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Stephen Memorial Book Award - Bookangel Proposal

Discussion in 'Writer's Lounge' started by Bookangel, July 27, 2017.

  1. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    A thread in the Dive which went off-topic has resulted in a proposal for a book award. You may find details here and join in:

    Messing up a gravestone..? | Bookangel Boards

    Summary of Proposals so far:

    The Stephen Memorial Award for books featuring Cats of Distinctive Character.

    Entry Criteria:
    • Must feature a cat (with distinctive character) as a supporting or lead character.
    • Length: 500 words - 500 pages.
    • No erotica, children's books, or poetry.
    • English Language only.
    • No more than three books per author.
    This contest is open to any book that has been listed on Bookangel or books that were not but that have been published after 1st January 2016. Entries are not permitted for books written or published by friends or family of the judges, or by Ragged Angel Ltd due to its I.T. association with the site.

    Entry Fees:

    • First book - free
    • Second book - £5
    • Third book - £10 (total £15)
    Plus cost of book, if the book is not free*. Payment may be through Paypal or Amazon.co.uk vouchers (We can't take Amazon.com vouchers). Books must be available (not in pre-order) on Amazon or Kobo UK, which is where review copies will be taken from.

    Entries and Payment must be received by 31st August 2017 12:00pm GMT. No late entries will be accepted. No correspondence will be entered into.

    *Kindle Unlimited discounts are not free.

    • £100 voucher for Amazon UK
    • Catnip mouse
    • Online (printable) certificate
    • Web badge
    Runners up:
    • Online printable certificate
    • Web Badge
    Entry Period:
    7th August - 31st August (or when 150 entries are received) starting and ending at 12:00 GMT
    This contest is open to a maximum 150 books, and entries will close early if this is reached.
    Winner Announced - 1st October 12:00 pm GMT.

    Judges: Our normal reviewers.

    Judging criteria:
    Initial sporting will be done by:
    • Formatting
    • Spelling and Grammar (British preferred, American or international acceptable as long as it is consistent throughout)
    • Cover
    • Distinctiveness of cat.
    The final decision will be made by the judges.

    Funds made will be use to cover the competition running costs. Any surplus will go into the fund for running the site, and getting books for review.
    We may review books we get as part of the promotion on Bookangel for our site and newsletter.
    All decisions are final and the judge's decision is not open to debate.
    Abusing reviewers results in instant disqualification.
    No correspondence will be entered into.
    Books Bits 'n Bobs likes this.
  2. I saw the proposal and it's a charming idea! Is the proposal meant to go out as it is or is it okay to offer suggestions? If feedback is okay, does it go here or in the proposal thread in the Writer's Lounge.

    I'm sorry about the loss of your cat, tirial. I'm sure the gravestone issues have made it difficult to feel at peace. I held a charity auction in memory of my cat and matched the highest bid. The auction gave me something else to focus on other than my sadness. Raising money for his feline comrades brought closure and peace. I hope your version of honoring Stephen does the same for you!
  3. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    @Books Bits 'n Bobs I think as much input as possible would be nice, as this is very new idea. I certainly hope the feedback goes here, because this is where I am putting it.

    If as the current reviewers, it will be mainly myself and Angel judging, may I request that we exclude children's books? Comparing a picture book to an adult novel is very difficult. There are likewise problems with comparing early readers and age 5-8 books with those aimed at a YA or adult audience.
    Books Bits 'n Bobs likes this.
  4. If you already have detailed rules for contest like this in place, please let me know so I can delete this wall of text.

    • Who can enter?
    Is the contest open to certain authors - from a certain country, must they be Indie authors, must the author be a legal adult, can joint authors enter together and if so who gets the prize? Is it okay for a member of bookangel to enter?

    • Payment needs addressed.
    Is the author expected to pay with PayPal, a credit card, a Amazon payments account, or with Bookangel credits. I would add a note that entries will not be judged until you've been paid in full. Are you going to send confirmation that you've received payment and the book? If payment method hasn't been decided yet, Amazon is a good answer though I'm not sure how it will work between countries. Are all ebook authors automatically listed on each of Amazon's sites -UK, US, CA, and others? Where is the money going? Is it being given to a charity, to the judges for their time, to the reviews, to bookangel?

    • What are the judging standards and how should the author submit their book?
    How will you select a winner? Is it majority rules? Are you judging based on whether you enjoy the book or is there some objective standard that needs spelled out. How many judges are there in total?
    How is the author supposed to get the book to the judges? I know it will come from Amazon, but is the author supposed to email you a discount code to make the book free or are they going to send the book via digital gift?

    What about creating character awards like "character with the most cattitude"
    "Best display of feline disdain"
    "Number 1 cat servant" For the human characters maybe.
    I think these would fun to jazz up and promote. It would stand out more than the runners up distinction. If the author has a blog they could display the award and could put it on amazon. All of which has the potential to bring in new members.

    The cut off date is listed, but the timezone needs included as well.

    And honestly, you all know what you're doing and likely have all those rules already in place.
  5. Tregaron

    Tregaron Active Member

    I believe that is what we are hashing out here. I would suggest open to any book listed on bookangel, and given that our reviewers are barely active on the board, that there would be no problems with members of the board or bookangel joining in, unless they are friends or family of the reviewer who by UK law should be excluded.

    Since this would be the first year, can I suggest keeping it as simple as possible. One award, one criteria, and limited entries to avoid flooding our overworked review team?
  6. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    How about Paypal or Amazon.co.uk vouchers for paying :)? There's a list of what's kinda decided on the summary page @Books Bits 'n Bobs
  7. Angel

    Angel Munificent Critic

    This I would agree with in terms of keeping it as simple as possible. The simpler, the better as it would also make awarding any prize a lot easier.
  8. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    For the judging criteria I suggest we do an exclusionary method:
    Initially grade the books on formatting, spelling and typos, and cover. Exclude those which fall down for example with textified photos, bad poser images, or simply unreadable formatting.
    Exclude those where the cat is not a distinctive character (e.g. if the cat appears only for a few lines now and then when they get home from work and feed it.)
    Pass those which cover all of them.

    Then I believe it will be a case of Angel and I reading all the remaining ones and arguing, I am sorry, politely discussing the best, and finding the best cat. If we can get RhymeHunter and PaperbackRaider involved that will also reduce the numbers we have to read.

    May we also exclude poetry books about cats? I am not qualified to judge them so that would come down to RhymeHunter on her own and I know she has little time these days.
  9. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    I thought the normal Bookangel rules apply, so no EU and all that:rolleyes:.
  10. Shipping a catnip mouse overseas might be expensive. If you're accepting books from authors in other countries, the UK voucher won't work for them. At least I don't think so. Where is the money going? Some will assume it's going to a charity of some sort. I don't see anything wrong with bookangel keeping it, but it's best to lay that out.
  11. Tregaron

    Tregaron Active Member

    @Books Bits 'n Bobs I am not sure if you have actully read the summary, as most of those points were covered in it.

    As no one else has mentioned a charity and very few other book awards donate to them (do you request Reader's Favorite donate their earnings? They will laugh at you.) I don't see why this one should. Having been through it before it takes several weeks clearance to be allowed to use a charity's name officially and with permission, which would delay the entire thing. It would be extremely unwise to use a name without that, as it could be deemed endorsement.

    With regards to shipping a catnip mouse, Amazon has worldwide reach even if it does cost a maximum of £10.

    As Paypal is also available as an alternative, I don't see why accepting Amazon.co.uk vouchers as an alternative from UK authors would be a problem. They can be put towards the fund to purchase bargain books for review, or do you expect our reviewers to spend their own funds to endorse other people's books?

    This may seem blunt, but there seems to be an allergy towards supporting this site, often from the same people who will pay £450 to Netgalley, ebookhippo or Bookbub, yet who use our services extensively but will not contribute to this site. The funds could cover the £250 needed for the site due to non-paying advertisers, the funds needed for the review column and more, and note that the authors who have been the least pleasant about the loss of the column have not signed up for the Patreon to relaunch it while claiming that they have. We know they lie because the Patreon has one supporter.
  12. @Tregaron, yes, I read the summary. It's been flushed out with a few of my suggestions actually. You realize the summary is getting edited as all of our suggestions are coming in, right? I'm not sure why you think I'm downing the sight, or expecting the judges to pay for the books. I think I mentioned charging for every single entry. I've also stated that I support charging authors who want to skip the review queue in general. My voucher statement had nothing to do with the payment- it was about the prize should a non-UK author win. This is a fantastic forum and I enjoy being here. I've clearly touched a nerve when I didn't mean to. I'm sorry.
  13. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    USA writer's competitions offering USA Amazon vouchers don't change the awards for UK writers:oops:, so why should we change the UK vouchers for US:D? @Tregaron, you took over handling the mailbox last week, right? I guess it's bad:((?
  14. porridge

    porridge Member

    Stephen mattered to us. Touchy subject. Miss him.

  15. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    A few points that might be useful:
    • Jurisdiction: "This competition is run under and in accordance with the laws and rules of the UK, and any cases arising will be judged in this locale."
    • No cash alternative will be given for the prize.
    • Books must be for sale on Amazon or Kobo at the time of entry.
    • Payment for entries must be received within one week of invoicing, or the books will be rejected.
    • Submissions will be accepted through the submission form only.
    Due to Digital VAT, only one (free) entry will be permitted from submitters located in countries which have a 0% percent threshold, including the EU. Books that are not free on Amazon UK, or Kobo UK, from these locales may not be entered.
    As an alternative, to make VAT really simple, allow entries only from US, Britain or British VAT law regions (Isle of Man, Falklands, Gibralter etc.), Canada, New Zealand and Australia, all of which have VAT thresholds on digital sales that we are nowhere near meeting. At £100, the Amazon UK voucher will cover physical (slow) shipping of goods bought on Amazon UK. At worst there is always eBay.
  16. Terry

    Terry Active Member

    Those extra points are worth keeping and will hopefully keep things simple.

    I think I prefer the idea of just going for countries with the high Digital VAT threshold, otherwise the other option is limiting everyone to one entry.

    It's a little unfair to expect European authors to pay our VAT costs incurred over £5.
    Last edited: August 4, 2017
  17. Tregaron

    Tregaron Active Member

    The problem with EU VAT isn't that we or the authors have to pay it, it is the huge admin cost it adds to the club. It is about £4,000 a year in admin overheads just to take a once yearly 5 euros as you still have to do nil returns even if there was nothing earned from that country. As we discussed at the time, that would mean us closing down instantly. I don't think any of us have £4,000 free. If the 10,000 euro threshold is brought in on 1st January 2018, then we can re-open to EU residents. I still cannot believe that Mr. Junkers' solution to this problem was to say that small business which can't afford the admin should not trade in the single market, two days before the Brexit referendum!

    My apologies. Politics belongs in the Dive.
  18. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    Its the first year. Keep it simple and small::unsure::?

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