A View on Writer Popularity Contests

It is my firm belief that there are more writers out there than there are readers on many sites dedicated to books.  I find it very difficult to find a way to reach my readers than I can with my fellow authors.  Like an unchecked deer population I practically have to elbow them out of my way to tranverse the Internet  in my search to confront anyone who actually reads, not writes.  I wonder where, in the bowels of Cyberspace, these people hide, crouched in fear from the massive search of millions of authors who, like SkyNet in the Terminator movies, hunt them relentlessly.  I was involved in a contest, obviously for writers by writers, to “choose” the most popular in their genre for 2008.  To my utter lack of shock, I discovered it was  nothing more than a popularity contest. 

Apparently in that deep dark place the readers are secretly immersed they barely got the message.  With my low sales quote for my novels I find it quite unlikely that I really placed 12th on the list of any of the voting categories.  Perhaps I’m just a Philistine with a dose of too much reality, but I know who voted for me.  Most of them have read my work, but for free (most are related to me in one way or another).  With this in mind I hardly “crowed” about my “victory” and now find it all rather amusing (in that sarcastic sense of humor of mine). 

But does this devalue the work of any of those who participated?  Unlikely at best.  Like I’ve stated before I believe that these poor huddled masses are afraid to peek out their heads to participate in most contests for fear of getting their Inboxes jammed pack with unwanted emails from the menagerie of writers out here in Cyber-land.  Perhaps when the sun goes down, and nobody’s looking, these timid creatures will unburrow themselves out of the ground and seek out the results of the voting.  Maybe I’ll sell a few more books, but I really don’t care at this point in time.  I’ve come to the conclusion I write primarly for myself, my family next, and anyone adventurous to read something without the usual creatures (vampires, werewolves, and such), the standard plot devices (bad boy/girl meets good boy/girl for fun, romance, and danger), and ending with a predictable conclusion. 

I’m still wondering how many readers are out there.  I promise not to expose you to my colleagues if you come forward, it’ll be our little secret…. honestly.

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