Sunday, December 14, 2008
And now there is one more dichotomy of “love my epub world but am actually still trying to be part of the print world too.” Let’s talk about the EPPIES. I looked at the EPPIES last year. I heard from people the winning entries weren’t that great. I heard from various places the EPPIES weren’t that respected. And yet, this is our award. A commonly made analogy is that this is the Oscar of the epub world. This year I entered two books in the EPPIES. With one of those books, In Service, I finaled in the erotic scifi category.
Naturally, I feel my book is excellent and am proud it finaled. Curious to see if the dismissive opinions were warranted, I bought several of my fellow EPPIE finalists books and read them. Most were wonderful. A few were just ok. I am sorry to say this, but when I looked at the Quasar Cover Award nominees to place my vote as an EPIC member, I was ashamed. With a few exceptions, the covers I saw there in NO WAY represented the best of epub’s graphical world. In a few categories, I declined to vote.
Let’s imagine that in Hollywood, directors who thought they made a good movie could nominate their movie for an Oscar, for a fee. Then, when the final nominations were announced, no one cared, because they knew the choices weren’t from the pool of the best reviewed or most popular. And the producers and movie houses who funded them never even advertised them. Sound fun? Sound effective? Sound like an industry that has organization and pride?
But that is what the state of the epub awards is in right now. Self-selecting authors pay to enter their works. The finalists come out, and just one of my publishers bothered to make a congratulations statement (on their yahoo group, mind you, not their webpage). Yippee. Imagine if you will the money making machine that is the Oscars—the advertising, the re-releases, the featured lists, the specials. Imagine what it would mean to authors if they got the same treatment in the publishing world for finaling in the EPPIE. Kinda like what the RITA authors get from their houses when the finalists are announced. Only the epub world could do it better, faster, because we work with web presence, not posters and visual logos that have to be added to the author’s next book. In terms of business, buyers DO pay attention to awards they respect. Why aren’t epubs more interested in developing this sales tool?
What if the EPPIES were the BEST of ALL of the epublishers? I propose a call to action. In the spirit of the self-made e-author, the EPPIES can and should still be self-nominated. But what if each of the epublishers made a promise to enter their top 3/10/20 books. Both the ones who landed several perfect review ratings, and the ones who topped the sales charts for the year. Then, just imagine this, the publishers trumpeted their winning books AND their winning authors who might have won with a book from another house. They would do this on the webpage, with a featured sale slot, and through all their means of communications. The logo would be added to the ebook’s cover, and the author’s tag would forever read “an EPPIE winning/nominated author” just like the print world does.
Would e-authors still be bitching about the RITA’s byzantine rules? No. Because we wouldn’t care. Our epublishing world can go head to head with NY. We keep saying that. Maybe we should believe it. Then maybe we should prove it. All it would take is a little organization and teamwork. The framework is in place. I think we’re up for it.
Mima is an erotic romance author published at multiple houses. She lives in western NY and is a children's librarian by day. Visit her at mimawithin.com
Responses to this post:
My Two Cents....--Linda Mooney
Of Cabbages and Kings--Sela Carson
Popularity vs Lifes Legacies--Pickled Cupied