Monday, September 07, 2009

When is contest not a contest

Regular visitors will know my opinion about contested where the only prize is publication. It is similar to my opinion of paying for book reviews. So please forgive me for flogging this particular dead horse.

A recent announcement doing the rounds reads:

"The Classic Romance Revival website launch celebration is on, with a fantabulous "WIN A PUBLISHING CONTRACT" Contest, COURTESY OF DESERT BREEZE PUBLISHING!"

Gee, a publishing contract. I wonder how on earth you could get one of those other than by "winning" a "contest".

"Plus, Classic Romance Revival is throwing in a bonanza prize of a whole month free promo for the release of the winning book!"

Gee, I wonder how else you might get your published book promoted to readers.

But I have an added point to make here. In offering this prize Desert Breeze seems to be commiting to publishing an entire book based on which excerpts (1000 words or less) win the most votes--and you can even win this contest with an incomplete manuscript. And we all know how online votes are based purely on literary quality, right? Oh and to enter this contest you have to register with Classic Romance Revival. And anyone you get to vote for your entry also has to register.

So not only would I argue that this approach has no particular benefit to the author, it indicates to me that the publisher is not to terribly worried about properly assessing a full manuscript before accepting it for publication, and they are willing to be part of what is essentially a scheme for a author promo group service to build its mailing list?


Anonymous said...

Hells bells, a convict sitting in prison could get a hair up his butt and out of sheer boredom enter one of these contests. Publishers should use more common sense than these kind of promos.

Fiona Glass said...

Do you also have to pay to enter? That's my pet peeve - contests that charge an entry fee and the only prize is still publication.

Um... paying for publication in disguise???