I can’t believe it, not only did Soil-Man win the 2016 IPPY Gold Medal in Horror, and receive multiple 5 star ratings from Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, but yesterday I found out that it also won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Best First Novel.
Now, I’ve read time and time again that industry professionals don’t care about these indie awards; that they are nothing more than money making schemes preying on the vanity of self-published authors.
Guess what, I don’t give a shit what “Industry Professionals” think. I only care what readers think. That is why I built my own team to publish. And even if they are preying on my vanity, do you know who needs to have their ego stroked now and then? Me god damn it. Most of my writing life is spent in insecure self-loathing. If these self-serving awards are what it takes for me to keep plugging away on my keyboard, then by golly I’m going to enter every one I can.
Look, I know that awards are arbitrary and subjective. I have no delusion that winning means that everyone else would, or even should, like Soil-Man. On any other day the judges could have felt differently, could have been in a different mood and wanted something else from the story.
I worked my ass off for over a decade and a half to get this story exactly the way I wanted it, and to hear that on at least two occasions someone, or several someones, picked my work out of dozens and said “This one,” makes the hard work feel justified.
It also helps me build my platform. Sure, an acquisition editor from Simon & Schuster or a journalist from the New York Times aren’t going to give a flying fuck that I’ve won. But you know who will? My small town newspaper. When I send them a press release that says “Local author of the multi-award winning Soil-Man” they will jump all over it. So will the city where I grew up. As an indie author I have the ability to take the time to be a big fish in a small pond as I grow.
So excuse me while I stroke my ego in public. I think I’m allowed a few days of gloating after the years of self-flagellation. And don’t worry, I’m sure to go back to despising everything I write within the week.
But not today. Today I celebrate!