.: Tyler Tichelaar
Book Contests and Awards Galore
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Book Contests and Awards Galore
Authors may feel overwhelmed by today’s plethora of book contests. Here are a few tips on which ones to enter.
Some book contests are notable enough that an award will increase book sales. Other contests charge exorbitant fees and winners receive little attention. A few guidelines for choosing a contest are:
- Entry Fees: If there is no entry fee, you have nothing to lose except the postage and book cost. Enter the contest. If there is an entry fee (which in most cases there is, consider this as covering the cost of processing) build it into your budget.
- National: National contests are stiff competition, but the greater the competition, the more important the award. If your budget permits, give the contest a try.
- Regional: Local contests provide greater chances of winning and some have funding so entry fees are minimal. The Library of Michigan has no entry fee for its annual Michigan Notable Books Awards, given to 20 books that highlight Michigan People, Places and Events. Beyond the award, the Library of Michigan actively promotes the books throughout state libraries. Although I’ve never won this award, my books became listed on statewide-distributed brochures of Upper Michigan literature and the Library of Michigan repeatedly buys copies of my books. Another well-known regional contest is the Midwest Independent Publishers Association Awards.
- Independent: For self-published authors, these contests are the best place to start getting notoriety for your book. Good choices include the IPPY (Independent Publishers Association Awards) and Reader Views Literary Awards.
Once you win or become a finalist, send out press releases. Many contests will sell you award stickers for your books. Be forewarned—some contests give everyone an award just to sell stickers—but shiny stickers impress readers.
No one can successfully measure how well book awards sell books. Still, contests are one more way to get attention for your books.
Recommended book contests:
Ben Franklin http://www.ibpa-online.org/custom/benfranklin/benfranklin.aspx
Foreword Magazine http://forewordmagazine.com/awards/
Reader Views http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html
Rebeccas Reads http://rebeccasreads.com/WrittenArtAwards.html
Writer's Digest http://www.writersdigest.com/selfpublished
Tyler R. Tichelaar is editor and contributing author of Authors Access: 30 Secrets for Authors and Publishers, the regionally bestselling Marquette Trilogy and the newly published Narrow Lives. He own Superior Book Promotions where he offers editing and other services for authors.