Three more days until the end of the Preditors & Editors annual poll for the best of the best -- or at least the best of who knows about the site and nominates themselves or someone else's books, stories, articles, art work, and all things publishing online. What it really comes down to is popularity contest and often whether a book, article, etc. is good or not is secondary to who knows the most people.
All over the net where I spend most of my time writers, editors, publishers, and the industry people are hawking their wares and begging for votes. There is no blind judging panel sequestered in their cubicles or homes reading, making notes, and employing their hard won skills and literary acumen to decide the fate of the finalists. It's just like high school when the in-crowd and the popular people cozy up to the fringe sector to woo votes and influence the final outcome. Does that make the Preditors & Editors awards less useful or less worthy? No.
The award does garner attention for the independent (indie) authors, editors, publishers, and artists who spend the rest of the year working hard to produce books, magazines, articles, etc. that rival the slick print and traditionally published versions, and often surpass them, because it is a labor of love. Why shouldn't they be allowed to call on all their friends and fans to nominate and vote for them when in the end it's all about the fans and friends who buy their work?
While the awards may not have quite the clout or the sheen that a Pulitzer, National Book, or high profile prizes do, any award is proof that what the artist and writer have produced is notable.
Am I entered?
You bet, and you can wander on over, if you've a mind to, and vote for me for my novel Among Women. After all, I've used up all the oomph I gained from the awards I won as teenager and young adult. I need all the oomph I can get.
Vote and tell your friends. I'd like to be the most popular for a change instead of the most useful.