Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To enter contests or not to enter contests

I entered the Eppies last evening. For those of you that read this post and aren’t familiar with the Eppies, it's a prestigious e-book contest held annually and sponsored by Epic, a writer’s group for electronically published authors.

Thus, there’s a lot of talk in my world right now about this.

I haven’t entered every year because either I didn’t have the money or because I didn’t feel I had a book worthy enough to win.

Back in 2004 my book “American Beauty” finaled in the Eppies. It’s been my best seller and still continues to sell at Elloras Cave www.ellorascave.com

I don’t know if it’s because it has the Eppie logo identifying it as a finalist or because it’s a good book, which is why it finaled. I suspect some of each.

On one of my author email loops, some authors are questioning if entering contests helps or if they’re a waste of money. In the case of the Eppies, fellow authors judge and no critiques or other feed back is given. A certificate and a trophy are presented at the Eppie awards at the annual conference.

So are contests worth entering? Is it worth the time and the fees, the nail biting and the dashed hopes if we don’t win or at least final?

I think so. Like I mentioned above, my book that finaled has done well. It was also very nice to be honored. After this I also received offers from other publishers to submit my future work.

Other authors I know who entered other contests where agents and publishers were the final judges landed book contracts or agents that later led to big book contracts. It doesn’t always happen even if you win first place, but sometimes.

I have a good friend who recently won first place in a contest with a wonderful book. She says that the publisher or editor that was the final judge wasn’t at all interested in looking at her book for a possible publishing contract. Thus she’s soured against contests.

You never know.

I look at contests as further exposure. As long as the contest is run fairly, which most are, and hurtful, unhelpful comments aren’t allowed to be made in the feedback (that happened to me once), I think they’re useful.

That said, I can’t afford to enter many. Now that I’m published, there aren’t as many contests that I’m eligible to enter.

But I entered one book this year: my latest release, “Heart and Soul”. I think it’s a contender. I also know the competition is stiff, stiffer even than in 2004 as more people enter every year.

But it’s worth a shot. Hopefully next year I’ll enter more than one book. We’ll see.

Good luck to everyone who’s entered in a contest, my competitors included.

What’s your opinion about contests? Are they worth the money, time and effort, and the possible heart ache of losing?

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Anonymous said...

I don't enter them anymore. Other than the Eppies, it seems that ebooks are too published to be entered in an unpublished category and not published enough to be included with the published category. (tooth grind)

But the Eppies... well it's all about the ebook. Good luck everyone!

Unknown said...

I personally would not bother - not for fear of losing but more due to lack of interest

Unknown said...

Kelly, you echoed my thoughts for several years now. But the Eppies are worth entering.

Annie Wicking said...

Hi I'm new to your blog and found it very interesting to read.

Best wishes with your writing.


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