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Oh don’t pretend any of you are surprised. It was bound to happen. When you have a thousand blogs nominated for this, that, and the other, there’s bound to be low rumblings amongst the masses. Unfortunately, one of these low rumblings turned into something akin to the Profumo Affair – erm, minus the affair I guess. Heh.

Anyway, this is the story:

BBAW was conceived by My Friend Amy last year, apparently it was a wonderful feel-good affair, which led to it growing exponentially this year. Blogs can either be nominated or they can nominate themselves. Once they are nominated, they needed to register via email, and present five posts that best represented them in the category that they were nominated in. Still with me? Good.

Something like a thousand blogs were nominated, and among these was a blog that charged for reviews. (Seriously $115 for a review? Who the eff would pay that money?) Anyway, there were criticisms from various corners, (people weren’t keen on a reviewer who charged for their reviews being included in BBAW) which led to a few blogs questioning whether they should remove themselves from the contest. Dear Author decided to not participate, and the SBs put a poll up or something questioning whether or not they too should remove themselves.

Anyhow, all this speculation apparently left My Friend Amy feeling like she’d been horse-whipped, seeing as for her, this was probably a labour of love, albeit one that seemed to have backfired somewhat.

I felt a bit sorry for Amy actually, because she’s probably feeling bruised from all the kickings that BBAW has taken in the past couple of days. It has been said that criticism of BBAW isn’t a necessarily criticism of her, but I suspect that that doesn’t make her feel a whole lot better.

If BBAW is to move on next year (which I’m assuming it will), I think Amy probably needs to decide what her main objectives are. Does she want the awards to be respected and considered worthwhile? Or does she just want to have fun and spread lots of love around?

Both are achievable, but there needs to be more work and thought put into the project, if she wants the awards to be taken seriously.

Personally, these types of popularity contests make me feel itchy. Thanks to whoever nominated KKB, but as per those memes and the likes that make their way round Blogland sometimes, all that happy-clappy shit is just not my thing.

Having said all of the above, I do think some people have been taking the whole thing far too seriously. It’s hardly the Oscars is it?


  • Amen to that!

    I have let the whole BBAW pass me by. Didn’t nominate, didn’t get nominated, which is fine with me because I am not one for popularity contests and frankly I don’t have the time to put into something that seems very time-consuming to me.

    I think it’s all gotten a little out of hand. And saying to Amy that she shouldn’t she the criticism as a personal thing is bull. She is the one who set the whole thing up, put her time and effort into it. So how can she not take the criticism personal?


  • The fundamental idea behind BBAW is a good one. I don’t think Amy could have anticipated the huge number of nominations this year in comparison to last year. The system she had in place probably worked fine for a couple of hundred nominations but couldn’t cope with over one thousand. This inevitably led to confusion, disorganization, and backlash.

    For BBAW to continue and develop, the system will have to be overhauled. If BBAW is truly meant as a popularity contest, then it’s of less interest to me. However, if it strives to become a quality award system, I’m all for it.

    Jane and Co. should do whatever feels right for them and their blog at the present time. Unfortunately, their decisions will be more heavily scrutinized than another blogger’s simply because of who they are. This isn’t fair, but it’s the way it is.


  • @Sarah
    I don’t think BBAW is MEANT as a popularity contest and agree with you that the fundamental idea behind it is good and admirable but whenever nominations and awards are in the picture for some it automatically turns into a popularity contest. As someone else commented somewhere (IIRC it was Wendy on your post) people were squeeing as if they had won a Nobel prize, just for being nominated, not even having won an award. I don’t get that. I really don’t.

    I have read the post on DA about not participating but still can’t figure out why exactly they removed themselves from BBAW. But maybe that’s just me.


  • I wonder if Publishers Weekly or the NY Times or Library Journal was sponsoring such an event, what people would think then? Would they embrace and it and cheer because, it is these well known institutions handing down these awards?

    I still can’t figure out why DA has dropped out. Perhaps I am just confused because my head is spinning over this.


  • Emmy
    September 3
    2:22 pm

    I was nominated and really just not interested in participating, mostly because I couldn’t be arsed to flip through my archives and pull out blog posts.

    However, I think Amy was just trying to do a good thing, and it sucks that she got shit on for it. Why the fuck does everything around here have to turn into a wankfest? Can’t someone say “thank you for what you do”, you smile and say “thank you for recognizing me for what I do”, and everyone can part ways all happy?



  • Mireya
    September 3
    2:38 pm

    If I were Amy, I know I would be taking this VERY personal. The message sent is that she didn’t think this through, deal with it. To this I say, how was she supposed to know that she was going to have 1000 blogs entered if not more.

    I agree that, if she wants to continue the project, she will have to sit down, get an attorney’s advice (hopefully she will have a friend that can help), and draw rules/guidelines/requirements/criteria not only to clarify what is and isn’t acceptable as entry but also to narrow down selection. Additionally, she would have to set up an entry form. In short, it would turn into a chore more than something done for “fun”. However, for her, in the long run, it could turn into something incredibly rewarding.


  • I’ve already commented on this elsewhere, but I don’t want Karen to feel left out. Ha!

    I feel sorry for Amy. Truly. I don’t know her from Adam (or Eve), but my guess is that she thought BBAW would be fun and a neat way to highlight various book blogs around the web. Now it’s turned into…..well…..this. Sigh.

    I tend think there are over-reactions on both sides of this issue. It’s not the Pulitzer, so the various squee-ing on Twitter etc. about nominations amused me no end. That said, this current hurricane in a tea cup also strikes as overkill.

    And to answer Katie(babs) question – honestly, it wouldn’t matter who was organizing it. Unless you have a staff of thousands, there is no way any award of this type would be representative of the WHOLE book blogging community. The Internet is too big and too fluid. It would be an impossible undertaking I think. Plus we all know if the NYT did awards like this not one single romance blogger would get nominated. Heh.


  • What Wendy said.


  • I’m gonna go with what Jessica said… “What Wendy Said.”

    Things go so blown up, blown out of proportion on the web. Majorly.


  • Mora
    September 4
    12:48 am

    God. This whole thing has to go down as one of the stupidest wankfests in the history of Romancelandia. I understand why DA decided not to participate but thought it was kind of silly to make a huge issue out of it. You don’t want to participate? Fine, then don’t. Why make a Federal case out of it?

    People (on both sides) are taking themselves so seriously that I actually feel a bit sorry for them.


  • Lorraine
    September 4
    2:04 am

    What Emmy said…Karen, “thank you for what you do”! You’ve created a great site that’s both fun and interesting to visit. I enjoy coming here and seeing what the fucktards of the world are up to.


  • I agree with what Jessica said. If the blog made it clear that it gets paid for reviews, does it matter that it got nominated because somebody out there thought it was worthy of the award? (If the blogger lied about it, then it’s another matter, I guess.)


  • […] for making sure we all knew that, ladies! Luv ya, mean it!). And who knows how many others did as Karen Scott and blew off the BBAW nomination […]

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