Author Kyle Perkins

How to make a fair indie book awards event.

by Kyle Perkins.

I have been an author for nearly a year now and have seen and been in several “indie book award” events. The problem is, most of them are made with a clear agenda to either get some friends a few shiny new titles, or for the coordinators to gain some exposure. Which is fine, we all need exposure. We need to make them fair, though. Even if it’s just one indie event a year that’s fair. I have an idea on how to do this, maybe a few of us can get together and make it happen?

My idea is this: Do the events exactly as they are being done now, except separate people by their total social media following. So, for instance, they would have a “Best Dystopian Author 1-5k likes” then “Best Dystopian Author 5-10k likes” etc. Right now, it’s just a popularity contest. If I go up against someone that has 2 million followers, I’m going to lose no matter how good my books are. It’s unfair and pretty disheartening. I was looking at a indie book event earlier that had E L James as a contestant, up against a bunch of indie authors. What? Seriously? As if she would even give a shit. However, if we were put into brackets based on our following, we might actually be able to have a fair contest/competition/award show. Also, please close the polls, don’t make it to where anyone can add an option. That’s how you end up with E L James vs Harambe.

I honestly don’t care about these events truth be told. I mean, I did when I first started out, because I thought they meant something. After a year in, the illusion has been dispelled. They are just popularity contests. They have nothing to do with talent(Like most things in the community), and don’t really help new authors. Just more exposure for authors that have been around forever. Other authors though, I can see where this would be a real downer. To be winning in the polls and then suddenly someone with 150k followers gets randomly added into the mix and everyone is at a disadvantage. There is a reason professional fights are done by weight class, because it would be abusive to put a 250lb guy against a 120lb guy.

Hopefully a few event planners take a look at this and find an idea that works for them, because honestly, I think that if there was finally a fair event, a ton of people would show up. Also, people might not just abandon it a few days in when it inevitably becomes a shit show. Yes, this will be more work for event planners, but it would be a more rewarding and meaningful event. People would look forward to it each year. Right now, I’m sure people just try to dodge them altogether, because what’s the point? New authors can’t go against five year indie veterans. You’d have a far bigger turnout if you could guarantee the fairest experience, which means more exposure for planners.

This is just my idea, am I going to do it? No. lol. That’s too much work and I am an author. I am busy enough as it is. For someone that has the time though, they can have a chance to do some real good in the community, and make people feel good about their work. However, I can say one thing, I am not going to be participating in anymore events that aren’t done this way, because it isn’t fair to people that don’t have as many fans as I do, and vice versa.

0 Replies to “How to make a fair indie book awards event.”

  1. I like this idea and agree it’d be a much better way of doing it. A perfect contest would have a ton of people who have all read all the books voting, but that would be very time consuming and difficult to coordinate.

    I agree, open polls are a mess. Stephen King vs Indie Authors… like really? Also, I’ve seen so many books and authors miscategorized on open polls and you can’t really expect the hosts to police that when there are hundreds of books up for nomination — it’d be impossible to know which genre each falls into.

  2. I like the issue that you raised. I’ve read many Indie books that have awards from prestigious sounding award giving bodies, which are total crap. So forgive me if I don’t believe in awards anymore. In the desire of a few enterprising people to make money and yes, give “awards” to friends, soon, these awards will mean NOTHING. It will lose its credibility.

    A book award should be given based on the merits of the book. Edited, Formatted. Exceptionally written. Not on the popularity of the author or the number of friends they have.
    It should NOT be based on Votes at all.

    1. My second idea was a blind panel of people that read books all year sent in from different authors without knowing who the authors are. To eliminate bias. That would be a massive undertaking though.

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