This is always a touchy subject for me. I’m very proud when I see a friend win awards. I love the sense of validation from an outside source for them and the potential of sales boosts.
This will not be the case for me nor will you probably ever see me tag my name with “NY Times Best Seller” “International Best Seller” “USA Today Bestseller” “Amazon Bestseller” and so on.
First of all, you have to pay to be entered for an award. In one Google search for a list of contests, I found over twenty – the fees varied from $35-$95. On the main page of that Google search was this:
NOTE: Please be aware that some book awards are more focused on making money than recognizing the accomplishments of authors. Enter any book award contest only after careful consideration and review of its reputation.
For one thing, I’m too much of a cheapskate to throw money out on chance like that. Hence why I don’t gamble. To me, there’s something wrong if you have to pay. I would love to be validated but that doesn’t feel “real” to me. Even at RWA, you have to pay when you’re a member and you have to commit to reading a few entries yourself.
[I did win an award once for Double Mocha, Heavy on Your Phone Number, so this isn’t a “She’s bitter ’cause she’s never won.” LOL! I didn’t pay or send voters there – it was a “Reader’s Choice” thing and awesome to win it.]
So many contests are merely people sending their friends: “vote for me!” “vote for my cover!” It’s a popularity contest and I’m just not a fan. (I’m guilty of doing it in the past, but no more! *cough*Goodreads lists*cough*) I learned the hard way when I tried listing Let’s Start with Forever at Kindle Scout. I wanted “new to me” readers and honest opinions on whether or not to publish the story, not my friends voting for it. It’s merely another popularity contest. Votes = a contract – NOT “XXX people read it & loved it so we want it.” Obviously it failed since I didn’t share it – that was not what I wanted.
Will I ever be a “bestseller of epic proportions?” Hopefully, but it won’t be printed on my books. Actually, if I follow the rules of some of these people, I could put “Amazon Bestseller,” but I won’t.
Just because you run an ad for a free book for a day and your book goes to number one for 10 seconds, I don’t believe that entitles you to add that to everything you write. And don’t get me wrong, I know some have that title legitimately, but it is also strongly overused. A few of my books have been at the #1 in their genre a few times. But a sales blast & 100 sales in a day doesn’t make you a true “Bestseller.” IMHO
I just saw a post on William Kent Krueger’s page. “After 18 novels, I’ve finally made the NY Times Bestseller list!” If someone like him took that long, I really don’t think “Margie McBeanFlicker” with her 10,000 word erotica short story in an anthology of twenty other stories with ONE well-known author deserves to use that title. You were not the best seller – you were on someone’s shirt tails. (Go ahead & throw tomatoes, again that’s just my opinion.)
Once again, I’ll boast about how much I love Amy over at https://www.authorsxp.com/.(No, she’s not paying me for this!) I have had some of the best e-mails from readers I’ve found through her site. That’s the best validation I can receive. Praise from real readers!
Sorry if it was another vent/rant. I’ve actually been cooking up this baby for a long time. I don’t want to upset anyone. I know there are plenty of people that have earned their titles but more and more, I’m finding it abused. Those are the ones that make me wince – not the titles in general. And again – not to “poo-poo” on people that have won awards. Kudos for throwing yourself out there & congrats! It’s just not in my future unless it magically falls on my lap again (a lot like those monkeys flying out of my butt!)