Information for Publishers

Here are some common questions we get from publishers.

How Do The Awards Work?

The Hugos are fan-voted awards. All members of the World Science Fiction Society are eligible to vote. There are two stages. The initial nomination stage, usually taking place between January 1st and Easter, produces short lists. A second round of voting determines the final winners. The awards are presented at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). See here for a detailed explanation of the process.

What Books Are Eligible?

Basically anything published in the correct year that the voters think is either science fiction or fantasy. Where you publish doesn’t matter. The Hugos are international awards, and online works are eligible.

Note that there are no categories for anthologies or collections, but the stories in those works, if not previously published, will be eligible.

Don’t forget that your editors are also eligible for awards.

A full list of award categories, with further details on eligibility, can be found here.

How Do We Submit Our Books?

You don’t need to. The Hugos are fan-voted awards, so there is no jury to send works to.  No fee is charged for entry into the awards.

Can We Promote Our Books In Some Way?

During the nominations stage voters are keen to know what works are eligible. A post on your company blog listing all of your publications for the year would be helpful. Listing the name of the editor and the cover artist as well as the author would be very helpful. Your authors may like to make posts on their own blogs listing their eligible works.

Once the nominees have been announced voters will be keen to get hold of the nominated works. It has been a tradition for many years that nominated short fiction is posted free online. More recently, some Worldcons have assembled a Hugo Voter Package containing electronic copies or samples from nominated works provided by the nominees and their publishers.

Tell Me More About This Voter Package

The Voter Package is only made available to registered voters of the current year’s awards during the final voting process.

Each year’s Hugo Awards are administered by the current year’s Worldcon. If a work of yours is nominated, they will be in touch with you to ask about inclusion in the Voter Package.

Are There Sponsorship or Advertising Opportunities?

The Hugo Awards do not sell naming rights. However, individual Worldcons generally have a range of sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Here are some examples.

Traditionally two major parties take place at Worldcon on the evening of the Hugo Award ceremony: one before the ceremony and one afterwards. These may be open to sponsorship.

Each Worldcon produces a glossy souvenir book given to all members. It has become traditional for publishers to take out advertising in this, congratulating nominated writers.

Some Worldcons also produce a small souvenir program to give to members who attend the award ceremony. This may also carry advertising.

Can We Use The Hugos To Promote Our Books?

Of course you can. We very much hope that being nominated for, and winning, Hugo Awards will help sell lots of books.

If you want to do blog posts congratulating your authors, or decorate feature web pages for successful books, we have a logo that you can download.

For books that have won a Hugo we have a special version of the logo denoting that work as a winner that can be used on book covers. Please contact us if you are interested in using this.

12 thoughts on “Information for Publishers

  1. Robert: The specific dates change a bit each year because each year’s award is administered by that year’s Worldcon, and Worldcon can be on different dates. Generally speaking, nominating opens on January 1. You need to be a member of the current Worldcon (or have been a member of the previous Worldcon) by the end of January in order to nominate, but nominations are generally open until sometime in March. The nominations are announced and the final ballot released usually in April. Voting is usually open until sometime in July, with the results announced at the Worldcon, which is generally sometime between the first weekend of August and the first weekend of September.

    For specific information about the 2011 Worldcon and their Hugo Awards and the exact dates for this year, see the Renovation web site.

    1. Jackie:

      Yes, but remember that the publisher gets one nominating ballot, just like everyone else. The publisher can join the current Worldcon just like you and I can join it, and then the publisher can cast up to five nominations in each category just like you can I can, and the five works with the most nominating votes make the final ballot. The publisher can’t put something on the final ballot all by him/herself — the work has to receive enough nominating votes.

      Note that I’m speaking of “the publisher” on the assumption that you mean an individual human called “publisher.” If by publisher you mean, “The company or corporate entity publishing the work,” then actually the publisher can’t nominate any works, because WSFS rules require that only “natural persons,” (that is, human beings, not corporate entities, clubs, unincorporated associations, etc.) can vote, and also restrict people to one set of votes per person, regardless of how many memberships that person has. So, for instance, you couldn’t just go buy a hundred Worldcon memberships in your name and cast them all for your favored work; the administrator would disregard the duplicate nominations/votes.

      1. Is there anything to prevent a corporate publisher from buying memberships for a large number of employees and then requiring them to vote for the publisher’s works?

        1. No. Any natural human being may be a member. There is no regulation on who pays for the membership. Similarly, if you are a multi-millionaire who wants to do so, you could buy a bunch of memberships for people. They would have to vote them individually, of course.

    1. Prakash:

      We do not comment on specific works or their “chances.” The way you make the ballot is to come to the attention of enough members of WSFS that they decide to nominate your work. Self-published authors have been finalists and have won the Hugo Award.

      Kevin Standlee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.