Sunday, January 23, 2011

Staring Down the Barrel of the Peacemaker Awards

The deadline for submissions for the Western Fictioneers' first annual Peacemaker Awards is January 31. So if you've got a piece of Western fiction, novel or short story length, that has a copyright date of 2010, that wasn't self-published, and that you were paid for, you have until a week from tomorrow to submit it.  All the details are here.


Duane Spurlock said...

No self-published works: "No self-published works will be considered for a WF Peacemaker Award. This includes works published directly by the author on web sites and programs such as iUniverse, Kindle, or Lulu."

In a world where publishing westerns is becoming more difficult, that seems rather a stringent criteria. Particularly when authors in several genres are publishing in ebook/Kindle editions only and selling thousands of copies. (Not sure those kinds of sales numbers are true for westerns as well, but still, it's hard to argue with readers buying copies of books . . . eBooks, that is.)

If it's alright to ask, what moved the awards committee to make this type of determination? Just curious.

Chap O'Keefe said...

Duane, I can't speak for the awards committee, of course. But as one writer who had westerns out in 2010 through Hale, Thorpe, Magna, and Lulu (i.e. the last being self-published, though since picked up by a "paying" publisher), I can understand the committee's decision.

Rather than explaining why I do here, can I refer you to Lee Goldberg's guest post last Thursday at Newbie's Guide to Publishing ?

A quote: "The majority of self-published books are unreadable crap ... and that hasn’t changed just because it’s easier now to self-publish than ever before. If anything, it’s made things much worse. Just because you can publish for free with a mouse-click doesn’t mean that you should. But ... people with no discernible writing talent, or even basic writing skills, are rushing to get their atrocious, unpublishable garbage onto the Kindle as fast as they can. The slush pile has gone digital and has unleashed a tsunami of swill onto Amazon and Smashwords."

But you really should read the whole piece.

Duane Spurlock said...

Thanks, I'll take a look. Joe Konrath usually has some interesting info on his blog.

James Reasoner said...

We wrestled with this for a long time and I don't think any of us were ever completely satisfied with the final criteria. But we finally came down somewhere between WWA, which allows self-published and vanity press books not only to be considered for awards but also for membership qualification, and MWA and SFWA, which has stringent requirements about print runs, the amount of the amount, etc. As a result we have submissions not only from the larger traditional publishers but also from several small presses that don't pay advances but do pay royalties.

Not only that, I'm not sure any of us realized at the time just how large the ebook boom was going to be. And we've said all along amongst ourselves that this will have to be a continuing, evolving process, so the criteria might be different next year. Or it might not.

James Reasoner said...

Sorry, I know that comment could use some editing. Fingers got ahead of my brain.

Duane Spurlock said...

no worries. Good answer! Thanks, James.