2019 eFestival of Words Ballot

It is that time of year again!

The nomination period for the 2019 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards has launched! Nominations will be accepted from February 1st through March 31st.

You can find the ballot here.

A few reminders about the nomination process.

I am going to be blunt, because after all of these years we still struggle with a small group of authors who seem incapable of following directions.

You all know I’m Sith, right? There should be no expectation of fluffy bunny discipline from me!

We put an enormous amount of time and effort into the festival because we believe in indie publishing. Most indie authors are amazing, creative, hard-working people who deserve recognition. Our goal with the festival is to do just that. But there is a small, troublesome group of authors that continue to play to stereotype and undermine the goals of this festival.

You cannot nominate yourself.

Period. Full stop. Every year, I have to disqualify dozens of ballots because a small subset of authors, frankly, think I am stupid. Consider yourself put on notice. ANY AUTHOR that submits a ballot where they nominate themselves will be outed publicly. I will name names of the people doing it. If you don’t want to be publicly humiliated for your inability to follow simple directions, DON’T NOMINATE YOURSELF.

In addition, you cannot nominate a book in which you have a financial or personal interest. Cover artists should not nominate books that they designed the cover for. Editors should not nominate books that they edited. Publishers should not nominate books they published. I genuinely don’t understand why this is hard to understand. I understand that you are proud of your clients. I do. But this is a conflict of interest on your part. It is the same reason I don’t nominate books published by Bards and Sages Publishing (in fact, our titles explicitly don’t qualify for inclusion because we are sponsoring the competition.). I consider this the “lesser sin” because I realize some people think they are genuinely capable of being neutral on these things. But it is a conflict of interest that sullies the awards. Please don’t do this.

Quid Pro Quo Nominations are prohibited.

Look, I can’t catch all of them, but, again, I am not stupid. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’m active on a lot of writer sites. More importantly, the people who support the festival are also active on a lot of writer sites. Which means, eventually, I’m going to get wind of your posted request to swap nominations.

I don’t want to embarrass people. But I will. If I catch people engaged in quid pro quo nominations, I WILL OUT YOU. If you don’t want to be publicly humiliated for your inability to follow simple directions, don’t engage in quid pro quo nominations.

Romance authors: I love you, but…

I have a huge amount of respect for romance authors. That is why our awards program still supports three separate Romance categories. However, there has been an ongoing problem with romance books being placed in non-Romance genre categories. Whether this is because you think a book has a better chance of winning in a different category or because you are one of those “well, the book is romance but it could also be X, Y, and Z so I want to nominate it in all categories” people, PLEASE stop doing this. You wouldn’t want horror novels flooding the paranormal romance category just because two of the characters have sex. Please don’t nominate romance novels in other categories where they do not belong.

Romance novels should ONLY be nominated it the romance genre categories. You want to nominate a romance for Best Novel? Go ahead. But don’t put your historical romances in the historical fiction category or your paranormal romances in the fantasy category. Please. Be as respectful to authors of other genres as you want them to be respectful of yours.

Changes for 2019

We have streamlined the ballot to remove under-performing categories and merged categories where placements have been problematic.

The Anthology and Short Story Collection categories are now one category.
I spend an inordinate amount of time every year moving nominations from one category to the other because people don’t understand the difference between the two formats.

Best Children’s Book and Best Middle Grade Book categories are now one category.
These two categories traditionally have the fewest nominations and there is often confusion regarding where the “firm” cutoff is between the two.

The Best Non-Fiction category has been reduced to one category
The Non-fiction categories individually tend to get a handful of nominations each. Inn addition, the non-fiction categories tend to be the most prone to self-nomination.

Best Science Fiction has been reduced to one category
There will no longer be separate categories for hard and soft science fiction. The line between the two is too blurred for the average person to make the distinction, and I spend too much time last year moving nominations between these two categories.

Best Roleplaying Game has been removed as a category
There are other, bigger awards for RPGs that recognize indie creators.

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