Sunday, December 14, 2008

My 2 Cents on the EPPIES

Mima on EREC just posted this blog.

I'm going to take a dangerous turn and put my 2 cents in here, rather than respond on EREC.

For the past 2 years I have entered 3 of my books in the EPPIES. Of my 6 books, 4 have been designated #1 BEST SELLERS for my publisher, and ALL of them have received 5 stars/flags/blue ribbons/coffee cups/roses, what-have-you. They have excellent reviews on Fictionwise. Even RT gave me 4 stars. That's not to mention the Recommended Reads and Top Picks.

I have never finaled. And I will never find out why not.
Am I frustrated? Of course. Why? Because I wonder why none of my books were good enough. Because I wonder why they have done so well (and are still selling strongly), yet they're not worth any recognition.
Why do I think they failed to final? I cannot say because I will never see any scores (unlike other contests where you're given SOME kind of feedback). But I have some faint ideas why not.
Will I ever enter my books again? No.
Is this just sour grapes? Maybe. But remember I'm a teacher, and any time I have to grade down a child's performance, I must give a reason that will teach that child the correct answer AND boost that child's morale to where he'll WANT to try harder next time.
I'll stop now before I say too much.


Mima said...

Linda, this was my major objection to the EPPIES when I first looked into them last year. And I too am an educator, lol, so maybe it's just us who see the value of transparency as a growth tool. You'll never know if you were one point from winning. Another surprise was that I found out after the fact that they are not blindly judged. Thus, the popularity card can affect the judging. Of course, the Oscars aren't anonymous, and big names do count. That's politics. It's also frustrating. Still, what if people knew the epubs themselves were putting their best into the pool? I think it would really do a lot for the overall respect of the award.

Anonymous said...

I've often wondered why this award isn't judged blindy. To me, knowing who the author is as you read can, and probably does, play a major part of who wins. Look at who judges the books? Authors and Publishers. How many of those people actually know the authors of the books they have to judge? Until you have an unbiased judging system, no book will be treated fairly. I'm not saying every book that crosses a judges hand is automatically deemed a winner because their BFF is the author but I'm not blind either. When you see the same author with multiple books finaling in several catagories, or competing against themselves in the same catagories, then it does raise the question of why. And why do those same, select few authors, always win, year after year. If they're that good, why don't they have a big time NY publishing deal yet?

Mima said...

Why don't they have a big NY publishing deal yet? oh dear. just, wow. such bias against epub is rank in that statement.

as for the same people winning every year... the same authors are putting themselves in the pot. and glenn close keeps winning because she's good. i think you can still have a worthy award even if it's not chosen blindly. blind judging would add an extra bit of suspense to the process.

my point wasn't to rip the eppies to shreds, it was to call on the epubs to step up and be a part of it. that way people couldn't dismiss it as a vanity contest.

Julie Robinson said...

I'm sorry to hear that. I am just now being introduced to your name and work through Romance Bistro. I used to teach and agree with what you said about having to provide reasons for the grades. As a mom, too, I want to know. In fact, I think it's a natural tendency for anyone to want to know the WHY or WHY NOT of something.So it does seem odd that no 'grading' system is given for the selections.

Anonymous said...

Mima point wasn't to rip the eppies to shreds, it was to call on the epubs to step up and be a part of it. that way people couldn't dismiss it as a vanity contest.

This will likely never happen. I know for certain of two epublishers (popular ones, including my own) who don't want anything to even do with EPIC. My publisher has made it very clear that they want no association whatsoever with that organization since they feel it's poorly run, with way too much in-fighting and no direction of how to even promote e-books.

Linda Mooney said...


That's precisely what I mean. If I could see the judges' comments, it would give me more of an insight as to what they were looking for, what they didn't like about my works, etc. It would be a growing experience for me as a writer. As it stands now, it's not much different from getting a standard "thanks but no thanks good luck" rejection letter from a publisher you submitted to.