Writer Beware - Contests

Friday, July 2, 2010
Well, making the rounds are advertisements for a new e-book "contest." They claim to be the "only awards program in the world" for digital publishing.

Let's start off by blowing that claim out of the water. The EPIC contest (for electronic publishing) has been around for a dozen years or so. And off the top of my head I don't remember if they are the oldest, but they are certainly one of the oldest ones around. (And yes, while EPIC members have sent them notices that they are NOT the only one around, they have yet to change their website to reflect the correction. To me, that's blatant misrepresentation.)

Secondly, this "contest" claims to be "unaffiliated," yet it's being run by a book promotions and marketing company.

Hmm. Conflict of interest much?

That's not to mention the outrageous entry fee for said contest.

Before you start willy-nilly entering contests, do your research. Find out about said "contest" because like the old poetry and short story "contests" of old, chances are it's just a front for a money-making scheme. I remember in high school entering a poetry "contest" and *gasp* lucky me, I was able to purchase a copy of the anthology my poem was published in even though I didn't win the grand prize! So they made money off me with the entry fee and with buying a copy of the book.

I mean, yeah, I know better now, of course.

This is why it's vitally important for writers to join professional groups. RWA, EPIC, or even non-official groups like the Internet Writing Workshop or Absolute Write forum where you can network with other writers and find out more information before plunking down money you might or might not be able to afford. Surf the Preditors & Editors site. http://pred-ed.com/pubctst.htm Now, I don't go so far as saying don't enter a contest with an entry fee. I'm saying do your research first. Make sure the contest is affiliated with a reputable organization.

And make sure it's more than just a money-making scheme.

3 reader comments:

  1. Absolutely true.

    EPIC eBook Awards (formerly called the EPPIE) are in their 12th year (created in 1998, took first entries in 1999, and first awards ceremony in 2000), and Dream Realm Awards is only a little over a year younger.

    EPPIE/EPIC eBook Awards are the longest-standing eBook awards in existence, as far as I know. There were a few older ones, like Frankfurt, but they folded. EPIC has been in continuous operation for 12 years.

    If anyone beats that for JUST eBooks, I would be interested to have the information. So far, the only older awards I can find are for print books but will now (in the last few years) allow eBooks to compete as well. EPIC, by comparison, has always been eBook, whether or not there is a print counterpart to the release. The eBook available for sale in the English language is the qualifying marker for the contest.

    And about the price? No kidding! The other award is between 2 (for anthologies) and nearly 3 times as expensive than EPIC's contest is and is more than 3 times more expensive than DRA is.

    Not to mention, the new contest is NOT an established name in the industry, while the other two are. It won't BECOME an established name with this blatant proof that they don't know squat about the industry, IMO.

    Brenna

  1. Thanks for the extra info Brenna! And just the fact that they're affiliated with a marketing company and not something like a trade organization or other reputable group makes me extremely wary.

  1. I always get edgy when there's a writing competition with an entry fee.