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jairey

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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?
 

victoriastrauss

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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
 

Momento Mori

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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
 

CaoPaux

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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.
 

Little Red Barn

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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.
 

James D. Macdonald

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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.
 

HapiSofi

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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."
 

PVish

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American Book Fest/ "Best Book" Awards

An ad for the "Best Book" Awards popped up on Facebook, and a visit to http://indiebooklink.com has red flags flapping. The contest is sponsored by "The American Book Fest" based in Los Angeles and Phoenix." It costs $69 (reduced price!) to enter your indie book (published in the last few years) and the only prizes any winners receive seem to be various online exposure.

The person responsible for the contest contest seems to be involved in several endeavors:

 

aliceshortcake

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I can't find any mention of who's supposed to be judging these awards. For all we know the names of the winners are drawn out of a hat.
 

Clairels

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I tried counting the number of categories in the 2016 awards, and gave up at 50. I was only up to the letter F.

And some of those categories had as many as 10 "winners."

At $69 a pop, you do the math as to how much this "contest" is raking in for whoever's running it.

As for the "winners," there's no mention of any kind of cash prize, but the website did note this:


  • Award stickers will be available for purchase for all winners & finalists in each category.


 
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C Alberts

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As for the "winners," there's no mention of any kind of cash prize, but the website did note this:


  • Award stickers will be available for purchase for all winners & finalists in each category.

Geez. May as well skip the entry fee and get your own custom-made award stickers printed up for all the good a 'prize' like this does.

Really, there is no benefit I can see to winning this sort of contest. Perhaps a reader who doesn't know the difference between this and a Caldecott or PEN award will be impressed by the shiny sticker. In terms of getting attention in the industry or getting your book into bricks-and-mortar stores, etc, these awards are pretty much meaningless.
 

ctripp

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Geez. May as well skip the entry fee and get your own custom-made award stickers printed up for all the good a 'prize' like this does.

C Alberts, I've often said that to the self pub Authors who used to argue with me that readers favourite was a great award, in that the average reader doesn't know one award from the other. I would tell them if that's all you want is the sticker and to be able to say "award winning" in front of the word Author, head to your nearest stationary store, buy a role of stickers and go at it, much cheaper and just as meaningful:)
 

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