Monday, March 9, 2015

It's About Time We Get A Little Juice on This #Lit #Blog: Are #BookFest Prizes Fake? And Is There Any Such Thing As #Hormone-Fee #Chicken?

In response to my question about being a sucker or not for entering a major book festival operation, a fantastically tart little mouse, calling himself Stephen Cing, said this:
“Perceived value”. LOL. You paid almost a hundred dollars to have your name drawn out of a hat. Like, “No Hormones Added” on chicken packages. Or air in the bottom of packages. Nice. So yes, if you’re looking to sell prose to those who cannot even read labels, and are instead distracted by shiny stickers, inflating value through illiterate means is the way to go. It’s not a scam, but it’s much like fraction-reserve banking, like a Ponzi scheme. The consumers are idiots greater than the schemer. Seriously, anyone who needs and seeks perceived value will never have enough dignity to make it as a literary author.
Is it true?  Are shiny stickers the sign that a writer will never make it as a literary author? Are chicken packages claiming to have no hormones also a lie?  Please help out and put your two cents in.  Let's have this blog revisit its former glory with a good old fashioned literary debate, shall we?


Anonymous said...

To me this is not necessarily so, and yet it is a truthful statement at the same time. Going for the marketing gimmicks will not make you a literary author, but won’t lower the quality of the content of your book either. As someone who’s also published I have noticed that the people I know who have been superficially impressed by the trappings of book publishing haven’t really taken the time to read the very thing they are celebrating. True readers find their way to books as long as those books are made available.

Anonymous said...

The name of the game is get as many people to read and pay attention to your book as you can. If you have money to enter your book in contests, circus shows, parades, and book festivals, why wouldn't you? I agree with the previous anonymous: It doesn't detract and maybe it captures a reader or two. Worth it.

Jenny said...

I don't think the shiny stickers detract, but for me unless the sticker says "Booker Prize" or "Newbery" (when I'm searching for books for my kids), I don't really pay attention to it. But if it gets your name on a list that others may read and then seek out your book, then I think it's worth it. Probably a better spend of your marketing dollars than an ad on a Web site.

Honestly the thing I look for first is who published the book. Is it an indie press I admire or a Big 5? Or is it CreateSpace? Many self-published books are great, but with limited reading time, I prefer those that have been first edited/vetted by a publisher. Snobby? I hope not. There are just so many books out there to read!

How do you even find these contests? Are you able to tell if it's been a good return on investment for you?

Writer, Rejected said...

I search the InterWebs for Novel Prize, Fiction Prize, First Book Prize, etc. You'd be surprised how many there are. Because my book is published by a micro press with very little publicity machinery behind it (unlike the Big 5), I have done everything possible to publicize my book in as many ways as possible to as many audiences as I can. It has been worth it in that my novel is still selling 4 months later, and though it may not mean much to people, the accumulation may indicate to the skeptical that it is a good book. I also applied to Booker and Pen and all the other big-time prizes, but needless to say, it's hard to be a small fish in that pond. I have so far been nominated for three prizes, winners TBD in June, and an honorable mention in a book festival. I think it's been a decent return, though I will say it is an expensive endeavor, which is about getting people to read the book more than it is about my making money. I decided long ago that this was how I'd approach it. So, I am in fact happy with the results.

Jenny said...

Well, you know I think it's a great book and anything that works on getting it out there is a good thing. Here's to longevity and readers!