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Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Experience with the EPIC AWARDS – by KevaD

What I'm about to say is not a reflection on the entrants, finalists, winners, nor even on the EPIC Awards competition itself, but on the administration's treatment of entrants.
I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the finalists and winners of this esteemed contest.

Here's my issue with the administration:

In an age of technology, it has become far too easy to dehumanize people. The EPIC Awards serves as a prime example.

I opted to enter this competition in July of 2011. I did so with a comedy in a contest without a HUMOR category. Liken my submission to entering a plow horse named Zeb with a sumo wrestler for a jockey in the Kentucky Derby. "Longshot" doesn't begin to describe it. To win, place, or show, would no doubt have required resurrection of the bubonic plague. The privilege cost me a $35.00 entry fee.

Obviously, I held little hope of winning, but still, I dream just like anybody else. Yes, I also buy Lottery tickets.

When I submitted my entry, I received this email:

Entry Notification!

We have received your entry for the EPIC eBook Awards Competition™. When your payment clears you will receive an email with instructions on how to upload your entries!

EPIC- The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition
Contact Us:

When I paid my money:

eBook Competition Upload Instructions

You have now successfully paid for the EPIC eBook Awards Competition!

Payment Details

Payment Amount: $35.00

Uploading Instructions:

Please visit this link to upload your entries: eBook Awards Upload Form
Please be sure to enter this Password: xxxxxxx
Please be sure to enter this Transaction ID: xxxxxxxxx

EPIC- The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition
Contact Us:

I deleted the codes.
EPIC then sent me a receipt:


You have successfully uploaded your entries for the EPIC eBook Awards Competition™! Here is a receipt for your records.

Entrant's Legal Name: David A Kentner
PayPal Transaction ID: xxxxxxxx

Entry #1
Title of Entry #1: Out of the Closet
Entry #1 Category:

  • NO - Novella

Entry #1 Filename: NO-Out of the Closet.pdf

Entry #2
(Anything blank is missing information, or you did not enter more than one entry when uploading)
Title of Entry #2:
Entry #2 Category:

  • --Select Category--

Entry #2 Filename:

EPIC- The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition
Contact Us:

Notice what's missing?
How about "Thank you" or "Good Luck"?
Now that EPIC had my money and my entry, I looked forward to the competition and hearing if my longshot crossed the finish line, or stumbled in the gate.

Unfortunately, these emails were the last I would hear from EPIC.
I never so much as received a "Thanks for competing, but…" nor a "We hope you'll enter again next year."
Nothing. Nix, nein, nada.
I only became aware the finalists list had been completed when a finalist posted his certificate for public viewing. It was then I learned a public list of the finalists had been posted on EPIC's web site.
Kind of like waiting for final exam results and then racing into the town square with the rest of the world – the world who hadn't shelled out thirty-five bucks – to find out how you did.

So, if you enter EPIC's contest next year, do so with the understanding no one will say "Thank you for entering." No one will say "Thank you for handing us your money." And no one will invite you to enter next time. Fact is, you simply won't ever hear from anyone involved in administering the competition. Unless you're a finalist, which is what we all hope to be.

And there is my issue. EPIC has lost the concept that authors are human beings and need a little communication. We want to be treated with at least a modicum of respect in exchange for that $35.00 we dropped. Yeah, that $35.00 per entry that obviously didn't go toward the cost of sending out warm, fuzzy email notifications.

"Thank you" shouldn't be a lost art. And a contest saying "Thank you" for entering shouldn't be an epic event.

By the way, thank you for stopping by. =)

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