AN AWARD-SIZED DILEMMA

August 22, 2008 at 1:54 pm 8 comments

One thing before I start: I hate getting involved in the talk of politics, especially on my blog. Not that I don’t enjoy great debates. It’s just that there are too many ways to start a flame war. I’d rather not be in one of them. Yes, I like to watch from the sidelines and watch 90 percent of the people involved make idiots of themselves. And most of the topics I just don’t have the passion to dig in and fight the good fight.

But the the politics surrounding a certain award, a prestigious award is bugging the heck out of me. To the point I called three times until I heard from the horses mouth before I blogged on this subject.

As you know my first book came out this year. I’m darn proud of this book. So, much so, that if I died today I’d want that book to be bronzed and buried with me. I decided that I would enter this prestigous award with that book. And you know enter See Megan Run on the fly since they would both have a 2008 copyright. *not sure if by the the deadline if I’d have the printed copies in hand*

Now I heard through the grapevine if you were published by an e-pub or a small press you couldn’t enter unless your story was 20k or under. Of course the WTFs rang in the air. Hence the reason I called three times to get clarification. This is not so, but now there are new barriers. Let me list the ones holding me back: (Paraphrased)

1. I don’t consider How Much a single title by any means. It just doesn’t seem to fit that category. You get knocked down points for entering the wrong category.

2. My book doesn’t fall under the “series” definition which is: must be number sequentially, must be under a line that has the same amount of books each month, basically it must be printed by Holy Grail of Romance.

3. Can’t enter it in the novella category because it’s 2k over the limit.

Yeah, I’m pretty much screwed and going on a prayer by entering this book. But now listen to this one and it just made my head explode.

4. Must be mass market produced in print i.e. it must have a print run. Which means your book needs to be sitting in a warehouse ready to go out to the readers. It cannot be POD in essence.

Which in my opinion knocks out most e-published books that use POD to print their books.

What this means for me is that if my publisher doesn’t have a print run for my book then I can’t enter this prestigious award. *I mean the paralegal student in me can make an argument if is a print-run even if it’s only six books*

So, what you are telling me is that if I’m not pubbed with a Big NY or with the Holy Grail then my book isn’t good enough to be entered into this contest?

Of course I’m taking this the wrong way. And the rules are there for some insane reason, but how can I not feel like the above when I know I’ve written a book that I want to be buried with because it’s that good. I’m not being vain or tooting my own horn. I’d admit, at least to myself if I think a book is crap. I’m not even saying I’d win, but I’m not even getting the chance. All I’m saying is let the book speak for itself not the way a publisher PRINTS their books.

Right now I’m disheartened and angry. Yes, there are other contests that don’t discriminate against e-pubs, but this place is about supporting romance novels. I could have sworn that’s what I write, so why can’t my book be supported?

Oh, it doesn’t have a print run. Forgot myself there for a moment.

*kicking soapbox back under the bed*

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Entry filed under: awards, rant, soul-sucking publishing.

A MILLION THINGS TO POST ABOUT THE END

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Seeley deBorn  |  August 22, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    So much for being published by a non-vanity non-subidized publisher.

    Even by their own definition of “published” some books still don’t count.

  • 2. Jennifer McKenzie  |  August 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    This is an ongoing issue that we in the epublishing and small presses will face.
    I cannot enter the “unpubbed” category because I am published but I can’t enter the “published” category because I’m not with a NY publisher. It’s the price I’m paying for the education, networking and promotion experience I’m getting through being published NOW.
    But honestly, I wouldn’t trade the things I’ve learned by being pubbed through a smaller publisher.
    Hang in there and take advantage of what you DO have that many don’t.
    You have a CONTRACT experience. You have contacts with other authors that may lead to bigger things later.
    You have editing experience that will serve you when you do get that NY publishing contract.
    Yes, it’s a grind. But it’s the next book that will move you forward, not awards or author quotes or reviews.
    You know I love your stuff.

  • 3. Melissa Blue  |  August 22, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Even by their own definition of “published” some books still don’t count.

    Yes, it’s like you might as well let us enter into the GHs.

  • 4. Melissa Blue  |  August 22, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    You have a CONTRACT experience. You have contacts with other authors that may lead to bigger things later.
    You have editing experience that will serve you when you do get that NY publishing contract.

    Jen, by now you should know I’m shallow. A nice little award saying IN PRINT I’m amazing…Lol.

    Yes, I wouldn’t trade the pass 10 months of my life for anything. Well, writing wise. I’m forever grateful to my editor and all the these she taught through showing. My friends. My readers. Yeah, that’s amazing.

    But you know a little award…. 🙂

  • 5. Edie  |  August 22, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Mel, you’re published! An award doesn’t make you a writer, the book already has. Screw the award!

  • 6. raine  |  August 23, 2008 at 5:42 am

    Sounds like you’ve reached another milestone.
    Welcome to the political side of publishing.
    I’m not going to tell you not to be upset, since I’ve voiced my opinion on this in various venues (hey, that soapbox gets around).
    Word is that such rules exist to protect their members. The machine doesn’t exist to promote you or your book, and if you can’t sell a certain number of so-and-so, or your publisher isn’t up to their standard and doesn’t offer big enough advances in such-and-such, you can’t play with the others.
    There was a big to-do about this last year or so, and many e-pubs discovered they weren’t as ‘recognized’ as they thought. Tempers flared, letters went out, egos were soothed–you get the idea.

    {{{Hugs}}}. I know it’s frustrating.

  • 7. Melissa Blue  |  August 23, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Edie-As far as screw the award, I wish I could feel that way right now.

    But trust me I know I’m a writer. Nothing and no one can tell me that otherwise.

  • 8. Melissa Blue  |  August 23, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Word is that such rules exist to protect their members.

    To a certain extent I can even agree to this idea. But it’s still feels like they are saying e-pubs aren’t good enough and the authors that go this route are damned right along with them.

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