Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NEW ENGLAND BOOK FESTIVAL

Busy time here at the agency. I wish we had more hours in the day!

Today, though, I have another question for you. It concerns the New England Book Festival. Have any of you heard of it? Have any of you published authors won the New England Book Festival award?

I ask because we regularly get notices from the JM Northern Media family of festivals encouraging us to enter our clients' books (at $50 a pop) for award consideration. In addition to the New England Book Festival, JM Northen Media sponsors the DIY Convention, Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books, New York Book Festival and Hollywood Book Festival. They are sponsored by The Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, The Hollywood Creative Directory, eDiffy, Shopanista and Westside Websites.

I Googled "The Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony" and was immediately bounced back to JM Northern Media. Hmmm. Now, I'm not saying this isn't on the level. I'm just asking: Which books have won awards? What wonderful things happened to winning authors? How significant are these awards? AND MOST IMPORTANT--Who the heck is JM Northern Media? Just curious.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I havent heard of this award before at all, nor have I heard of any previous books winning this award. Sorry!

John Woodington

A Paperback Writer said...

I've never heard of any of it before, but then I'm a long way from New England.

The only book festivals I follow would be the local one (which isn't very exciting) and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which, I believe, is one of the most famous in the world (3 weeks, 750 authors, 800 events). Nearly everything else pales in comparison, so I don't bother looking.

Patrice Sarath said...

A quick check of Hoover's and Nexis shows that the company is based in Los Angeles and runs publicity events and contests that it calls book festivals in various locations. It charges entry fees, which I don't think real book festivals tend to do. Its July 12 2008 Hollywood Book Festival was touted as a way for authors, agents, and publicists to get their books before Hollywood producers, but it was held at a nearby Barnes & Noble.

There's no other news except for press releases about its events stretching back to 2001 or thereabouts.

Legit, perhaps, but I think it's a case of buyer beware.

Kae and Jon said...

Thanks, Patrice. I agree. I'm just amazed at the number of "Awards" this group sponsors and I still wonder how much validity they have among readers and the book industry at large. In other words, does winning one of these awards give a book status?

Patti said...

hey kae and jon, i am a new reader and i am wondering why you guys aren't members of aar.

Kae and Jon said...

All in good time, Patti! And welcome to our blog!

Patti said...

hope that didn't come across as accusatory...just wondering.

Anonymous said...

I have participated in their events and have found them beneficial. The Hollywood Book Festival in July was a great event.

Rick Robinson
author

Suzette Martinez Standring said...

Trying to figure out if DIY/New England Book Festival was legit, I found your blog post. The DIY site said it was their "first" one, and it makes wonder what a Hollywood-based concern is doing coordinating a New England festival. I was going to submit my book, The Art of Column Writing, but wasn't sure about who these people were. They seem to have held music-related conferences, but it's strange that they do not post a location for their 2009 NE Book Festival.

K. Patrick Malone said...

Well, folks I have entered and gotten Honorable Mentions for both my books from both the New York and Hollywood Book Festivals in both 2007 and 2008. I also attended both New York Book Festival Awards. I found that it seems to be a growing business. The 2007 New York Book Fest Awards was in a small NYC pub, nice fun, met some people, got fed for free had some drinks. It was fun LOL. This year the 2008 event was held at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan, A hotel with a real literary reputation, once again ,got well fed and had more than a few drinks , met some really fun people and had an all around great time. Was it the red carpet at the Oscars, of course not, but it has certainly been a worthwhile venue for the exposure of small and independent press publishing, and not for nothing, any good recognition small press authors can get is good recognition. And particulrrly with small and independent presses, the little gold, silver and bronze stars it allows us to put on our books does attract readers attention. If one is expecting a small press book to be honored by the larger big boys of publishing, we may have a long wait. They're all waiting for the Margaret Mitchell to come down from heaven and drop a sequel to Gone With The Wind in their lap. They don't have time for small and independent press authors so we need to get all of the recognition and support we can get. These festivals aid in that quest, as for the $50.00 entry fee. The event at the Algonqiun was certainly worth that, a really cool thing for those of us who apparently were inadvertantly left off the A List of Publishing (much to their loss). I say go for it. I have both my books entered in the first New England Book Fest and would be truly honored to come away with any recognmition I may get (Grand Prize of $1500 and round trip airfare to LA, NYC or LONDON isnt bad either). If I get it I'll let you know. Its a tough business and I think we need to encourage ourelves and others who join in our struggle to have our work seen. Kind of like sticking together for all our mutual benefit. K. Patrick Malone (Inside A Haunted Mind, 2007 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention) & The Digger's Rest ( Both Hollywood and New York Book Festival Honorable Mentions)

Kae and Jon said...

Thanks so much Patrick for the "real world" experience. You're the first author I've met who actually won an award from this group and it sounds like your experience with them was 100% positive.

Steven J. Harper said...

My book, "Crossing Hoffa: A Teamster's Story" (Borealis, 2007) won Honorable Mentions at the New York and Hollywood Book Festival; the audiobook won Honorable Mention at the London Book Festival -- all JM Media-sponsored events. I agree with Patrick that the program is worthwhile.

John Graham said...

I just won first prize in the Biography/Autobiography section of the 2008 New England Book Festival for my memoir, Sit Down Young Stranger. I'll let you know what comes of it. The book is the fourth one I have published.
John Graham

Kae and Jon said...

This is great news, John! Congratulations! Please keep us in the loop as you move forward with this award.

Carol O'Dell said...

I entered my novel "Mountain Game," in the Hollywood Book Festival last year under general fiction (didn't have a category for science fiction then) and was asked to read. I entered my sequel, "Mountain Calling," in the New England Book Festival this year and received an Honorable Mention. I am also a member of The Central valley Writers Workshop. It's a critique group. We hold contests once a year with a special event and invite publishers and agents for writers to meet and present their work to people in the industry. If you're published under a small publishing house it's hard to get the word out! These conventions and contests offer writers a chance to get their work read and appraised. Any recognition can't be bad. $50. is a nominal fee for a contest. Is it the gigantic hoopla that will gain your book fame and fortune? Don't know, but after my live reading I was approached by other publishing houses. Are they making money? They probably wouldn't be able to continue if they weren't. I know from experience with our writers group it take a lot of time and energy to plan and run the single event we do each year. These festivals aren't the Oscars but we as authors receive enough rejection from the big houses, Why not a little praise from an organization that has turned an ear to the interests of the small publishing houses and independent authors? For our sake, I hope they continue, The one thing I would like to see them add is offering reviews for those that win or receive Honorable Mentions. I believe this would demonstrate a personal interest in the writers and stamping an approval with a review means their judges are willing to put their names behind the books offering additional legitimacy to their organization. I hope my comments have helped. Sorry it’s so long.

Bill Trombello said...

I've written three childrens picture books. My first two independently published books "Trains and Real Locomotives" and "How a Real Locomotive Works" won the children's category and runner up at the "Beach Book Festival" in Atlantic City, both books received an honorable mention at the "New York Book Festival". Trains and real Locomotives received an honorable mention at the "London Book Festival" as well. My unpublished book "The Willow Falls Christmas Train", won the unpublished category at the "Hollywood Book Festival", and "The New England Book Festival" over all venues. The book also received runner up in the children's category at the "London Book Festival" (how cool is that, I actually entered the book in the unpublished category). Yes I'm looking for an agent, and yes like all of us I dream of being picked up by a big house

Bill Trombello said...

My three childrn's picture books have all won awards. "Trains and Real Locomotives" won the children's category at the Beach Book Festival in Atlantic City, and received an honorable mention at the New York, and London Book Festivals. "How a Real Locomotive Works", was runner up at the Beach Book Festval, and received an honorable mention at the New York Book Festival. My unpublished children's picture story book "The Willow Falls Christmas Train" won the unpublished category over all venues at the Hollywood, and the New England Book Festivals. I entered the book in the unpublished category in the London Book Festival, and took runner up in Children's category (Cool mistake)! The book also received an honorable mention at the New York Book Festival as well. I finally have an agent reading the book as well.

Ryan Sherwood said...

I am an author researching this London Book Festival. I'm also researching the New England Book Festival and found that JM Northern Media is involved in both events. Any several more as well. The fee for both is $50 and neither state anything about the judging panel. I'm put off so far. I've emailed the 2007 winner of the London Festival to hear his thoughts...maybe this JM Northern Media company deals with these events legit or maybe not...
Ryan Sherwood
www.ryansherwood.com

Ryan Sherwood said...

I just spoke with someone involved with the 2007 festival and found it wasn't worth the time, money or effort.

Anonymous said...

My children's book, Duck Tape, won honorable mention in both the London Book Festival and in the New England Book Festival. My book, Santa's Hat, won honorable mention in both the San Francisco Book Festival and in the NYC Book Festival. Neither book would have been reviewed by "big press" but I was able to put stickers on my books and my local paper ran a story which resulted in more sales. The award ceremony was lots of fun with good food and drinks. I think the awards are worth the effort and money.

blasiar said...

My young reader's books, "Emmy Budd: Don't Look Now" received an Honorable Mention in the 2010 New England Book Festival. I couldn't personally attend, but my editor picked up the award for me. They are legitimate.
Jean Blasiar

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