110). The Book Excellence Awards is run by Literary Excellence Incorporated, and up to now are the only awards program provided by that company–but I’m sure will change. Profiteering honors often come in clusters. Just what exactly is a profiteering award? Why are such honors a “beware”? Read on. Here are some is a post I put online in 2015 originally but is still very relevant today. I’ve updated it to reflect changes in prices and details and to then add newer profiteers that have sprung up in the past few years. If you have been reading this blog for just about any length of time, you might have guessed that I’m not a big fan of writing contests and honors.
Partly it is because so many are a waste of time, with minimal prizes, negligible prestige, and little or no true name acknowledgement. You will want to spend your energy on something that can get you nearer to building a readership–submitting for publication, or publishing by yourself? There’s also the chance of bad things in the entrance guidelines–for example, the Best Story Competition, where the grant of publishing rights is prolonged to any “alternative party” finding a copy of the admittance. Writers who don’t browse the fine print carefully enough could find themselves trapped by such procedures.
And then there are the contests/honours with a hidden agenda: earning money for the sponsor. Such honors aren’t really about honoring authors at all. There is a complex of red flags that identifies profiteering competition and honors programs. Solicitation. To increase entries, profiteering honors and contests often solicit entries. An out-of-the-blue email, or an ad on Facebook, urging you to get into a competition or awards program should be treated with extreme caution always.
100, or even more. There could be “early bird specials” and multiple-entry discounts to tempt authors with the illusion of the bargain. And that’s not keeping track of the books you need to send for award consideration–a considerable expenditure, if the profiteer only accepts print. Dozens or ratings of access categories. To increase income, profiteers create as many entry categories as you can and encourage multiple entries.
Anonymous judging. Profiteers promise expert judging by people with position in the writing and posting field but don’t disclose the identities of these purported experts. In fact, the judging may be done by the profiteer’s personnel, who may simply pick winners out of the hat. Non-prize prizes. To avoid cutting into their profits, profiteers offer prizes that cost them little or nothing: or announcements, media announcements, database, and website listings, features on satellite websites or in self-owned publications. Some offer little more than the supposed honor of earning the award.
Opportunities to spend more money. Profiteers’ earnings don’t just result from entry fees. They hawk stickers also, certificates, critiques, and more. Profiteers may deviate from this template to some degree: some do provide money awards, for instance, rather than most of them solicit. 50–you should think meticulously about getting into.
- Position your business as the expert
- Never Consent to “Final Payment Upon Completion”
- Cash Payout Ratio = (Dividends + Buybacks)/ Net Income
- Easy on the eye with sufficient white space
- Status: Open
- 3/8/05 UPDATE TO ABOVE QUERY — FREELANCER RESPONDS
- Owlboy – 9 years
- Be a resident of, and open to work from Canada
100-entry charges for that? Profiteer honors and contests overwhelmingly target and ensnare small press and self-published writers. It isn’t uncommon to see books that sport a number of these awards, in some cases representing an outlay of hundreds of dollars–and that’s not counting the awards the authors may have entered and lost.
But such awards are only a cynical play on authors’ food cravings for recognition and exposure in an increasingly crowded marketplace. They are never a worthwhile use of authors’ money. The Alliance of Separate Authors provides ratings for many contests and honors, with Caution notices for the ones that are suspect.
It’s a good list to check before submitting. JM Northern Media runs more than 20 literary “festivals” and conventions. JM Northern is a ferocious spammer; if you are a writer, you might have been asking for one or another of its celebrations. Unlike many other profiteers, JM Northern offers real money prizes. Nonetheless it can afford to.
50 also get a lesser variety of entries–say, 1,500 (I’m lowballing to show how insanely profitable this plan is). 1.5 million just in entrance fees. My 2013 blog post offers a far more detailed look at JM Northern: Awards Profiteering: The Book Festival Empire Of JM Northern Media. The Jenkins Group, an expensive self-publishing services supplier, operates at least six awards programs: Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, Axiom Book Awards, eLit Awards, Living Book Awards Now, Illumination Book Awards, and the IPPY Awards. 95, and there’s the usual raft of entrance categories and non-prize awards. Among profiteers Even, Jenkins is uncommon in the amount of extra merchandise it hawks to winners.