On Letting People Know About Your Award-Eligible Work

Originally posted on Twitter, where I saw people fretting about it, and compiled here for posterity.

11 Comments on “On Letting People Know About Your Award-Eligible Work”

  1. My inchoate desire for recognition and/or awards regularly swamps my decency and common sense, but sadly I still haven’t actually written something award-eligible. Feel free to make a fake Hugo and mail it my way, though; my parents won’t know the difference.

  2. Meh. Bright eyed barely literate publisher PR and marketing types, of whom the world has many more than it needs, perpetually call up writers who are quieter, more private, or simply prefer not to entrap the work within any particular public persona, and demand to know why we are not hustling for awards. Over the years I’ve received suggestions like “just send out an email, ‘WORK X is Eligible for the Nebula!’ to everyone in your address book!” and “You need to be emailing something or putting something up on your blog at least once a day in January and Febrauary.”

    As far as I can tell at some houses, hassling writers to flog the product is one of those jobs the low end gets stuck with, like Office Cat Sanitation Expert or Coffee Pot Replenishment Specialist.

    Having been on the houndee end of that process for many years, I’ve found that being able to say, “Yes, yes, I did,” gets the Bright Eyed Positive Ones off my case, so I’m careful to do 3-5 such public noisemakings per year.

    I really appreciate that our Esteemed Host supplies a place that is public and populated enough to fulfill that requirement, where the norm is tilted toward information rather than carnival barking.

    Just one more of Scalzi’s many good things done for the field. And if I were thinking of reading/voting for awards, here’s where I’d look; maximal information with minimal shouting.

  3. John Barnes:

    Yeah, no one should be compelled to do anything that they have either no interest or facility for; it’s a fine way to make everyone involved miserable. And the thing is a lot of really good work gets discovered (and nominated) in other ways.

    And, of course, happy to be useful.

  4. As a reader, the middle of #4 “Be simple, direct, and pleasant” sums up what I want. I love clever writing in books, but the only place to be clever in a promotion is when you choose a paragraph from your book to use in showing off your writing.

  5. You think it’s simple to avoid having the stench of desperation around you? What a wonderful dreamland you must occupy. ;)

  6. 3. HOWEVER, if your inchoate desire for recognition and/or awards swamps your decency and common sense, that WILL count against you.

    However, in today's modern world, a developed desire for recognition and/or awards focused like an amoral laser on the balls of your audience will gain you fame and ricjes. or at least a reality TV show.

  7. Posting once a month to your own fans, i.e. your Twitter feed, Facebook page, email list, blog, is normal. Maybe a reminder when the deadline comes close. Good idea to explain what the award is about, and let people know if there is a membership fee involved in nominating or voting. Remember that the set of nominators overlaps only somewhat with one’s own fans, and you don’t want to annoy nominators or voters. Remember that many of us are fans of many authors, artists, and other creators, so telling people “vote for ME and not THEM” is a way of losing votes from people who are slightly more fans of them than you.

  8. It’s amazing how often useful advice can just be boiled down to “don’t be a dick!” (Not that it’s not helpful to break down specific cases on occasion, and discuss the finer points.) :)