Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Dear Entranced Publishing,
It is my firm opinion that 1) getting published is not a prize and 2) getting an advance on royalties is not a prize. As such a "submissions contest" is a contradiction in terms. It is either submissions, or it is a contest--and if it is a contest it should have a prize. And the prize should, as per dictionary, be something extra awarded at the prize-givers discretion.
Getting published is a result of your book being good enough and the right type for that publisher.And the advance is payment of royalties which, by definition, the author is going to earn (unless one assumes that Entranced is not going to sell enough copies to yield $200 in royalties). Whether getting that money in advance constitutes a 'prize' is open to interpretation, but I would suggest it is not.
Regardless, the first question any author should ask themselves before entering such a contest would be: is this my first and best choice of publisher for this manuscript. If it is somehow important to you to be paid a modest advance, it might be wise to submit to publishers that offer an advance as a matter of course? This would, at least, not suggest that being pay money due to you per contract is some kind of beneficent prize.
As previously discussed:
Advance as a Contest Prize (2011)
Publisher's Contests, an Opinion (2007)