Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Explanation of the DABWAHA Tournament

I’ve got some emails wondering what the heck all this picking and polling and point scoring is about. Here’s the explanation.

There are 64 books that are competing against each other for the ONE BOOK TO RULE THEM ALL. 300+ people filled out a bracket identifying which book that they thought would win each round.

The next step is for the books to compete. We held polls today (and will tomorrow) asking you to vote for which book was “best”. If you hadn’t read a book and thus didn’t have a judgment about that, it was best to vote for the book you picked to go forward.

As the polls closed, we have updated the results. You can see your results by clicking here. This is a listing of all the players. Find your name and click on it. It will show you your picks. The blue titles are titles that are still competing. The red strike throughs are picks that you made that lost. For each book you picked right, you are awarded 1 point. At the end of today, the most points any one ballot can have is 16. The current standings are found here.


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. katiebabs
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 20:57:33

    I am going to lose!! Waaaa…
    But so much fun and addicting. I can’t look away.
    Jane, this idea is very bow-worthy. *bowing down*

  2. Keishon
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 21:00:33

    Well, I’m still hopeful. And agree – this is addictive. I’m anxious to get the next round of polls going!

  3. Jane
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 21:03:32

    I’m glad everyone is enjoying it (except for poor Whey). But! as each round progresses, you get more points: Round 2 picks get 2 points, Round 3 picks get 4, Round 4 books get 8 point, Round 5 picks get 16 points and picking the right champ gets 32 points.

  4. katiebabs
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 21:09:04

    it is anyone’s game!!
    game is back on for me.
    Oh yes Kate will overcome…

  5. Nora Roberts
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 21:14:06

    I completely understand now why I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m too competitive, and there’s too much math.

    But, boy, is it fun!

  6. GrowlyCub
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 21:22:01

    Hey, Whey, go look at the projected standings and voila, all of a sudden you don’t look bad at all any more. :)

  7. Gwen
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 21:43:52

    Go Serpent Prince!

  8. azteclady
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 22:02:01

    GrowlyCub, you are doing really well… and if my eyes don’t deceive me, there’s a Nora R doing even better!

    :grin: this is fun!

    Is it gonna be an annual event? Inquiring minds…

  9. Robin
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 22:56:20

    *sigh* I don’t even understand the whole “bracket” concept, so I have almost no understanding of what’s going on, except that it’s fun watching everyone get all competitive over their picks.

  10. whey
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 22:56:29

    Hey, Whey, go look at the projected standings and voila, all of a sudden you don't look bad at all any more. :)

    Motivation for me to start a campaign to “Vote Contrarian.” It’s my evil plan — reverse-reverse psychology.

    whey ’08

  11. GrowlyCub
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 23:02:04


    yeah, I’m tickled! :) Except these were the rounds where I had a vague idea what folks would most likely go for (I’ve only read 6 of the 64 contenders, I think).

    Now we are going into unknown aka real guess territory. Will see if my luck holds up. First, my final pick has to make it by Meljean Brooks, which could be a bit of an issue and I’m on the road tomorrow, so voting will require some trickery and hopeful some wi-fi hotspots along the way!

    And yes, it *is* most definitely fun and I hope we do it again next year, with a few adjustments, maybe.

    I’m also very competitive, so once things go south (if they do), I’ll have to make sure my good twin comes out to play and not the evil witch one… he he. Down cougar, down… nice cubbie, nice. ;)

  12. Keishon
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 23:27:23

    I have insight into how this works, after the fact. I wish I could do a “do over.” [g] Looking over my picks, I’m hoping to move up.

  13. Meljean
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 23:38:08

    I'm on the road tomorrow, so voting will require some trickery and hopeful some wi-fi hotspots along the way!

    I didn’t fill out a bracket, but I’ve totally got your back voting for that one, GC!

    *crossing fingers in hopes that GrowlyCub wins*

  14. Meljean
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 23:44:35

    *rofl* Now I checked the listings, and I see I misread that one.

  15. GrowlyCub
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 00:07:43

    :) I’m thinking about how to change things for next year. I’d much prefer a ranking 1-8 in each category and the top 4 move on, that would avoid having to vote out a book you like and forwarding one that you really didn’t like. Which would make it different from the March Madness, but I’d be happier and I’m sure others would like it, too… he he

    Sorry, Meljean. :) I think your book will be strong competition for my pick (Bujold), I’ve seen what folks say about it around here and it’s had more buzz than the Bujold…

    I can’t help but mention that anybody who wants to read one of the funniest, most tender and sensual love scene out there just *has* to pick up Legacy. It’s a treat.

  16. Meljean
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 00:20:42

    I can't help but mention that anybody who wants to read one of the funniest, most tender and sensual love scene out there just *has* to pick up Legacy. It's a treat.

    Yep. And I will be a happy bunny when Passage comes out.

  17. GrowlyCub
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 00:44:14

    Counting days. A month now. Soon. :)

  18. Nora Roberts
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 06:18:59

    I sorta halfway figured out the bracket deal as I went along. That's the fun (for me). Having no clue what I'm doing.

    And hey! Fourteen points yesterday. Woo!

    Today, I fear I crash. As I said on SB, I don't read much in today's categories so picked on buzz or because the names of the books appealed. Just like I pick the horses.

    I have no idea what GC's talking about in #15–but fine with me. Whatever. As long as we do this all again next year!

  19. Jennifer Estep
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 07:48:05

    I never win these kind of tournments/pools, but this has been a lot of fun. Especially since everybody I know has filled out a NCAA bracket. But I’d rather vote for books any day. :-)

    Jane — I tried voting with a different browser/computer last night. This time when I clicked on something I got “You have already voted for this category” even though I hadn’t, and it still wouldn’t show me the results. I don’t know what else to do. I can vote over at Smart Bitches just fine. I think my computer just hates me. Sigh.

  20. Jane
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 07:50:37

    I think, GC, that what you are asking for is actually happening. All the slates were seeded 1-8. The individual slates/categories (i.e., the paranormal slate or the GLBT slate) compete against each other until the 4th round (also known as the Elite 8).

    The slates don’t start competing until the Elite 8 when the category v. contemporary winners face off against each other.

    You might be disagreeing with the seeding of the slates. For example, in the highly competitive contemporary category the seed was as follows:

    1. Mad Dash
    2. High Noon
    3. Natural Born Charmer
    4. Erotic Secrets of a French Maid
    5. Your Mouth Makes Me Crazy
    6. Whispering Rock
    7. Agnes & the Hitman
    8. Topaz

    Topaz was a mistake as Dr. Laura V pointed out. We’ll have to do a better job at this next time.

    But keep the suggestions coming. We do plan to do this annually and have made ALOT of mistakes this time. We’ll probably have to have a post mortem post where everyone can throw out some ideas about making changes. But I am sooo glad everyone is having fun because that really is the whole point.

  21. Jane
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 07:52:43

    Jennifer E – You’ll have to let me know if you can vote today.

  22. Keishon
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 07:58:11

    Yeah, I figured out the brackets as I went along, too, but I made (hopefully) a few crucial mistakes and as category of books started facing off with each other, let’s just say that I hope I picked the right winner [g]

    Oh and I am going on reader buzz for anything that I didn’t read which is a lot. Also, looking at the books winning each round makes me want to read them, too.

  23. KCfla
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 08:12:53

    Well, I had no idea what I was doing when I picked my choices. Just went with the ones I’d liked, and guessed at the rest.
    Today I have to work during two of the votes, so I have to figure out how to vote via my phone, while hiding in the ladies room at work lol!

  24. GrowlyCub
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 10:15:36

    Hi all!

    Jane, yes, I know, but the ranking was done by you guys not us. I know this might make the logistics harder, but I think it would be more fun if we had gotten to submit a list for all categories ranked 1-8.

    The computation then would figure out which four were the most picked in each category (assign numerical values 1-8 for position 1-8 and then the four with the lowest number in each category are advanced. You still end up with 4 YA, Erotica, Historica, etc. books.

    At that point, you pit the four best YA against the 4 best Novels with Rom Elements, and so on.

    I understand that part of the fun for you guys is to see which high seated book kicks out which other high seated one early one, but if this is about which book is truly the most liked, that kind of match shouldn’t come until the end.

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear, Nora.

    And I’m tanking on the picks today, so far I might get one… sniffle.

  25. Pam P
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 12:13:43

    Jane, next year maybe you could do something about the time each poll is up so more people could vote in each one.

  26. Jill Sorenson
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 13:00:54

    Is everyone who filled out a bracket in the standings? I don’t see my name. So disappointed! Wanted to win something.

  27. Jane
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 13:22:26

    Jill – I don’t know what happened but am uploading your picks right now.

  28. Jill Sorenson
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 15:30:34

    Thanks, Jane.

  29. Keishon
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 23:18:57

    Suggestion, can we have these polls over the weekend rather the start of the work week? Just an idea and I work every other weekend, too, but most folks have the weekend off from work, and you have more people around to vote.

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