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Thread: International Book Awards / USA Book News / Best Books Awards

  1. #1
    figuring it all out
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    International Book Awards / USA Book News / Best Books Awards

    A very good friend of mine -- who is also very smart -- is announcing proudly that she is a finalist in the "International Book Awards." In looking at their website, I see what appears to me to be a "pay to win" um... offer. Anyone can pay a $69 fee and get entered in this .... um ... contest. I looked at the list of --- winners --- from 2011 and notice that while one book in each of many, many categories is a winner, there seem to be a lot of these "finalists." This seems to be falling into the "get listed in Who's Who" scam area. I'm trying to be kind, but ... Scam or No Scam?

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Adding link: http://www.internationalbookawards.com/home.html

    Also runs USA Book News and the "Best Books" Awards: http://www.usabooknews.com/
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  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    IMO, this is an entry fee profit-making scheme. There are over 150 entry categories; if just 10 people entered each category, the contest sponsor would gross over $100,000. Since there are no real prizes, that's almost pure profit.

    The parent company also runs the USA Best Books Award, which has a similarly high entry fee, 130 entry categories, and zero real-world prestige.

    Such faux awards exploit self-published and small press authors' hunger for recognition. Basically, all you get for your money if you win is the right to say "I won," plus the "opportunity" to spend more money on stickers you can put on your book cover.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Link: http://www.internationalbookawards.com/

    The value of entering a competition comes in the form of (a) market/critical credibility (e.g. getting shortlisted in the Costa Awards or for the Branford Boase) and/or (b) the cash prize.

    I've never heard of this competition in the industry and I've certainly never heard of any of the previous winners.

    In return for you 69, winners of this competition only get:

    WINNERS & FINALISTS IN EACH CATEGORY RECEIVE:
    • Unprecedented National and International Media & Industry Exposure: We are planning an extensive public relations campaign to announce the results of the 2012 competition.

    • United States Newspaper Database: All winners & finalists will receive an updated newspaper database (a $500.00 value!) Filled with over a thousand current contacts from around the country, this database includes contact names, e-mail addresses & website links. A perfect tool to plan out your next book tour!

    • Promote Your Title as an Award-Winning Book: As an honored winner or finalist you will have the right to highlight your award on your book cover, website, and marketing material. Award stickers will be available for purchase for all winners & finalists in each category!
    How is that "$500 value" on the database calculated? Seems like an arbitrary amount. Either way, unless that database is specially focused to your kind of book, it's not going to be worth a lot practically. In fact, the whole prize seems pretty limp and pathetic really.

    There's no information on who the judges are (and named judges go a long way to establishing credibility).

    There are over 100 categories - so many that they're meaningless in terms of real worth and I'd suggest that the reason why there's so many is to bring in as many entrants as possible.

    Checking out the list of testimonials from previous winners doesn't inspire a lot of confidence either.

    All in all, it seems to me that the only winner here is Jeffrey.

    Personally, I wouldn't waste my cash.

    MM

  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momento Mori View Post
    How is that "$500 value" on the database calculated? Seems like an arbitrary amount. Either way, unless that database is specially focused to your kind of book, it's not going to be worth a lot practically. In fact, the whole prize seems pretty limp and pathetic really.
    Heck, the first Google hit on "newspaper contacts" is http://www.usnpl.com/, which one can browse for free and download 4,000 addresses for only $125.
    ICAO
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  6. #6
    haz own threads Little Red Barn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jairey View Post
    A very good friend of mine -- who is also very smart -- is announcing proudly that she is a finalist in the "International Book Awards." In looking at their website, I see what appears to me to be a "pay to win" um... offer. Anyone can pay a $69 fee and get entered in this .... um ... contest. I looked at the list of --- winners --- from 2011 and notice that while one book in each of many, many categories is a winner, there seem to be a lot of these "finalists." This seems to be falling into the "get listed in Who's Who" scam area. I'm trying to be kind, but ... Scam or No Scam?
    Hi, jairey.

    It appears your "very good friend" is keeping good company. St.Martin's Press, Simon and Schuster and Random House are listed in IBA.

    Unbeknowst to me or my agent; my publisher paid and submitted me. I'm grateful because:
    1. There are hundreds of thousands of books out there I'm competing with -- a book a minute is published in this biz. And I've learned the value of the smallest publicity and promotions.
    2. The publisher cared enough to submit, taking their time to fill out the entry, send the book in for review and paid out of their pocket.
    3. I can travel several hundred miles to a book event, spend more than twice that amount in doing so, and end up with less.

    I could easily think of a dozen more, but I'm rushing to get out the door.

    Maybe you could just tell your "very good friend" congrats.

  7. #7
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    The question is, were the St. Martin's etc. books listed at IBA submitted by the publisher, or by the author?

    Lots of authors buy into the "you have to self-promote!" meme. Whether it does them any good ... the real question is whether you see "International Book Award Winner" on the covers of the paperback editions of any books.

  8. #8
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
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    I'm with Victoria. This is a for-profit entry-fee scheme. The award has zero real-world prestige. $69 is a retail price point. And no honest competition ought to use a come-on line like "2010 winners and finalists are enjoying added sales, more internet traffic to their websites and global media coverage."
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

  9. #9
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Just an FYI that parent JPX Media is now Keen Multimedia Group: http://www.keenmultimediagroup.com/
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    And Keen is now i310 Media Group (no dedicated site). Latest scheme, the Bookvana Awards: http://www.bookvana.com/
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

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