Monday 10 February 2014

DO YOU AGREE, OR DISAGREE? (#5) TOPIC: Are reader-voted writing contests merely popularity contests?

Over the past year or so, I have noticed a trend in reader-voted writing contests online. In the past, I would have FLOCKED to enter such a thing. Nowadays, I hate to say, I totally ignore them.


Because with the amazingly supportive writer community we are all a part of, I don't think it's about the writing anymore. At all. It's all about how many friends you have. And all it takes is an email (or tweet, of Facebook post), saying, "DUDE! I'm in this contest! Can you please vote for me?" And of course, we go vote. I have done it. More times than I can count. Because I love and ADORE my writer buddies. I want them to have success. I want their contest entry to win. We all do. So we go vote. And we do so willingly.

There's nothing wrong with having lots of friends to help push us toward success. There is nothing wrong with it at all. But are reader-voted writing contests really about the writing anymore, or are they merely popularity contests?

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  1. I could not agree more. This has been my view for a long time. Having said that, for those who want to participate there is no harm done as long as one retains perspective as to what it means and what it does not mean. It does not hurt to get 'warm fluffies' even if you know they are not a true assessment of you or your writing. :)

  2. I agree. Unfortunately, those contests aren't a good indicator on how a book will do in the long run.

  3. I don't do contests at all. Can't handle the stress.

  4. Unfortunately it's all a popularity contest.

  5. They're definitely popularity contests. I get their point--a person who can drum up a lot of votes can also drum up sales, which is a handy skill, and so PUBLISHERS like that. And I suppose winning one would get your cover front and center, so it would help self published books too... if you WIN out of the hundred entered. I guess I don't have the energy to even look for them.

  6. When you let the masses decide, it becomes a popularity contest. A few years ago I had a book trailer contest on my blog, and one of the winning trailers wasn't in the top because it was good, it was because the author had a million friends on Facebook and he sent them all to vote.

  7. I'm 100% with you. I don't even look at them any more when they're like that. They're just popularity contests and that turns me off

  8. All contests that aren't based on metrics (fastest, longest etc.) are popularity contests even if it's only popularity among a few judges. At the end of the day selling books to the public in large numbers comes down to more than writing a great story, I think that's always been true, so you have to be open to all sorts of avenues.

    Moody Writing


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