2013 ERIK Award Winner Announced

It's hard to believe that we've finally reached the crowning of the first ERIK Award winner.  What started off as a bit of a lark (mainly in the award naming process) ended up turning into something I hope gains more traction every year and eventually becomes one of my lasting legacies.  I guess when I really think about it, it makes a lot of sense for a guy with third party political views who also supports historically media-ignored sports franchises to want to aid underdogs in the publishing world...

But before I reveal the title that will walk away with a prize package that includes a $200 stipend and the trophy pictured below, I want to take a second to recap some of the most memorable moments of 2013. [Self-published authors: consider it food for thought if you plan on applying for the award in future years.]

  • I had multiple authors stick Post-It notes on their books asking me not to publicly post a bad review if I disliked their work, which would be understandable if not for the fact that I make sure to warn them that sending me a copy means they could receive a bad review.  I let it slide this year to a large degree, but will not be so kind in the future.
  • I received packages from every US time zone but the Alaskan.  New York state was the runaway self-publishing submission spot in 2013.
  • It was interesting to see the varying levels of investment authors put behind their work.  Some were quite Internet savvy, some included promotional merchandise with their work, some hired agents to send me seriously legitimate press kits, and some just sent the book in a plain yellow envelope.  None of these methods provided undue influence in the review, but it is still noteworthy.       

Okay, without further adieu, let me tell you which of the three Buys in this category was the best.  I hate to sound like a judge on a reality talent show, but deciding on a winner was, like, really hard you guys:)  None of the three nominees fell into my "Best of the Best" books stratum.  Plus, they each had a con that was rather significant (illustration, extreme premise, repeated phrase).  In the end, I had to remind myself that the ERIK Award is a prize centered on elevation over elimination.  In other words, I didn't need to compare the titles against each other.  I just had to pick the one my son and I liked reading the most.  So, let me congratulate Carole P. Roman and her book Captain No Beard for being the first entrant in the ERIK Award Hall of Fame!


How Long Will You Love Me?

If anyone asked me this question pre-2001, my answer would have been a whole hell of a lot different than it is now.  Alas, having a family has softened me up big time! 

*Normally I'd tell you I'm sick of these "I love you so much" books, but Patti Brassard Jefferson chose examples that are just so darn interesting and memorable that I was forced to reconsider  
*Bonus photo hunt: there's a heart on every page and you actually have to work to find a few of them
*The address of the store pictured on the cover is 143, which I learned was the old pager code for "I Love You" (I knew it from the Musiq Soulchild song from like 10 years ago)

*The illustrations are certainly passable, but not of the caliber of the majority of stories on my Buy list 
*Freckles playing golf was definitely the most creative visual cited, but also kind of gross to think about 
*I wouldn't say the clouds are made of catcher's mitts so much as they are shaped like them

One of the last self-published books I received before the Erik Award deadline was also one of my favorite.  If you can imagine what the author's monogrammed towels would say, it makes for a great comparison to the work she has served up.  Nothing fancy, yet a tasty morsel of deliciousness.  I plan to read it to my kids until the date she placed on the calendar inside...namely Foreverary 32nd.

BUY / Borrow / Donate / Destroy