or award. I, too, am cynical when I see award winning on an indie author’s book cover these days. Who gave out the award? How did they get it? And readers aren’t fooled by it, so why do indie authors keep shooting themselves in the foot? Rant over. Thanks for the strength to post this.

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