Tuesday, May 3, 2022

IWSG Blog Hop: My Book's a Winner IMHO #IWSGbloghop #bookcontests


Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop
Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!
Happy April!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. 
Click here to sign-up and/or to visit the bloggers this week.

Thank you to the awesome co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG Blog Hop--Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon!


May 4 question - It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?
First Place!!
I recently experienced a "high" time when my book was chosen as a finalist in a book contest. This was the first contest I had entered, so I was thrilled to be a finalist. Dreams of receiving a first place award floated through my mind. I could picture me slapping gold medallions with #1 emboldened on the foil sticker on every one of my books! Gorgeous and eye-catching, attendees at book signings and festivals, etc. would swarm my table to grab a copy of my award-winning memoir!

Then I calmed myself. I had to face reality and prepare to be disappointed in case the book did not place as a winner. Months and months later, I received the email from the contest. Good news! I had received an award (jumped into the air shouting "Yippee!!")--Honorable Mention--(weak smile.) 

Don't we all believe our books are worthy of receiving First Place? Heck, yeah! I took the advice of my seventh grade softball coach and shook off the disappointment and just kept going. But in the back of my mind, I could not get over my "fascinating, inspiring"--readers' descriptions--story only receiving Honorable Mention. Sadly, that's like receiving fourth place in the Olympics--no medals, no glory.

The company sent me some snazzy graphics with my book cover and a medallion pictured next to it. Plus I received promotions in their emails and newsletter for a couple of weeks. That made me happy. But,--

I took a peek at their page to see who actually received the other awards. Yes, there was one major super winner, but many first-place winners. Wait a minute...Lots of second-place winners, loads of third-place winners, and finally, everybody else in the Honorable Mention winners. What???

I counted the number of book covers in the honorable mention group--82!!! I wondered how those authors felt when they saw that. Or did everyone else understand this contest gave prizes to every entry?

I was gobsmacked with this realization. I had wrongly assumed the awards would be given to one book for each place in separate categories as presented by other contests. You know, you should never assume anything.

I called and asked a gentleman on the phone if everyone who enters gets an award. He confirmed my suspicion when he said, "Yes." I could feel him smiling at me. The perky tone of his voice indicated he thought everyone being a winner was a good thing! 

What a shattering experience! Everyone was a winner. I snorted with disdain, as if we were 4-5-year-old Pee Wee League baseball players where every kid gets a ribbon. But, maybe that is a good thing? What do you think?

I tried comforting my hurt feelings and not be a sore loser with the reminder that I did receive some nice graphics and some promotion for my $10. early bird entry fee. After pondering over the results, I soothed myself by hanging on to the realization that I didn't pay $20 to enter the contest anyway.

Even if I didn't get the prize I dreamed of, I gained much in this experience for future entries, if I decide to submit a book to another one. 

I firmly believe my book's a winner!
Image by bricketh on Pixabay

What book contests have you entered? 
Were you satisfied with the results? 
Please leave a comment below. Thank you.


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Have fun!



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Everyone a winner? Who do they think authors are - first graders? Everyone a winner means no one is a winner. I don't blame you for being miffed.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's a weird way to run a contest. I bet most people didn't look into it enough to realize what was going on like you did. Thanks for sharing about it so we can all be on the look out if we win a contest.

Pat Garcia said...

Hi, I am one of those people that looks at things like that, and although I'm disappointed, I would chuck it up as a lesson learned. I hope you can do the same and keep on writing. You're a wonderful writer.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Computer Tutor said...

I don't enter contests, but what a surprise that must have been! Still, put it on my Kudos page (not the sidebar). Who will know?

Kim Elliott said...

At first I thought: Well, honorable mention is good too. As I kept reading, it felt like a punch in the gut when I reached your revelation that everyone was a winner. The nerve of those people! I would've been upset too.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks for taking my side. I thought maybe I was too competitive.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Natalie.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I learned a lesson for sure.

J.Q. Rose said...

Right. At least I can say I am now an award-winning writer!!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Kim. Yes, I agree honorable mention is an award that I could be proud of in a different situation.

Damyanti Biswas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damyanti Biswas said...

That's so strange! I second Kim.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you!!

Helena Fairfax said...

Good for you for investigating, JQ, and thank you for posting about your experience. I would have been upset, too. I've had many experiences of being in the also-rans in life. But at least we entered the race, and we ran, and we aren't sitting on the sidelines. Very best of luck in your next endeavour, and I hope you get the win you deserve.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

There are a few contests around like that. It's why I won't enter any contests that have entry fees. But then again, sometimes it worth it for the extra bonuses like the graphics and the exposure.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you. Your kind words about entering the race and running uplift me.

J.Q. Rose said...

I entered it just for that reason, the graphics and promo. I was aware of their great promotional ability, so I felt that was definitely worth $10. Thanks for stopping in.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Your reaction was understandable, Janet. All the more reason why we must believe in ourselves. It's what you think about YOU that is most important.

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. I think you're lucky the entry fee was only $10. I've entered lots of contests and generally nothing comes of them. Even my own writing chapters' contest. LOL I finaled in one contest with my first book and won a contest with my last book, in a very narrow category. But hey, I can now call myself an award winning author. :) I think it's important to remember that these contests are very subjective as all contests where "art" is concerned. Probably worth it for the media support. You are a good writer and I really enjoy your books. As long as you enjoy writing and there are those of us out her who like to read your books, keep on keeping on. :) I shared.

Sandra Cox said...

You're a winner in my book.

Fundy Blue said...

Ouch, Janet! How deflating! But you put yourself out there, and that's a good thing.

Sandra Cox said...

Hope you're having a creative one, Cuz.

Diane Burton said...

LOL I would chalk that up to lesson learned. Frankly, I've never heard of that kind of "contest." I agree with you wondering if they thought authors were little kids. At first, I was so excited for you. I could imagine, along with you, that #! sticker, etc. As I continued to read, my excitement drained away the way yours did. How disappointing. Hang in there. Hope to see you at one of the vendor events.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you. Wise words indeed.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, we just have to be prepared with the knowledge that not everyone likes the same kinds of stories. Yes, award winning author sounds good! And it IS good. Thanks for sharing!

J.Q. Rose said...

Awww, thank you.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, lesson learned. Very disappointing, but I'm not crushed by it. Thank you for commiserating with me.

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