A couple of years ago, with my brand new Emperor Dad book in my hand, I was talking to another author when he pointed me to one of the officials of the Golden Duck Awards. We shook hands and he took a glance at my book, noticed the 2003 copyright date I’d put on the front sheet and told me it wasn’t eligible, but if I had anything new come out, to be sure and let them know.
Well, I learned two things then. One, I was stupid to have put the 2003 date (when I sold it as a PDF) on a book I published in 2007, and two, that I should take him up on the offer. So, starting with my next book, I send a copy of every freshly minted book off to the mailing address listed on the Golden Duck website. Three titles with 2008 copyrights went off to Illinois.
Of course, as with most contests, I get no feedback, and I don’t really expect any. Contests get swamped with submissions, just like editors and agents and reviewers, but I know that books sent out don’t ever really get wasted. Some of them get read. Some get donated to libraries. Some pop up on ebay.
And sometimes, an email arrives. Last year, I was notified that I was a finalist for the Darrell Award and I dropped everything to go to Memphis, just on the off chance I would win. I did, and it made a wonderful difference to be able to put that award winner tag line when I introduce myself.
This time, there was none of that maybe stuff. It was a simple, “You won the Eleanor Cameron Award.” First thing I read this morning, and I had to hunt around the house to tell Mary Ann because she was out in the yard weeding the garden. I always enjoy the way she whoops at good news. Lighter Than Air had won a Golden Duck!
Then I had to find the Worldcon site so I could sign up and be there for the awards ceremony. Suddenly, Montreal is on my schedule. Good memories from the last time we were there. I’m looking forward to it.
But there are a ton of things to do. I’ve got to change the cover on the book to flag the award. Email all my friends. Notify every store that has a consignment copy so they can maybe advertise it. I won’t get it all done today, that’s for sure.
But it pays to enter those contests.