The Ethics of Contests

First off, some big news! Solstice is doing a 2012 Author of the Year contest, and I’ve made it to Round 3, along with 10 other really awesome authors! Check it out, cast your vote (yes, I’d prefer it was for me but won’t get upset if you like someone else better), and keep checking back. Every new round is a new chance to vote and have your voice heard.

The ‘winning’ author is going to get a ton of promotional stuff during the year for their book(s), a special ‘sticker’ on their name/titles, etc. I’m in awe that I’ve made it this far, and would love it if any of my blog followers could help me out with their vote and/or helping to promote the contest.

OH! You might want the link!  LOL

When voting first began last week, there was an individual who stated publicly on my writing group that they didn’t participate in this kind of thing as they thought it was unethical to manipulate the votes in that manner. I’ll admit it, I was a bit insulted by their post. Not because they weren’t voting for me. But because I felt they were calling MY sense of ethics into question.

A contest like this is essentially a popularity contest. Authors promote their involvement to get votes, in hopes of winning. In a lot of ways, it’s not much different from high school homecoming court or ASB offices. While I don’t agree with their choice of words, I can admire them for sticking to their principles.

First off, you can only vote once per round. To manipulate the votes, it would have to be set up where people could vote multiple times. 

Secondly, I didn’t nominate myself. Initially, Solstice listed ALL the authors they have under contract. By Sunday evening, they had enough data to pare the list down to 14 and start a new round of voting. This morning, it was at round 3 and there were 11 of us.

I don’t believe in nominating myself or my work for awards, contests for best new novel, etc. I think it’s more honorable (and ethical) for me to have others decide my work is worthy of that sort of praise. Perhaps I’m naive about it. 

But I have no problem asking for votes once I have been nominated. A politician spends months campaigning for our votes. Why should I shy away from doing the same for my work? 

Being an author is so much more than writing a book and letting the publisher worry about getting the word out. Typically, I’ll spend 1-2 hours a day, 5 days a week, promoting ‘Daughter of Hauk’. I can’t rely on my publisher, or word of mouth, alone. I have to be willing to do the work as well.

On Saturday, I marked an anniversary of sorts. It was one year ago that I woke up to a cold house. Outside, there was some nasty weather. We’d had snow, a small thaw, then a freeze, a bit more snow, then freezing rain. Tree limbs were breaking all around us from the weight of the ice and snow. As I told one friend, it was as if an Ent army was marching our way! But that bitterly cold morning (we’d lost power about two hours earlier, and wouldn’t get it back for three more) was one of the best I’ve ever had. For it was the day I got the email with the contract offer from Solstice.

And here we are, a year later, and I’m in the running to be their Author of the Year. It’s been an amazing year. Winning the contest would be the cherry on top. So….

Would you, could you, vote for me? Share the link with your friends? 


3 thoughts on “The Ethics of Contests

  1. Kate–I am so proud of your accomplishments! I won’t be voting though, because I haven’t read other Solstice authors. Yet. 😉

    Auntie A

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