Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Benefits of Book Awards

This is an unexpected blog because I was actually going to talk about something else. However, I just received news that my book The Secret of the Sacred Scarab was a winner in the 2009 Readers’ Favorites Book Awards. My book has received two finalist nominations and a winner slot for 2009. I believe in the value of book awards when marketing your book/s so I thought a good topic would be to highlight the benefits of entering book awards and competitions.

• When thinking about marketing your book, don’t forget to consider book awards and competitions. Why should you enter? For some people it seems a bit daunting; the idea of competing with so many other writers can be off-putting or a challenge they don’t want to meet. However, a vital point to consider is that it’s not so much about winning as being seen.

Competitions broaden your author profile because people in the industry will read your book. Very often you are asked to send in more than one copy, which means several people will be reading your book, and those people are in the book industry in some way or other. Or else you can submit your book for multiple categories in one competition, thus broadening your readership by judges.

• Even if you don’t win, you may get a Best Runner-Up, a Finalist or an Honorable Mention, and that’s the kind of detail you will put in your press release, on your author sites and other social media you use for marketing. Besides that, the organizers of the book competitions will include all the books that have made it to the stage of being mentioned in their press, online and publicity details. This is because they also need to add to their profiles, enhance their press releases and create a positive impression of the awards. In addition, they send out press releases to thousands of subscribers and opt-in media representatives, journalists and bloggers.

Awards ceremonies are also sometimes part of the competition and that’s when publicity increases if you are a lucky winner or finalist in your category. Many competitions also link their awards ceremonies to a Book Fair, giving winners and finalists an opportunity to actually meet publishers, agents, editors and book sellers.

Don’t panic if your book is not printed yet because some competitions accept manuscripts as well.

• Often cost is a consideration because there is usually an entrance fee and some competitions require more than one book. In that case, consider what competition will be best for you in terms of target audience. Have a look at previous winners to decide if this is the right competition to showcase your book.

I have included a list of the top national competitions that are worth entering. There are even more when you consider regional and state competitions. You can find more by subscribing to e-zines and publishing newsletters.

Mom’s Choice Awards; Readers Views; Moonbeam Awards; Foreword Magazine Awards; Eric Hoffer Award; Nautilus Book Awards; USA Book News Awards; Indie Book Awards; Writers Digest; Indie Excellence Awards; Independent Publishers Awards; Readers’ Favorite Awards; International Book Awards.

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