This weekend, a blogger tweeted about a blog that had been nominated for some BBAW awards who receives monetary compensation for their reviews. This blogger requested that we immediately disqualify the blog on that basis.
The BBAW awards process allowed for any blog to be nominated in any category. Once a blog received a nomination they were added to a list of blogs nominated in that category. Once nominations were closed, we notified all blogs of their nominations and asked for what they considered to be their best material for us to give to our panels.
Our panels are primarily made up of bloggers, though there are also a few readers, authors, and other publishing professionals. With as many award categories as we have and the specialized knowledge it takes to understand what makes a good blog, it seemed not only logical but fair to have bloggers judge the awards. No bloggers are on panels in a category for which they were nominated. Many bloggers, authors, readers, and publishing professionals were invited to be on the panels. Some accepted and some declined, but we worked hard to build balanced fair panels. The BBAW Awards Committee has full faith in our panel process and in our judges. We believe the best blogs will be shortlisted. We do not endorse a blogger receiving monetary compensation for reviews, but we also trust that such a blog will not make it past our panel into a shortlist. Many many blogs were nominated. Blogs that weren’t even book blogs were nominated, but we know they will not end up on the shortlist.
We understand that not every blogger will feel comfortable with this process. Please know that you are welcome to withdraw your nomination and association with BBAW at any time. We hope that the rest of you will understand that BBAW is a labor of love built by and for the book blogging community.