I got an e-mail a week or two ago from an artist who asked me:
"Do you know you if applying for the Parents' Choice Awards is worth the application fee?"
Well, as someone who spends a whole bunch of time thinking about the relative merits of hundreds of CDs suitable for kids and families, I'm probably not the best person to ask that particular question. I don't need the Parents' Choice Awards. It's like asking the staff of Film Comment if launching an Oscar campaign is worthwhile.
But lots of artists (and authors and manufacturers) do submit their stuff, paying the fee ($225 for CDs) to submit their product for consideration, even though you might end up not getting any recognition at all. (See this post from Amy for a not entirely complimentary view on the matter.)
So I have two questions, one for the artists out there, the other for the parents, librarians, and general consumers (which might just include some of the artists).
Artists: So is the Parents' Choice entry fee worth it? Is there some other award or recognition that's particularly useful in terms of driving sales?
Parents/librarians/consumers: Do you care about what type of Parents' Choice Award a CD or artist has won, if any? Is there some other award or recognition that's a really good guide for you?
Now, I'm perfectly happy if the artists just want to respond anonymously -- I understand if you'd rather not have your name attached to any comments. And I guess in general, anybody who's reading (and commenting) here probably isn't a typical family music consumer, but I think the comments would be valuable for the artists reading.
Finally, I'm not attacking Parents' Choice here -- I'm honestly curious as to the responses I hope you'll provide. There's an artist (and probably many more) who needs you.