BBAW Shortlists

Well, the Book Blogger Appreciation Week shortlists are out here, and I must say I’m pretty disappointed. Not because I wasn’t shortlisted for anything (I was only a little hopeful) but because, out of the nearly 200 shortlist spots, only two have gone to blogs I’ve ever read – well-deserved congratulations to Danielle of A Work in Progress, and the good people at Shelf Love! But how many great blogs have sadly been missed… and is the UK represented at all?

I’ve voted for the two I’ve heard of, and also felt qualified to vote in the ‘Best Blog Title’ round, but otherwise I’ve had to leave things blank… Maybe there’s room for a British Book Bloggers Appreciation Week?!

17 thoughts on “BBAW Shortlists

  • September 7, 2009 at 11:10 am
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    I must admit that I agree, Simon; I'm not sure that the UK has been represented at all, which is sadly amiss. Of the shortlisted nominees there were only a handful whose name I recognised and only a few that I regularly read. Congratulations to those who were nominated but I don't think it is full representative of the blogging community as a whole.

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  • September 7, 2009 at 11:50 am
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    I noticed last year that this was predominately non-UK. Most of the giveaways last year were USA and Canada only. We'll see what happens this year but if the pattern repeats, my giveaways will be UK and Europe only.

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  • September 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm
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    This is disappointing news, most of my favourite blogs are from the UK! You are still tops in my book Simon.

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  • September 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm
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    As pleased as I was that Jenny and I made the shortlist, I was sad to see that so many of my favorite bloggers weren't shortlisted. I think I read as many blogs from the UK as I do from the US, so I'm surprised that the UK isn't represented. (I do see some from Canada and Australia.)

    I *do* think the process this year was better than last year, where it was all based on the number of votes. Maybe an improvement for next year is to be sure and invite some UK bloggers, publishers, etc., to be judges. That might not change what ends up on the shortlist, but would at least clearly demonstrate desire to include everyone.

    To answer Lizzy's concern, because the geographical limitations on giveaways are often set by publishers, the organizers were trying to get some participants to agree to ship books overseas when publishers wouldn't. I don't know if they got enough volunteers to make that happen, but they are trying.

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  • September 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm
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    Not sure I'm keen on blog awards for book blogs. Reading is a solitary, non-competitive activity. It's great to 'meet' people over the internet to discuss favourite authors, but I'm not interested in popularity contests. Love your blog, though Simon!

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  • September 7, 2009 at 9:44 pm
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    Ditto to what Teresa said so well! At least 50% of the blogs I read are non-US. I was sorry to see that many of my favorites weren't in contention. (And although I don't read as many book blogs as I know many of you do, I hadn't heard of many of the shortlist contenders, either. This is not to say that they are not wonderful!) I hope next year's process will improve things still further.

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  • September 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm
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    I was quite surprised to see my name there. I do think these sorts of things can be very subjective–how does one ever decide? There are loads of excellent book blogs in the US and UK and Canada and elsewhere for that matter that I don't see listed and many others that I've never heard of (which means the book blogosphere is much, much larger than I ever imagined). I think they are trying to bring recognition to bloggers, but it would be nice if there was a way to do so in a more even and comprehensive way. Irregardless of what happens with this I know I will continue to read and interact with those same blogs that I've admired and enjoyed so long!

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  • September 8, 2009 at 7:11 am
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    Simon, I was thinking much the same thing, only in much less charitable language. I was delighted to see So Many Books and Shelf Love make it through, but I felt uneasy that so many of the blogs belonging to committee members or friends of committee members made it through also. Well you know, I'm just saying.

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  • September 8, 2009 at 11:56 am
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    As one of the judges and chairpeople for one of the categories, I can honestly say that I have no idea in which country 90% of the 100+ blogs that I judged originated.

    Truthfully, unless it was made clear in one of the 5 posts that were submitted by the blogger for judging, or was prominent in the design/sidebar of the blog itself, I would have no way of knowing. Perhaps some of the URLs reflect co.uk, but most, like this one, are on domains that do not make clear what country the blog is from.

    Secondly, regarding giveaways: publishers have the right to distribute books only in the countries for which those rights were granted by the author. Thus, a book may be published by Penguin in the US and Random House in the UK, and someone else in Germany, etc. Those publishers are legally prohibited from distributing their books in a territory for which they do not have rights. That is why the publishers restrictions on sending ARCs and books to other countries, and it's not something that is to be taken lightly.

    I would highly encourage anyone who is interested to sign up to be a judge or other participant next year, by contacting Amy or any member of this year's BBAW committee. Your ideas and participation are very welcome. I am sure there will be changes made to the process, as each year presents new learning opportunities. A more diverse panel would serve to strengthen the book blogging community.

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  • September 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm
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    Hi Ann,

    Thanks for stopping by – I didn't mean to suggest, at all, that the UK were deliberately excluded – I was just sad to see they weren't there! But you're right, an even more diverse judging panel can only make a more diverse shortlist.

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  • September 8, 2009 at 8:42 pm
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    I was sad to see that few of my favourite blogs made it on to the short list. I'm not sure if this is correct, but I have a feeling that blogs were given points for hosting challenges. This isn't something I've seen many UK blogs doing, so could be the reason we missed out.

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  • September 9, 2009 at 2:39 am
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    Hi Simon –

    As a member of the BBAW awards panel, I wanted to add a bit to the discussion. In regard to Lizzy's comment, I know that there are a group of US bloggers who have signed up to mail prizes overseas – I know this because I'm one of them. We are trying to be intentional about this aspect of the week because it is our desire to include ALL of the book blogging community.

    In response to the comment by farmlanebooks, we did ask bloggers to inform us if they participated in any social networking sites, and hosted any challenges or carnivals. However, the requested information was not used in the general judging process – it would only be used in case of a tie. (Which, by the way, did not happen in any of the four panels I chaired.)

    I second Ann's invitation to ALL UK bloggers to participate on a committee next year. I believe there will be an open call for volunteers at the close of this year's BBAW, and I would LOVE to have you all join us!

    I apologize for the length of this comment, but did want to add one more thing. BBAW was started last year by one book blogger, who wanted to spend a week celebrating the book blogging community she loves. While the awards are one part of the week, I truly believe the point of BBAW is to build community and find new, wonderful blogs to read and enjoy. That's why I'm leaving this comment – I found your blog through the judging process, added you to my reader, and saw your post. One month ago, I wouldn't have known to comment. For me, finding blogs like your are the best part of BBAW.

    Again, sorry for the length! Thanks for the discussion, and you're welcome at my blog anytime. =)

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  • September 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm
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    I have to agree that I too was left feeling slightly deflated by the list… and not because I didnt get shortlisted, which is fine. Something just seems a bit not right, i can't put my finger one it.

    Definately think we should have a British one maybe some of us should organise something? How was the other one organised? Mind you it could be negative as we arent competing… well I dont think we are?

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  • September 9, 2009 at 12:15 pm
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    I've only started blogging a couple of months ago but have been reading your posts for a while now and think they are brilliant! Witty, informative and makes you want to go and buy more books. So I hope you don't mind that I have nominated you for a small blog award!

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  • September 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm
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    I'm not even from the UK but because I've enjoyed so many UK book blogs – some of which are my personal favorites – I've thought the same thing Simon, only I didn't think I'd mention it publicly (on my blog). Not so brave, I guess. It's all fine and good to say shortlisted blogs were chosen objectively. However I must agree with savidgereads below that something seems a bit off. There is a degree of 'clubiness' amongst many of the blogs shortlisted. Anyhow, thanks for this little place where I could share my thoughts. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing.

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