Congratulations to Sharon Rhodes, author of It’s a Family Affair, which is the second novel she has written and published with Outskirts Press. We will be announcing Finalist #2 and #3 in the coming days and then public voting will commence to determine the winner this coming Friday.
Winning a CIPA EVVY Award is a pre-requisite to winning our own Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award, now in its 4th year. In 2010 we published a book called The Beads of Lapis Lazuli, by Doris Kenney Marcotte, which went on to win a 2011 EVVY Award for Fiction and become a finalist for our contest. Doris was up against The Key to Job Success in Any Career, by Frank B. Leibold, Ph.D and Psych Consults by Robert J. Mignone, M.D. In the weeks following the finalist announcements, Doris engaged in some aggressive “author platform” leveraging and social media marketing efforts, which paid off — her book was named the 2010 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year, recognizing the best book we published in 2010, written by the author who demonstrated the best marketing muscle. Her interview is here.
In 2011 we published a book called Pathway to Math Proficiency:Mastering Equivalent Fractions, Decimals and Percents…with Ease, by Susan Mercer, which won a 2012 EVVY Award for Workbooks. She went on to win the 2011 Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award, after competing head-to-head with the other two finalists: Angelic Warfare, by Bolko Zimmer and The Keya Quests: The Battle for Shivenridge, by Glenn Skinner. And like the 2010 contest, the 2011 public poll was a close call, going right up to the wire.
I summarized my thoughts about how the public polling panned out here. In that posting, I shed some light on the aggressive marketing efforts the winners must make to secure the award. It may also help to know what process determines the three finalists in the first place. Logistic and creative elements have already been taken into consideration and recognized (given the fact that all finalists are already EVVY Award-winning books), so determining the three finalists are admittedly a more subjective decision making process. While the “order” of the EVVY Awards (first, second, third, merit) play a role in determining our finalists, there are other considerations we take into account that EVVY judges do not. We know the authors. We are more familiar with their writing career and talents and aspirations. We know if they have published previous books and, if so, how THOSE books have performed in various contests. The CIPA judges take none of these factors into account when judging individual EVVY Awards (nor should they) but we do when choosing finalists from among all the EVVY winners.
That said, Finalist #2 will be announced on Wednesday and Finalist #3 will be announced on Thursday. But, readers of this blog know they sometimes receive some news early, so allow me to say this: This upcoming poll does give us an opportunity to witness a little social experiment first hand. You may have noticed from the paragraphs above that our previous two Best Book of the Year winners have been female, even though they were each competing against two other men in the Finalist rounds.
Without revealing TOO much about the next two finalists, I will give a hint and say that we have that same situation again. Sharon Rhodes will find herself head-to-head-to-head against two male finalists when the voting begins on the Outskirts Press blog this coming Friday. Let’s see if she continues the trend started by Doris and Susan before her, proving that in this digital day and age of social media marketing and online book promotion, female authors are not to be trifled with. Or will our first male Best Book of the Year author finally take a crown. We’ll find out this week!