I won an Eppie this past weekend. This isn't like an Oscar or anything, but it does represent a milestone for me. The Eppie is an award handed out by the electronic publishing community. When I started my publishing journey, there were a few select competitions in which I wanted to make a good showing. The Molly is one (and I won that one), the Eppies was one, and there's a couple of others that I've entered (and am now entered in). We'll see how I do there.
You know and I know that an award's value is only as good as the competition. If no one enters, then a first place doesn't mean foo. I have no idea how good the competition was, but I'm not going to worry about that. It's the same in any contest.
My win has awakened a bit of a discussion among some friends about the value of the organization giving the award versus RWA (another organization that has excluded most electronically published people from competing in their contests). I've mostly given up on RWA ever recognizing that I'm a legitimate author. I use my membership with them as a means of promotion -- having a membership gives me access to various loops where I can tout my books. I don't expect to learn much more from RWA or get any help from them with my career.
My friends disagree. They think EPIC (the organization handing out the Eppies) is valueless whereas RWA has value. Now this all boils down to what you think, I know. Do I get a lot out of EPIC? No, I don't, but they are the only group in town that welcomes -- WELCOMES -- electronically published people. As such, I feel I have to support them rather than RWA, which looks down on electronically published people.
It's interesting how my perception of value has changed since I started attending smaller mystery conferences. Smaller presses are welcomed at most of those conferences and e-authors are considered as good as others there (there'll always be the Big Guns like Vince Flynn, etc., but in general there's more Little Guys than Big).
So my journey in publishing continues and my ideas and values change ... I'm enjoying the journey immensely and wonder sometimes where I'll end up. I'm rather content where I am, but I suspect there might be more adventures around a corner somewhere ...
Looking forward to it!