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Re: [mythsoc] E-books

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  • David S. Bratman
    I am in favor of permitting e-books to be considered eligible for the Mythopoeic Awards. A story told in words is a story told in words, and the manner of its
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 23, 2000
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      I am in favor of permitting e-books to be considered eligible for the
      Mythopoeic Awards. A story told in words is a story told in words, and
      the manner of its distribution is incidental. Verifying the date of
      publication is a trivial matter. So is protecting against plagiarism:
      There is no existing book of award quality that someone on the committee
      hasn't already read.

      Certainly an e-book may be distributed in a format that not everyone can
      read, but that is hardly a different problem from a small-press print
      book distributed in a way that not everyone can find a copy. Committee
      members are not required to read all the first-ballot nominees, but must
      just make a good faith effort to find them. If such a book becomes a
      finalist, special arrangements may be made to ensure everyone can read
      it, just as they've been made in the past with small-press books.

      I share some people's dislike of reading fiction, or anything longer than
      an ordinary list post, on line. One may, as has been pointed out, print
      the work out - or just take the difficulty into consideration when
      judging the book, just as one would take a really bad typeface or
      printing job into consideration.

      Of far greater concern to me is potential ballot-stuffing by publishers.
      In my day as administrator, I'd get one or two inquiries a year about how
      to get a given book nominated. My reply was always: send a copy to
      Mythprint for review, and if members see it and read and like the book,
      they might nominate it. Sometimes the publisher would indeed send the
      book. It was invariably awful. This should not be surprising: if it
      weren't that bad, it wouldn't need this kind of publicity-hunting.

      This process at least put a filtering method on the process, putting a
      book reviewer between the promotion and any consideration for the award.
      I believe that distributing - to the committee or this list - a list of
      self-nominated books, even as a purely informational item prior to the
      first ballot, would be foreign to the spirit of the awards.
      Recommendations for the awards in any sense should only come from readers,
      never from publishers or promoters.

      David Bratman
      - not responsible for the following advertisement -
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