I was slightly shocked to receive an email from a major publisher canvassing votes for one of their titles, which was entered for the Galaxy British Book Awards. This set of prizes seems to be the book equivalent of one of those 'people's choice' TV awards - the voting is done by the general public, and the shortlist is mostly celebrity vehicles or TV endorsed fiction. There was even a separate category just for the Richard & Judy bookclub selections.
I suppose I shouldn't have been shocked by this attempt to drum up votes. There's a long tradition of advertising to encourage people to vote one way or another, and this was just direct email advertising. But somehow it doesn't seem the sort of thing book people do. Not us, you know?
I duly clicked through and voted for a competitor to the book being pushed. As it happens both were from the same publisher (I'd be furious if I were the other person and found out that book A was being promoted above mine) - but my choice wasn't spite. It was simply because I'd read the book I voted for and enjoyed it, where I could never imagine reading the book I was being canvassed to support.
Here's the link for the book awards - have your say in an unbiassed way (of course if I had a book in there, it'd be different...), and you even get the chance to win £200 of book vouchers. Can't be bad.