Discussion: Reaction to the Goodreads Choice Awards

Hey everyone! I wanted to get this post out sooner but life is kicking my backside right now. However, I’d still like to talk about the Goodreads Choice Awards and some of my initial reactions!

I’m a little nervous about this as I haven’t done many discussion posts up to this point – hopefully you won’t all hate me if your opinions differ from mine!

 

goodreads choice awards 2018

 

Initial Thoughts

So, my first reaction was outrage that one of my favourite books of the year, Muse of Nightmares, was not even nominated?! I’m pleased to see that plenty of readers obviously made their voices heard because now that we’re up to the semi-finals, Taylor’s masterpiece is indeed there. But initially, I could not believe that a book of such high calibre was not featured. Which leads me to…

 

What’s in a name?

It seems to me that some authors are guaranteed to be nominated for an award simply for who they are. (I’m not going to diss anyone here but I’m sure you all know which authors I’m talking about.) Sometimes I wonder at this because the books themselves are often of lesser quality (in my opinion) than ones that don’t even get nominated. Are authors guaranteed a nomination based on the number of books they’ve written or the size of their fanbase?

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Are the awards diverse enough?

Times have definitely changed and I’m delighted to see more authors of colour being nominated. However, with this being the 10th year of awards and Goodreads introducing the ‘best of the best’ category, it’s impossible to not look back and see the white-dominated group of past winners. As per my previous point, looking at these winners almost reads like a school yearbook, with the prom queens and jocks always coming out on top. And speaking of popularity contests…

 

Are we guilty of judging books by their covers?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m totally guilty of picking up books in shops because I’m drawn to their beautiful covers. But I would never vote for a book to receive an award simply because it looked pretty! Unfortunately, I usually haven’t read most of the books that are nominated in the Goodreads Choice Awards and so I abstain from voting, but I’m sure there are readers out there who (when they haven’t read all of the nominated books) might just vote for the book with the cover they like best. Surely, these awards should reflect the quality of a book’s writing or the importance of its themes, not just which cover looks nicest or which marketing campaign was most successful in building the hype?

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So those are my thoughts on the Goodreads Choice Awards! Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said? Do you think the awards are diverse enough? Is it all just a popularity contest? Leave me a comment and let’s chat! x

 

10 thoughts on “Discussion: Reaction to the Goodreads Choice Awards

  1. I totally agree with you about the voting when you haven’t read the book thing. I will only vote for books I’ve read and can honestly consider to be “best” in at least some sense. However, I’m sure there are other people who haven’t read all the books they vote for, and that makes me mad!

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    • I’m much the same. I voted for Muse of Nightmares this year because I can confidently say that none of the other books in that category would have beaten my love for it even if I had read and enjoyed them. But if there is a category where I haven’t read any of the nominees, I definitely won’t vote!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree, I find the Goodreads Choice Awards so annoying. I still vote, but it’s not with any hope that lesser known, brilliant books have a chance up against whatever Harry Potter spinoff has come out that year.

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    • You’re so right! When the lesser known books are lucky enough to be nominated, they just don’t get a look in against the big names when it really comes down to it. At least we can promote them here on the blogs so they get a little more of the love they deserve 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great discussion! I feel the same way about authors sometimes being nominated simply because of their popularity. And I’ve thought of the cover judging too! I only vote for 2-3 categories, because if I don’t know any of the other books, I don’t want to guess off of only appearances and skew the results!

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  4. I have issues with the Goodreads Choice Awards every year because it seems like certain authors ALWAYS win because their books are popular. (Didn’t the Fantastic Beasts script win once for best fantasy… I love the movie, but that shouldn’t have been a nomination because it’s a script!)

    I only vote in categories with books I’ve read and think deserve the award.

    I am curious on who decides and how they decide which books get the initial nominations. I’m surprised that Muse of Nightmares wasn’t in the first round of voting since Laini Taylor is a prolific and popular author.

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    • So true! I think anything Harry Potter related gets automatically nominated. The Cursed Child was another one that shouldn’t even have been considered.

      I wonder if it’s based on the number of ratings or something like that? But if that’s the case, it still doesn’t make sense – Muse of Nightmares was the most anticipated book of the year for a LOT of people so I don’t understand how it could have been left out.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed.

        Maybe it’s the most reviews of people who read it/rated it and not just marked it as “to-read”? Who knows?! Muse of Nightmares definitely shouldn’t have been left out.

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well. I like hearing what other people think.

        Liked by 1 person

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