Book awards. Should we care?


Book awards. Should we care?

In last year, my three book releases through Vesuvian Books have collected a number of awards. Some are small (Reader’s Favorite Honorable mention for best dystopian), and some are larger (Winner at the London, New York and Hollywood Book Festivals for best Sci Fi; Finalist at the Dragon Awards for Best Sci Fi).

I am chuffed. Okay more than chuffed. I’m elated.

I did a bit of reading on the internet (always a bad idea) to look into what authors do with their new found ‘fame’. Surprise, surprise, I found a whole lot of vitriol. Many authors, were scathing about the various awards out there calling them money-making scams, or ‘pay for play’ that have no impact on sales etc. Perhaps some are scams. Though, I would note that even the Pulitzer requires an entry fee.

But, it got me thinking. Should I care about my awards? Should I bother entering any more competitions?

So, I dug a little further and came across an interesting article on the shift in the publishing industry and the weight of even the big awards; Pulitzer, Man Booker, Hugo etc. The author told of how since the consumer is now king, as opposed to the literary elite, the awards themselves have less impact. Some of the best-selling books in the world have zero awards. The readers just really like the book.

So, I asked myself again – should I care about the award?

More digging, and another article came up which was quite positive. The author suggested that while awards may not have direct impact on sales, it does allow us to give a boost to our marketing campaign and put a shiny sticker on our book that other books don’t have. He/she equated it to a bottle of award-winning wine with a lovely gold star. No-one questions the competition it came from; the consumer only knows that one bottle has the star and another doesn’t. It may tip the balance when choosing.

A solid reason to enter competitions and hope for an award.

But, after much thought, finally I came to a different conclusion. I care about the award, because I care about my book. I write because I like to write. I do it for the love of it. Thus, if someone, somewhere, in a competition, big or small, has deemed my book to be more worthy than others to receive an award then I’m damn happy.

Someone liked my book. They liked it enough to give it a gold star. I feel proud, and that – dear reader – is all that matters. So, go out there and enter those competitions and give yourself the energy to write more.

Now, I’m off to rub shoulders with fellow winners and drink Lambrini from a styrofoam beaker.

About the Author

Gareth Worthington BSc PhD is a trained marine biologist and also holds a doctorate in comparative endocrinology. Currently, Gareth works full time for the pharmaceutical industry helping to educate the world’s doctors on new cancer therapies. His debut novel, Children of the Fifth Sun, won in the Science Fiction category at the London Book Festival 2017. He has a number of passions, including: martial arts (he trained in Muay Thai at the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore), studying ancient history, and most of all writing fiction. Born in England, Gareth resides in Switzerland.

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On Twitter: @drgworthington




Children of the Fifth Sun: Echelon

By Gareth Worthington

Genre: SciFi, Adventure, Action



Fifteen thousand years ago, the knowledge bringers—an amphibious, non-humanoid species known as the Huahuqui—came after a great global flood, gifting humans with math, science, and civility.


We killed them all.

Seventy years ago, we found one of their corpses preserved in ice and eventually created a clone named K’in. Our governments fought over the creature, and we killed it, too. Now, a sinkhole in Siberia has opened, revealing new secrets.


Freya Nilsson spent the last five years trying to forget her role in the Huahuqui cloning program. She hid her son, KJ, from the regimes and agencies she believed would exploit him for the powers he acquired through his father’s bond with K’in.

An innocent trip to help KJ understand his abilities results in the conspiracy she fought to bury exploding back to life. Chased by new foes and hounded to put the world first, all Freya can think of is protecting KJ—at all costs.
mm- excerpt

Location: Somewhere on the Southern Indian Ocean

No one saw the attack coming.

The first blast tore a hole in the hull at 1:37 in the morning. By 2:15 the aft portion of the supply vessel, Marion Dufresne II, was pointing to the starless sky, while its nose was dipped below the frigid black ocean. A cutting wind battered the exposed keel and the remaining crew who managed to hold on to the outer railings.

Freya Nilsson clung to the thick frame of the eighteen-ton oceanographic crane, though it too was already slipping beneath the waves. She cried out, but her voice was drowned by the  howling Antarctic maelstrom and the ship’s three, huge, Wartsila diesel engines, now churning nothing but air. Freya shivered uncontrollably, her hair and clothes frozen to her skin. “KJ!” she cried out, again.

Her son didn’t answer.

Freya sobbed, tears freezing halfway down her cheeks. “KJ, where are you?”

A flash of lightning illuminated the angry ocean and a thick layer of clouds covering the heavens, but the attacking vessel was nowhere in sight. A deafening clap of thunder filled the air followed by a wave of needle-like raindrops that shattered across her face. The vessel reared up and the engines roared. A muffled explosion beneath the water cleaved the ship in two and the nose began to sink.

Have to jump, Freya thought. Can’t let them take KJ! She pushed off the crane and dropped into the icy ocean below. Despite already being frozen, the shock of the glacial water stole the breath from her lungs. Before she could swim to the surface, Freya was sucked under. Tumbling down, down, down, she struggled to find her bearing. Her lungs burned, poisoned with carbon-dioxide. Instinctively, she kicked and fought and pulled until somehow, as if pushed upward, she eventually broke the surface.

Freya took a massive gulp of life-giving salty air, only to be pulled beneath again as a piece of the ship crashed into the ocean beside her. The falling debris dragged her farther and farther into the deep. She jerked and thrashed, but it only served to steal the energy from her stiffened limbs. Blackness enveloped Freya’s mind, the cold claiming her will to fight. Yet, even as death stalked her, she couldn’t let go. KJ needed her. She couldn’t die. Refused to die. Freya summoned her last drop of power and kicked. Once. Twice. Three times. And then, she could breathe again. The wind whipped her jet-black hair about her face, and the rain stung her eyes. But she was alive.

The silhouette of the supply vessel bobbed in the distance, ass up, before gurgling down into its watery grave. Gone. Still the attackers were invisible. With only the lasting image of where the Marion Dufresne II had just sunk as a destination, Freya paddled forward. Fighting against the chop of the ocean, she inched along. The spray blinded her and the salt burned, but she had to find him.

“KJ where are you?” she called. “Answer me, baby. Please.”

Available at Amazon



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