Publicity is one thing–but this? Is it proper?

A friend who is also competing in The Contest Which Must Not Be Named clued me in on what’s happening on Twitter: some of the contestants are offering to donate a dollar for every vote that they get. What??

I am thinking that this teeters just on the brink of . . . well, if not unethical, then bribery or something. Shouldn’t people only give a vote of confidence (which is what voting thumbs-up over there means) if they really like the book and find it gripping, interesting, and readable? Should it really be something that you do in order to win a prize or have a donation made?

Here’s the link my friend shared:
http://twitter.com/#search?q=textnovel

It really floored me when I first heard. I knew that many authors were offering prizes on their blogs (to the tune of, if you vote for me and my friends, we’ll enter you in a drawing for a new Porsche, and the like), and I thought that might be a little iffy, but I chalked it up to my jealousy and envy. But THIS . . . is it really OK, and I’m just overreacting?

Maybe all’s fair in love and war. Maybe the rule is “whatever works, do it.”

Perhaps a charitable donation should be had at any cost. I don’t know. I just live here.

I suppose I ought to at LEAST mention on Twitter that I do have an entry up. I’ve pretty much given up all hope, though, because now I’d have to gain fifty or a hundred votes before Nov. 1 in order to place twentieth, and I simply don’t have the time to devote to begging people. It’s a carrot on a stick. If I actually had a book on the shelves, you can bet I would jump through hoops or pose nekkid on top of Reunion Tower’s golf ball, but hey, that would be for something concrete. This is a pie-in-the-sky thing, and I have a life to attend to. I don’t know where the other people find the time!

I mean, they are constantly changing their taglines on the contest site, as well. Here’s how I see the types of taglines that ask for votes:

Acceptable:
This is a Dorchester contest entry. If you liked it, especially if it made coffee spew out of your nose, please click on thumbs up and the cell phone icon!

Borderline:
The next 100 votes will be matched dollar for dollar in donations to [name of charity]

Facepalm:
If you vote for all of the novels on the following list and subscribe to all of them, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win prizes!

I swear all of these lines have appeared on the site recently. I am completely failing at attracting votes now that it’s forbidden to send messages to the other authors on the site to ask them to take a look and vote IF THEY LIKE MY STUFF. (A new rule went into effect a couple of weeks ago that prohibits this.) But we knew I was not one of the Popular Girls and that I find the Popular Stuff uninteresting, so it’s not a surprise. I think I’m out of the running for the contest. I still don’t believe that this means my novel is not as “good” (whatever that means) as their novels. I still don’t believe that they are more worthy of getting the contract than my book is. But I do believe in the tooth fairy, Santa, and doing the right thing just because! What a dreamer. “What a fool!” as Bokonon (among others) would say.

I guess I’ll revert to the old-fashioned way of submitting the manuscript to Dorchester through their normal channels as described in their guidelines . . . Venus (or a Venusian) struggling to rise out of the slush. What’s another year of wasted time waiting compared to the time I’m wasting typing all that out?

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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