On information, self-promotion, plugging and pimpage

There’s been a fair amount of discussion here and there about such things, prompted mostly by the time of year – it’s time for nominations and/or voting on a good few genre awards; the Hugos, the BSFA Awards, the David Gemmell Awards.

I’ve been watching with interest, because, yes, I have a dog in this fight. I am on the long list for the David Gemmell Legend Award for best fantasy novel, with Dangerous Waters. I’m also an Arthur C Clarke Award judge this year and next, and judging the James White Short Story Award. While these are different in that they’re juried and judged rather than voted on, it’s fair to say I’m taking a closer interest in the whole awards business than has been my custom.

There are some very strong opinions out there about what level of mention an author may reasonably make of such things. There are those who seem to think so much as mentioning their own novel’s eligibility for nomination crosses some invisible line into the unacceptable. Other people seem to see nothing wrong in writers actively canvassing through their blogs and regularly tweeting Vote for Me! Vote for Me! Then there’s every shade of opinion in between.

I have a good deal of sympathy with those who think that an author’s work should speak for itself. That a book should prompt others apart from the writer to speak for it, if it is to have any claim on a nomination or votes. Personally I cringe at the thought of waving my new novel at people uninvited, still less urging them to buy it with the extravagant self-praise that I occasionally encounter, in person or online. I was brought up to consider such behaviour utterly reprehensible, no ifs or buts. Besides, in today’s book trade, such behaviour is all too often associated, fairly or unfairly, with the most deluded of self-published no-hopers.

Except – how are people to know that an author’s book is eligible for nominations or long/short-listed, if no one tells them? It’s no answer to say that if readers are following an award they will already know. What if they’re not even aware of that particular award? Is it a publisher’s responsibility to tell potentially interested parties? Insofar as they can, yes it is, and they do (though I’ve seen that criticised as well). But what if an author’s fans don’t happen to follow that publisher’s website or Twitter feed? I am getting fed up, in this age of information overload, with being told I should/must follow dozens and dozens of feeds, blogs, social media manifestations and networks, that I have some sort of nebulous obligation to keep current with such things, if I am really committed. Sorry but there are a great many other calls on my time and the number of hours in a day is unaffected by my personal level of commitment.

The most effective and straightforward way for me as a reader to learn what’s going on with the specific authors I am interested in is to check their personal feeds and blogs. So why should they be discouraged by online hostility insisting they’re not allowed (and who exactly decides this anyway?) to tell me about their eligibility, nominations etc? With that insistence followed by threats that if they do, such behaviour should automatically stop any right-thinking person for voting for them now or in the future! When, incidentally, publishers’ marketing departments and publicity officers for these awards will be encouraging those authors to share exactly that information, in keeping with their own job descriptions. When one of the most valuable functions of awards is to prompt the debate and discussion so vital for keeping a genre developing in ever more interesting ways for readers and writers alike.

What about what happens after that? If such self-promotion is acceptable, where does one draw a line? Is it acceptable to let people know your work is listed/eligible for an award? But not to openly solicit votes? But not to post, for instance, a short story online for people to read for free? But not for an author to privately email all their contacts who might be eligible to vote, offering to send them a copy direct, at once? Because I’ve seen all those things go on. And yes, I can see how the latter practises might well skew a vote, if one candidate’s material is far more accessible than another’s. But who’s going to decide these things, given subjective opinion on what’s acceptable behaviour can vary so widely between different people? More practically, who on earth is going to enforce any such rules that might be made?

I’ve seen similar hostility directed towards authors retweeting or linking to favourable mentions of their books. But why shouldn’t we direct potential readers towards information which might help them decide if our book is likely to be to their taste and is something they might like to consider buying? This is a business after all and authors operate in an increasingly hostile environment. Changes in bookselling have pretty much done away with the days when a reader could browse a shop’s shelves and expect to see the new releases and the midlist authors displayed on equal terms with the big names, for the reader to pick and choose on a level playing field as regards price and visibility.

I remember the first time I was on a panel at a US convention when the moderator blithely announced, ‘I’ll ask the panel to introduce themselves and plug their latest books.’ Everyone in the room stiffened, sitting up straighter on their chairs. Me with shock at this challenge to my Traditional British Reserve. The audience with keen anticipation, clearly eager to hear about new books and authors new to them. My fellow writers by way of preparation to inform potential customers about their work in a friendly and professional fashion, standing their books up on the table to show cover art etc.

Why should an author feel awkward or embarrassed about offering such information? But at UK conventions I so often see writers barely making mention of their own work, brutally self-deprecating if they do – and then I hear con-goers afterwards asking each other for more information on a panel member’s titles, where that writer’s work sits in the genre, trying to work out if someone whose contribution they’ve appreciated in that discussion is also likely to write books to their taste. If such information’s available in the programme, all well and good, but all too often it isn’t. How does such reticence encourage that broader conversation that keeps a genre vibrant and evolving?

When considering hostility to self-promotion, I think there’s a clue in that word ‘pimpage’, which grates on me like fingernails on slate whenever I hear it. I don’t care if it’s being used ironically, post-modernly, self-deprecatingly or whatever other justification might be offered. Writers are not pimps and our books are not whores. We are not sleazy money-grubbers demanding cash for something that decent, clean-living people otherwise exchange for free. We are offering our work-product and inviting the reader to purchase it, to give us a return on our endeavour. How is this different from any other commercial transaction, where goods and services are exchanged for a fair price?

Ah but TS Eliot had to work in a bank, we are told. We read infuriating articles like a recent one in The Guardian insisting that ‘real writers’ don’t seek monetary reward for their art. We see the enduring literary snobbery that insists a commercial best seller must self-evidently be devoid of true merit precisely because such popular appeal can only be meretricious (from the Latin, meretrix, a whore). Such snobbery then promptly inverts itself, insisting a ‘challenging’ or ‘important’ novel must be lauded, even if it’s sold under a thousand copies. Presumably because only the clever people can understand it. Sorry, but I cannot read these self-selecting, self-regarding critics without wondering if they’ve ever heard the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Such people have clearly never studied basic logic. A best-seller can indeed be devoid of literary merit. A chair can have four legs. A best-seller need not be devoid of merit. Something with four legs need not be a chair. It can be a racehorse. With all respect to Dr Johnson, I don’t know a single author who writes only for money. This is not in the least the same as saying we cannot justifiably expect for a fair reward for our writing.

To return to the subject at hand. Ultimately every reader and writer will find the level of self-promotion that they’re comfortable with. I have decided that am not going to be discouraged from offering useful information to potential readers, such as links to reviews online or a brief introduction to my work if I’m on a panel discussion. I see nothing wrong in letting people know that one of my books is eligible for consideration for an award. What readers choose to do with that information is then up to them.

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30 Comments on “On information, self-promotion, plugging and pimpage”

  1. Excellent post: thank you.

  2. Fionna O'Sullivan says:

    Another post that is spot on, Juliet.

    It is a delicate line to tread, although on the other hand we are also free to judge those readers who launch rants online when an author crosses a line that they have drawn arbitrarily.

    We can all agree that we’d rather awards go to the works that deserve to win them, rather than to the authors with the largest online following and the least reserve – but let’s be realistic: authors with huge internet followings will always get more votes, even if they say nothing to promote their latest works, and there isn’t much we can do about it. Except try and level the playing field in a graceful manner.

  3. Niall says:

    “Except – how are people to know that an author’s book is eligible for nominations or long/short-listed, if no one tells them? It’s no answer to say that if readers are following an award they will already know. What if they’re not even aware of that particular award?”

    It is one of those things where everyone will have their own line. This bit I’ve quoted above is where my line is. If an author wants to maintain a bibliographic record as a resource for their readers — great, that’s very generous of them. If an author wants to promote awareness of an award — fantastic, community-minded action. But I don’t perceive an annual bibliography accompanied by directions to a specific award as either of those things. When the two activities become linked, the element of self-service becomes pretty much explicit: the author of the post wants their readers to take the information in it and make use of it. It plays, consciously or unconsciously, on a reader’s implied social connection with the author (it encourages the bad habit of nominating a work because you like the author’s previous book, I think), and it can contribute to the distortion of popular-vote awards in favour of those with large megaphones.

    I don’t see specific promotion for awards as even in the same category as linking to reviews. There are ways of linking to reviews that can be mildly irritating (repeat, indiscriminate posting of positive reviews, mostly), but spreading the word about a good book is part of what reviews are for. Awards don’t exist to spread the word about an author’s work, the exist to try to find the best (by various metrics) work. Award eligibility posts by an author frequently come across to me like an attempt to distort the integrity of that process. My knee-jerk reaction can be mitigated. If I ever saw an author make a post that said, “Hey, Hugo nominations are open — I think you should read and consider nominating this book, because I think it is awesome for these reasons” I would probably forgive them a hundred posts promoting their own books for awards. But somehow that never happens.

    I wish specific promotion for awards was seen as being in the same vein as responding to negative reviews — you might get away with it in some cases, but in general you’re not going to look good doing it — because both activities seem to me to be about centring the author and trying to override the reader’s experience. But the popular mood seems to be against me. I’m learning to live with it!

    • jemckenna says:

      and that’s all entirely fair comment – that for instance, such things can lead to the distortion of popular-vote awards in favour of those with large megapones.

  4. Liz says:

    I am getting fed up, in this age of information overload, with being told I should/must follow dozens and dozens of feeds, blogs, social media manifestations and networks, that I have some sort of nebulous obligation to keep current with such things, if I am really committed. Sorry but there are a great many other calls on my time and the number of hours in a day is unaffected by my personal level of commitment.

    I’m not clear on how the proposed solution, which is to follow the blogs of every author I am considering nominating for an award, is a solution to this problem. Something like the Hugo Award Eligibility spreadsheet is a possible solution to this, and I would encourage authors to get access and add themselves to it. If I am relying on authors to tell me what is eligible then I have to rely on them to get it right, and I’ve already pointed out errors in a couple of eligibility posts which would be easier to correct if they were in a central repository.

    So why should they be discouraged by online hostility insisting they’re not allowed (and who exactly decides this anyway?) to tell me about their eligibility, nominations etc? With that insistence followed by threats that if they do, such behaviour should automatically stop any right-thinking person for voting for them now or in the future!

    There are lots of behaviours that might stop me buying a work or nominating it for an award, including but not limited to making the sort of self-promotional post you describe. I am not shy about saying exactly why I’m not nominating something, and of course I think everyone should agree with me; but I don’t think I characterise saying that as a threat.

    When one of the most valuable functions of awards is to prompt the debate and discussion so vital for keeping a genre developing in ever more interesting ways for readers and writers alike.

    I don’t see why discussion of an award can’t be prompted by mentioning eligible works that you’ve read and enjoyed, rather than specifically ones you’ve written.

    I am sympathetic to the needs of authors to promote their own work, especially in the current climate where it’s expected that an author will be their own promotional department, and I’ve largely accepted that it’s going to happen and I have to live with that. All self-promotion is a balance between bringing your work to the attention of readers without going too far and putting them off, and unfortunately one of the things which puts me off is self-promotional posts made right after award nomination season starts. Authors can make whatever posts they like about their work, and I am free to be put off by them – I’m not convinced by the argument that making all these posts in the open will prevent the private emails and discussions, because I don’t see why they can’t co-exist. I feel slightly sorry that I’m having the debate here, because it seems that the authors who make the most annoying posts are not the ones who are thinking about whether they should be making them, and often it’s authors who do promote the works of others as well as their own and strike a good balance of self-promotion who are most keen on talking about how we promote ourselves. Like you say, I will have to set my own comfort level as a reader with what self-promotion sits well with me and what doesn’t, and this is one particular thing which doesn’t work for me, not because I am anti-discussion of books or awards, but just because it feels unnecessary and slightly patronising to remind me of what I might like to nominate for something. Everyone else is free to like or dislike these posts as they wish, and to dislike me for disliking them 🙂

    • jemckenna says:

      There isn’t any easy answer here, I don’t think. Yes, I’d like to see a central registry solution and would much rather publishers listed their eligible output rather than leaving it up to authors, but if some fan’s not even aware of an award, how do they know where/when to look?

      There’s also the issue of different levels of engagement; I can absolutely see how someone well informed and integrated in the SF&F online and critical culture – okay that sounds pompous but you know what I mean – could very well find these promo posts becoming an irritatingly high percentage of their overall reading. But for fans less deeply engaged, that won’t be the case – indeed these posts may well encourage them to read more widely across a shortlist, raise their awareness of awards beyond that particular one – all desirable outcomes.

      Perhaps the most important thing is to recognise there are valid arguments on all sides and to proceed with goodwill on a personal level, even where that means agreeing to disagree on such custom and practise 🙂

      • Martin says:

        but if some fan’s not even aware of an award, how do they know where/when to look

        I’m afraid I don’t really follow this argument. To start with, am I right in thinking that this only applies to the David Gemmell Awards since they are the only ones that are open to anyone? Leaving that aside, if someone is not aware of an award, why would they be interested in participating in it? If your aim in listing your eligibility for an award is to get people who have never heard of it to nominate/vote for you, how is that not an attempt at ballot stuffing? Alternatively, if you just want to raise the profile of an award, why is your own eligibility important? Isn’t listing what you intend to nominate/vote for yourself a better way of doing so?

        But for fans less deeply engaged, that won’t be the case – indeed these posts may well encourage them to read more widely across a shortlist, raise their awareness of awards beyond that particular one – all desirable outcomes.

        All desirable outcomes but all able to be achieved – in fact, probably best achieved – without any need to post your own eligibility. As Niall says above, they are two entirely separate things.

      • jemckenna says:

        The BFS Awards are voted on by the membership, as are the Hugos etc. And I’m seeing sufficient appreciation of ‘public service announcement – my publications of 2011’ type posts by those potential voters to encourage other writers to follow suit – if only in an attempt to level the playing field against those high-profile/megaphone-minded authors who would otherwise see the vote decisively skewed towards them.

        As well as ‘oh, I’ve never heard of that, what’s it about?’ responses – not every reader is as deeply engaged in fandom. I disagree that mentioning one’s eligibility is automatically an attempt at ballot stuffing. It’s up to a reader to decide who to vote for once they see an entire long/short list. Personally I think it is far more disingenuous – and more likely to seem distasteful – for a writer such as myself to promote the Gemmell Awards and then have a reader follow a link, realise I’m actually listed and think I was being sly or underhand in not declaring my interest.

        There are no easy answers. Beyond the dispiriting conclusion for writers that they’re damned to obscurity if they don’t engage in the process – as well as damned to hostility from certain quarters if they do.

      • Martin says:

        The BFS Awards are voted on by the membership, as are the Hugos etc.

        Exactly. If you are a member of the BFS or Worldcon then, by definition, you are deeply engaged with fandom. You will also be well aware that you can participate in the awards. So I think the idea that there is a pool of casual fans who are potential nominators but unaware of this is a red herring. As I said, I’m only aware of one set of awards that are open to such casual fans (the Gemmells) and it is no coincidence that they have such a bad reputation for poor shortlists and ballot stuffing.

        There is, however, clearly a quite large pool of fans who are eligible to vote but don’t. I agree that it is a good thing to encourage such people to take part and I would say that the best way of doing so was to a) remind them of the process (especially deadlines) and b) recommend what you think is the best eligible fiction. If you simply post your own eligibility, you are not encouraging a non-voter to think widely about what is the best of the field and then make an informed decision, you are simply encouraging them to support you because they like you. The fact you don’t actually say “nominate me” doesn’t change this. It isn’t ballot stuffing but it is an attempt to increase your own number of nominations; you may well be perfectly comfortable about this but it shouldn’t be dressed up as being for the wider good of the reader or the award.

        There is no doubt that self-promoting eligibility has become much more common in recent years. I don’t think this is any reason to roll over and accept it though. Nor do I think authors need to do it to avoid being drowned out; if someone has a megaphone then whether you speak up or not, you are still unlikely to be heard.

        I also think we need to be clear about the difference between nominating for an award and voting for a shortlist. If you are on a list of nominations, I don’t see anything disengenuous about linking to the list without mentioning this. However, if you are worried about seeming disengenuous then putting forward your own nominations eliminates this risk. If you are actually on the shortlist, absolutely link to that and celebrate it on your blog, it is a wonderful endorsement.

      • jemckenna says:

        Please do not attribute such base motives to me and other authors in my position on the basis of your unsupported opinion.

      • Martin says:

        Erm, what base motives?

      • jemckenna says:

        You said – “If you simply post your own eligibility, you are not encouraging a non-voter to think widely about what is the best of the field and then make an informed decision, you are simply encouraging them to support you because they like you. The fact you don’t actually say “nominate me” doesn’t change this. It isn’t ballot stuffing but it is an attempt to increase your own number of nominations; you may well be perfectly comfortable about this but it shouldn’t be dressed up as being for the wider good of the reader or the award.”

        I know full well that doesn’t apply to me, nor to a good many other writers I know.

      • Martin says:

        Are you honestly saying that by posting your award eligibility you are not seeking to increase your nominations? Not only does this seem incredibly disengenous, it also contradicts all your talk about “attempting to level the playing field against those high-profile/megaphone-minded authors who would otherwise see the vote decisively skewed towards them”.

      • jemckenna says:

        I am letting my readers know that I am nominated and encouraging them to go and look at the long list and vote for their favourite book. If that’s my book, great, I’d be delighted, not that I will ever know, or seek to know, who voted or how.

        If once they’ve read the full list, they’re reminded of something else they read and enjoyed, which they might not have realised was eligible, and then they vote for that, that’s also fine with me.

        So yes, I am encouraging potential voters to think about what they’ve read in the previous year and to support what they consider the best book on the basis of an informed decision.

        And ideally they’ll go on to read other books on that long or short list, increasing their engagement with epic fantasy and fandom.

        My actions may well increase my number of nominations, and yes, that’s a desirable outcome from a profile-raising point of view for a professional author given the realities of the current commercial marketplace.

        That does not make seeking only that specific single outcome either my sole or indeed my primary motivation.

      • Martin says:

        As I said above, I don’t see anything wrong with drawing attention to a shortlist you are on and exactly the same goes for longlists. (I would argue it is utterly pointless for the Gemmell but that is another matter.) What I was talking about – and where the conversation started – was an entirely different situation: that of authors posting their eligibility for award nomination. If you haven’t done this, I don’t understand why you would accuse me of “attributing such base motives” to you when I discussed such authors.

        I also specifically asked up front if you were just thinking of the context of the Gemmell Awards and you said you weren’t. However, I think concentrating on the Gemmell rather than awards as a whole is exactly were the confusion has come from.

      • jemckenna says:

        I don’t see that the two situations are different.

        The same would apply if I had posted about my book’s eligibility for nomination for the Hugos, the BSFA Awards, the BFS Awrds, whatever. I would be aiming to draw readers’ attention to the awards and the broader conversation around them, to get those readers thinking about what they might wish to nominate and offering the information that such-and-such was eligible, for clarity in case they chose to support my book.

        A boost in nominations might result – a legitimately desirable outcome – but that wouldn’t be the only reason for such a post.

      • Martin says:

        There are two big differences.

        Firstly, in the case of a long/shortlist, a group of people who are not the author have said that the author’s work is one of the best things that has been published that. In the case of posting eligibility, it is the author themselves who are saying that they believe their work is one of the best things that has been published that year. This is almost always implicitly rather than explicitly stated which I would argue makes it much worse.

        Secondly, in the case of a long/shortlist, there is a genuine opportunity to compare the field. These days, once most short story award shortlists are announced, the stories are made available. This means if you point out that your story has been shortlisted, I can easily read your story along with all the other ones and make a judgement on which is best. In the case of posting eligibility, this does nothing to expand anyone’s knowledge of the field beyond that of the author themselves. You may argue that it is raises consciousness but it is an extremely ineffective way of doing so and so would clearly only ever be a side effect to primarily desired outcome: more nominations for the author.

      • jemckenna says:

        I disagree, as I’ve made clear. You are entitled to your opinion, though you might find people appreciated it more, if you didn’t assert your beliefs as fact.

        Since we’re not going to agree and this exchange is becoming circular, I cordially suggest we both find more constructive uses for our time.

  5. Raven Dane says:

    Juliet, an excellent and erudite piece ( as always) and a highly topical one. I particularly love and share your attitude to the ‘literary’ world!
    My upbringing screams no at any obvious public mention of my work and any sort of ‘plugging’ is deeply difficult and against the grain, But one thing the past years as an author have taught me, if you do not believe in your work, why should anyone else? Also, every author, whether published with a big house or a small press needs to be able to promote their work. This is the reality of today’s market, where there is no place for shrinking violets or precious sorts in their ivory towers,
    This is like walking on thin ice. Too much in the brash,screaming.. ‘Look at me!’ style beloved of the American self published crowd feels instinctively wrong and most definitely cringe-worthy. And why do they always have to preface their name with ‘Author’ Jim Bloggins’? Shudder.
    Yet too little promotion and you can easily get overlooked in the great free for all created by the ebook explosion, a world where readers are being drowned in a deluge of dross.
    Those with books out with major publishers have of course the comfort of support from PR and Marketing departments ( well, they used to, these are the first to be cut back on during tough financial times)
    There is no doubt for those of us with small publishing companies, we do have a tougher time. Mine for example.. Endaxi have an incredibly hard working, dedicated and highly professional team but they have no PR budget. They have to be street-wise and canny in the use of internet networking. I have to pull my weight and get the message out about my books. For that, I suspect I am looked down on by those blessed with being signed with one of the big houses. Sorry for being such a pleb but I have no other choice,
    Silly and pointless awards like the Twitter Shortys may seem beneath many authors, To me , it is just another means to get internet coverage, a source of free PR that cannot be ignored.
    At the end of the day, quality will rise to the surface like cream used to but with so much published material out there, the cream sometimes needs a helping hand.

    • Debbie says:

      My sentiments entirely, Raven. But in my case I’ll be dining out for the rest of my life on being long-listed for an award 5 years ago…. Since nobody can vote on it, hopefully that doesn’t count! 🙂

      Personally, I don’t care who bleats at me about their books. I don’t have to listen and I don’t have to vote for them – in fact I’m probably less likely to as they’ll disappear into white noise anyway. The ones who make intelligent thoughtful posts throughout the year about many things are the ones who I’m likely to look at more closely.

  6. Ros says:

    I expect a certain amount of self-promotion from authors, and that includes mentions of positive reviews, awards eligibility, and book launches. In fact, not only do I expect it and tolerate it, I want it. This is useful stuff. But obviously there’s a line to be drawn somewhere, and exactly what constitutes spam is going to be different for every reader.

    I think what you have to do is look at your blog posts and tweets, and check the percentage of them that are blatantly self-promotional. If you’re going “Me! Me!” more than half the time then it’s over the top.

    The thing is, the writers who stop to ask themselves whether they’re being too pushy are usually not the same people who should be worrying about this.

  7. Niall says:

    “they’re damned to obscurity if they don’t engage in the process”

    Surely not? This year’s BSFA nominees are very likely to include Christopher Priest and China Mieville, and I don’t think either of them has posted about their award eligibility…

    There are plenty of issues about how the field notices and recognises authors, and what sort of work and authors they prefer to recognise, but I can’t see that authors promoting themselves for awards is a good solution to those issues.

    • jemckenna says:

      No indeed, those particular authors don’t need to post about their eligibility. So should the field be limited to them? There are no good answers here but some are definitely worse than others

      • Niall says:

        The field is not limited to them. They’re very likely to be BSFA nominees because their books have been read and enjoyed by a lot of BSFA members. If getting other books into the set of books that are read and enjoyed by a lot of BSFA members is the goal — and I think it’s certainly a worthy goal — then I think authorial award-eligibility posts are a really poor way of going about it, if only because they come too late in the process.

  8. Michela says:

    I agree with Ross. As a reader I expect the authors I follow to post/tweet/blog about what’s going on with their books, eligibility for awards included, even more so if voting is up to the readers. I also expect authors to promote their books, why not? I certainly appreciate if they can do it gracefully, but where to draw the line it’s up to them. From my point of view, any information about fantasy and sf books is welcome. There is indeed an overload of information out there, so it’s good to have the people professionally involved in the field pointing out websites/blogs/awards worth checking out. As for the reviews, well if you think about it, anyone can have a saying about books on the internet (through blogs, facebook, amazon, google reads and so on) so it seems only fair to me that the authors should link to the positive reviews. Super-positive comments are on the book covers as well, what’s the difference?

  9. iansales says:

    One of the chief roles of the genre community is to support genre works and genre authors, and we do this by discussing both and by attempting to increase the audience of our conversation. As a result, any works which stand out as especially notable and/or award-worthy are likely to crop up during the conversation. The work has spoken to its readers, and they have spread the word.

  10. Raven Dane says:

    ‘There are no easy answers. Beyond the dispiriting conclusion for writers that they’re damned to obscurity if they don’t engage in the process – as well as damned to hostility from certain quarters if they do.’

    A perfect summary of the situation…

  11. […] ITEM: Let’s get serious for a moment. Over on his blog the redoubtable Stephen Theaker is writing about soliciting votes for awards and so is the equally redoubtable Juliet McKenna on her blog, though somewhat more comprehensively. […]

  12. […] promoting the genre and its plaudits to a wider voting public, depending on how you see it.  A veritable internet arms race, some might say.  Others would call it unbelievably crass.  I, of course, am above such earthly concerns, though […]

  13. jemckenna says:

    For another perspective on this whole question – actually, more than one if you read the comments as well – you can slide on over to Paul Cornell’s blog for this week’s Casual Friday post – and read on, after his latest newsy updates.

    http://www.paulcornell.com/2012/01/casual-fridays-outlandish-flanking.html


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