I thought I’d write a quick thing about awards. I’m quite reward-ambivalent*, if I’m honest. I do not write for awards and I’ve got a publishing deal with Orbit so in my mind I’ve already won. I’m also, quite embarrassed about the idea of saying ‘hey, vote for me!’ Or possibly it’s more that I think if I have to remind people to vote it’s meaningless, because people should vote for a thing they remember, not a thing you have to remind them about.
So, I was just going to ignore any award things if I was lucky enough to get on any longlists, thinking everyone is happier that way.
BUT. Friends came around yesterday (the award winning Adrian Tchaikovsky and family**) and said I should definitely mention it, cos it’s worth doing and it’s a nice hello to the people who have bought the book. And I got to thinking about that. And that probably, my very British oh-gosh-I-am-up-for-this-how-embarrassing is kind of letting the side down a bit. Cos if you vote for Age of Assassins in something you are not really just voting for me. It’s a vote for my agent, for choosing it in the first place and pushing it. For my editor, who bought it and honed it into something you enjoyed reading, for my publicist who helped you notice it and the marketing people who helped her and for the design team who gave it a cover that caught your eye and the hidden people behind the scenes, the managing and copy editors and typesetters. Even for my wife who supported me while I wrote the thing.
Without all those people you would probably not have enjoyed my book half as much.
It is a huge team effort getting a book out and by not making people aware it’s up for an award and giving people the chance to vote I am doing the only thing worse, for me, than being all self promotey – I am letting down a lot of people who I really like and who have worked really hard on my behalf. That would be a bit mean of me really, and I do try not to be mean.
Of course, what I say is true of all the books on the Gemmell longlist. So I will go back to what I said at the beginning: I think you should always vote for the books you remember, not the ones you need to be reminded about. But also remember that each one is a little triumph, (as is every book that gets out there, award nominated or not.)
Anywhen, here’s a link to the Gemmels longlist and A LOT of very good books to choose from. VOTEY VOTEY.
*Not to say I wouldn’t be delighted if I won something, I would. I just don’t really care if I don’t.
** He said, name-droppingly.