I guess it's contest season.
Practically every message I get from my various Yahoo groups includes notes from authors whom I may or may not know, begging for votes. Now, perhaps I am being overly scrupulous, but I don't feel comfortable voting for a book that I haven't read. In addition, what I am supposed to do when there are several of my esteemed colleagues in competition? Sorry, but I don't want to choose.
Do romance contests really mean anything? Are they anything more than a popularity contest? Are they any reflection on the true quality of the winning titles? I know lots of my colleagues who title themselves "Award Winning Author...". Should I be impressed? I really don't know.
Mostly I don't bother to enter contests. I just don't have the time or energy. I figure that my circle of readers isn't big enough to make a difference. And I hate asking people to do things for me. Heck, I feel sort of embarrassed every time I put a notice or an excerpt out on my usual lists. Like maybe I'm bothering people. Begging for votes? I just can't do it. I have too much respect for my readers and my friends.
I did enter the EPPIE contest a couple of years ago. That actually cost money, but I figured that it might be worth it if I won. I didn't. The book that did -- well, to be honest, I had read it, reviewed it in fact. I didn't think it was nearly as good as my submission.
Sigh. Maybe all of us authors are egotists. We all think we're great writers, undiscovered, unappreciated. We all think we should be the winners.
What I'd really like to know, though, is whether winning a contest makes any difference to readers. If you hear that a certain title won an EPPIE or a prize from Love Romance Cafe or Whipped Cream or The Romance Studio or whatever, will that influence you? Will you go out and buy a book based on the awards it wins?
Clearly, winning a contest or award brings you some level of free publicity. So readers are more likely to hear about your book in the first place. Other than that, does it matter?
I'd really appreciate your opinions!