I realize that most readers probably don’t have much familiarity with book awards. What the different awards are. How winners are selected. Who judges. What the categories are. It can all be fairly mystifying to a layperson.
We authors know quite a bit about book awards and here’s why. We all write solo, many of us in our homes…. or even in isolated
caves rooms within our homes. We’re solitary. We don’t attend quarterly company meetings where promotions and congratulations are handed out.
We’re very fortunate to sometimes receive emails, Facebook messages, and tweets from readers who enjoy our books. [THANK YOU!] But it’s extraordinarily rare to have our work recognized in a public way. So, when one of our novels is nominated for an award, it means the world to us.
Today, I’m going to tell you about one particular book award and the women who make it possible. The INSPY Awards are awarded by Christian fiction bloggers from books nominated by readers.
Rel Mollet is one of the founders of the INSPYs, so I asked her if she’d consent to a brief interview about the award and she said yes. (She’s lovely that way. And in every other way.)
- How did the INSPY Awards come to be?
Rel: The INSPYs were the brainchild of Amy from My Friend Amy, created to discover and highlight the very best literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith. It’s been an honor to be an Advisory Board member from 2010, the inaugural year of the INSPY Awards.
2. The INSPY Award is the only award I know of that allows readers to nominate books. What motivated you to invite readers for their input?
Rel: Readers are the author’s audience. They buy books. They love books. They review books. Readers are savvy and smart when it comes to quality fiction, so it made perfect sense to create an award that enabled book bloggers and readers – the very people authors write for – to nominate books and determine winners.
3. How has the contest changed over the years?
Rel: Essentially, the heart of the INSPYs has remained the same over the past seven years, but we have adjusted the rules from time to time to take into account the changing marketplace and to make the process more manageable. Last year we made a significant change, now collecting our long list from the top 15 nominated novels in each category. For INSPYs 2017, we are pleased to include independently published books that meet specific criteria.
4. Why do you and the other ladies give of your time to make it happen?
Rel: Simply put, we love to read quality faith-infused fiction. We each have blogs that attest to our devotion to these stories. Our desire is to for other readers to discover talented authors and the brilliant novels they have created through their gift of writing. The Advisory Board members, past and current, have freely committed endless hours of time, energy, and enthusiasm because we are passionate about connecting readers with books, and it is a way to show our appreciation for the authors who write them. Over the past seven years, every Advisory Board member has given nothing but their best. As the only remaining inaugural Advisory Board member, it has been a privilege to work with such dedicated people.
Rissi, Jamie, Lydia, Kara, and I are looking forward to another wonderful year. We are very thankful for the support we have received from authors, publishers, publicists, and readers since the inception of the INSPYs. Nominations for INSPYs 2017 close January 16, so get nominating!
Or email us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a quick introduction to the five dedicated ladies who make up the INSPYs advisory board…
Many, many thanks to each of you for the work you’re doing in support of Christian fiction! Like these ladies, I love to see excellent books celebrated.
Readers, I encourage you to swing by the the INSPYs site and take the time to nominate your favorite books of 2016.
How aware of book awards are you? Do you participate in any of them? If so, in what capacity (perhaps as a judge or organizer)?