Sunday, July 1, 2007

What does "Award Winning" really mean?

Recently I was notified that my last book, Royal Koi & Kindred Spirits was honored as an "exceptional story that encourages understanding of the world's diverse cultures, nature and the importance of ecological diversity." It went on to say my book "promotes cooperation, non-violence, respect for differing viewpoints and close relationships in human societies."

Naturally, I was pleased to have received the honor and the seals which I can now display on Royal Koi & Kindred Spirits jacket showing potential customers that now all my books have received literary awards.

Frquently, I wonder why awards are so important in our society. People who create things to sell want their products to be endorsed by (award winning) celebrities, be awarded (award winning) seals of approval or stamped by (award winning) governmental agencies as being safe, acceptable to be used or seen by children or adults or suitable for a particular group of possible users.

On the other side, we customers depend more and more on "experts" to determine for us whether to buy or act. We listen to a cacophony of voices pleading for us to buy an (award winning) brand , vote for or against an (award winning) policy or person, be asked to give money to support a plethora of (award winning) deserving causes which will use our monetary gift wisely for the benefit of those less fortunate.

We know some of these award claims are bogus and consequently we get taken, our ability to analyze every promotion whether from the car industry, medical and pharmaceutical world, or our government is very limited even with due diligence on our part to try an search out other sources to validate the product or policy. When possible I check with friends who may have used a product, read a particular book or watched a certain movie. They are the critics I trust the most.

Personally for me as a writer, although golden award seals are nice to receive, it is the literally the thousands of letters and emails I have received from my readers telling me how much my book (s) have meant to them. Their encouraging, positive and laudatory words are my trophies. I believe praise from a readership is the holy grail for any author and for these "awards" I will be eternally grateful .