Well, I was going to review the book I've been reading, but I'm not quite done with it, so I want to tell you that my book cover for Pocket Full of Posies made it to the finals in the February Creme de la Creme contest for InD'Tale magazine. (Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the semi-finals!) If you are so inclined and want to vote again in the final round, you can go here (We're down to the final three! Woohoo!)
I've been asked if winning contests and awards help with book sales and in my opinion, it does because it helps with exposure. Recently, however, there was an article published about how awards negatively affect books because more people are drawn to the book. More people read it, whether it's their particular taste of book or not, and with more people reading it that wouldn't normally, the ratings of the book decreases. The conclusion was drawn, then, that awards aren't necessarily a good thing for books.
When I read the article, I wondered how they could accurately study and draw such conclusions. (You can read the entire article here to find out how they did it.) It also drew to my mind the old adage, "there's no such thing as bad publicity." Raising the profile of a book or author is the goal in most cases, to bring the stories to a wide audience. Bad reviews will, of course, affect the ratings of the book, but I don't know of many people who rely solely on reviews before they purchase or read a book. But does that fact invalidate the conclusions drawn in the article? Maybe it's not relevant if we're only talking about ratings.
Regardless, as an author, I think awards can be validating, and if it draws people to read my book who wouldn't normally, I don't think that's a bad thing. I like saying I'm an award-winning author. I may change my mind about the whole thing if I get a bunch of bad reviews after an award because bad reviews can be hurtful. A catch-22 I suppose.
What do you think? Are awards helpful or hurtful?