First up, tour stuff. My Saturday host Madison Woods has regained internet after being waterlogged over the weekend. I’m over there talking about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Today I’m over at Curiously Twisted with Dara England and I’m actually talking about Forsaken By Shadow.
Don’t forget about the blog contest! If you’ve entered, be sure to leave a comment so I have an accurate record!
So Pot and I were talking about awards this morning. I read an independently published YA fantasy recently that was a winner of the 2009 Indie Book Award in its category. I confess that the award and the kick ass cover art were largely what prompted me to go ahead and shell out the money to buy it (when most of the indie reads I’ve been reading lately have been free). Now I don’t actually know a whole lot about the Indie Book Award, but I saw that and in my mind, that meant that this book had been vetted by SOMEBODY and was, therefore, probably worth a buck.
Vetting is something we talk about a lot. This is one of the biggest arguments people make against self-published work–that it isn’t vetted. Vetting–the process of sifting through the dreck to leave us with the gold–is supposed to be the job of New York. I won’t get into whether or not they actually do a good job of this. But vetting is a process I do actually believe in. I just don’t think it HAS to be a New York agent or editor who does it. I have a fabulous team of fellow writers who help me go through and edit, polish, and shine my work until it is the best it can possibly be. They vet my work so that you get the best final product I can produce. Most self-published work does not adhere to this standard, which is something that those who use the term indie are trying to change.
Anyway, to return to my point, since most self-published stuff has no guarantee of having been vetted by…anybody, I have been wondering about the value of awards as such. Pot maintains that she’s never heard of it, and in general doesn’t care about awards. Stuff like the summary, the cover, and recommendations from others go a lot further in making her more likely to try an indie read. Having picked up several that were highly rated that I found to be total crap, that doesn’t always cut it for me.
So I’m curious what the prevailing opinion is. And that means POLL!
And I guess the reason all of this is relevant to me (other than straight curiosity) is I’m wondering whether it will ultimately be worth the expense of ENTERING some of these awards contests as an indie writer. At an entry fee of $75, and considering Kindle is my biggest sales platform, I would have to sell 215 copies to pay for the entry fee. I wonder whether having a “Winner of X award” in my description would have that big an impact on sales to justify the expense. Inquiring minds want to know.