Awards and what do they really mean?
It seems to be that time of year when awards are cranking up. With the debacle over Lambda and other awards, I have to wonder – what does it all mean? Now Carrie Bradshaw moment aside, this is not meant to discuss Lambda or any other current wank. It’s meant to look at the awards offered and does it mean anything?
Doing a quick and dirty search of awards for the m/m market (because after all that is primarily what I talk about here), I found these:
Editors and Pre-editors
If there are more, please let me know. I didn’t spend much time looking just did a quick search. But in all of these they (of course) take nominations. And it seems anyone can nominate or self nominate.
As a reader I feel greatly for authors. I can’t imagine the skill, talent, and courage it takes to pen anything then send it to the publisher who then takes ~60-70% of the cut. Imagine that just for a moment. I recently made a sandwich and my mom wanted half. HALF! I almost yelled. Do you realize I sliced those tomatoes myself? I was aghast so I can’t imagine giving more of that away and hoping for a good editor, great cover art, solid promotion, and a plethora of buzz from reviews. Oh and yanno fighting pirates on an everyday basis. So authors have my respect and admiration even if I don’t always like their work. On that end, giving a virtual or literal pat on the back can’t be a bad thing.
But is that all it is? A popularity contest for that prized pat on the back? Or do these awards really take into consideration that little known fabulous piece of work from a quiet author? Is the one who yells the loudest or writes the most sex going to “sweep” awards?
I admit I watch the Emmys and the Oscars but I don’t really care who wins. It doesn’t change my view of the shows or movies if they get nominated or not. I like the pretty fashions and the catty commentary – not all but some of it. You can tell there is money and popularity at work just from being savvy in current pop culture.
So does the same thing happen in the micro chasm of e publishing?
As a reader do you care which books win? Does it make any change to your opinion or what you buy?
Do you buy into the hype of certain books because they’re "award winning" or do you ignore that entirely?
Is this really just authors getting a well deserved pat on the back for job well done?
Or is this authors having to spend money, time, and extensive energy into promoting themselves for the mere chance to be considered?
Getting an award is of course nice. Who wouldn’t want that! I wonder though if this just makes authors feel worse when they can only shrug and think it’s just another contest they don’t stand a chance at winning, no matter how great their writing is.