The Nobodies: And THAT is What We Call a Failure
And it looks like, at least this year, I was the fool.
There wasn’t a single submission to the contest. Not one. It seems that, without monetary compensation involved in some manner, even those who consider themselves my friends do not wish to expel their efforts. Perhaps this is best exemplified by this Twitter conversation (edited slightly to remove names and improve grammar):
Me: I’m running a cover contest for my next self-published novel, think I could get a retweet?
Him: You mean people can compete to not get paid to give you cover art?
Me: I don’t keep the art, so it’s pretty much just about the exposure, for me and the artist.
Him: YOU make money off of book sales. YOU use their art to sell your book as the cover. That ain’t exposure. That is YOU making money off THEIR work and not PAYING THEM FOR IT.
Me: You make a valid point, and if I expected to make millions from the eBook, I’d offer more incentive. But that’s not likely to happen at the moment and a potential print version would certainly be worth discussions of payment.
Him: It doesn’t matter, don’t you see? You are using someone else’s work to help sell yours and not compensating them. But worse, you are holding a CONTEST whose only prize is getting to help you make money off their backs.
I don’t know. I could have offered a gift card or something, but that wasn’t the point. My hope was to highlight the artist with a profile, links to their pages, interviews, etc.
But that’s fine. Though I held out hope, I realistically assumed nothing would arrive in my Gmail. It’s the way of the world. Thankfully, I’m far from incapable, and will continue through the next two phases of the contest (weeding out the top three and then voting on them) starting next week with my own creations.
One last note. Someone I follow on Twitter recently mentioned how easy it is to slip from “starting writer” to “failed writer” status. How easy it would be to simply give up on the dream.
But where’s the fun in that?