According to R.R. Bowker publishing statistics, about a million new books are hitting the market each year. And short of being J.K. Rowling or John Grisham, it can be hard to get your book the notice it deserves.
One way to try to earn your book additional notice is to enter book award contests. Book awards are an easy and affordable marketing option, and if you win or place in the competition, the returns can be substantial. Not all awards will earn you celebrity status, but reputable awards do have the potential to attract attention. Here are some of the benefits of winning a book award:
1.Gain notice from readers. Putting a book award seal on the front cover of your book or listing it in your book description or author bio makes it stand out and signals that it is a book to pay attention to. Your award seal says, "I'm a book that's been honored. Look at me first. You can be assured that I'm a quality book worthy of your attention." Award-winning status can get your book reconsidered or noticed by readers for the first time and help it stand out from other similar books on the market.
2.Get credibility and prestige in a challenging marketplace. Winning a book award or even being a finalist demonstrates your book's quality and value. The credibility gained with a distinguished book award has the potential to gain attention for your book from journalists, reviewers, distributors, and buyers. And we all know readers gravitate toward award-winning books; think of an award seal like a stamp of approval akin to an Oscar, Emmy, or trophy in other fields.
3.Increase your PR possibilities. Being an "award-winning author" can lead to newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television appearances, book reviews, and newsletter and blog mentions. Obtaining media interest often takes a good bit of time and effort, but being an award winner could help your chances of press coverage. For more information about communicating with the media, see Preparing Your Online Media Kit or watch the webinar How to Land and Perform on More TV and Radio Shows.
4.Increase your sales and get your book in new markets. As a winner, you can actively spread the word about your success. Chances are your award can help create positive perceptions among your audiences. That can translate into increased book sales and expanded market opportunities.
There are dozens of book awards in the U.S., not to mention those offered in other countries. Some awards are wide open, some are only open to members of literary groups, and others have detailed eligibility requirements for entry. There's always a chance you could come across a phony award, so be sure to look into the credibility of the program by talking with the award director and other writers. Your first step is to look for awards that suit your book, your budget, and your promotional goals, which begins with a simple Internet search. To get you started, see 2012 Competitions for Independently Published Books for ideas.
Still have questions? Stay tuned. In future posts, we'll explore more details about entering book awards with confidence and what it takes to win.
This post was written for CreateSpace by Independent Publisher. Visit www.IndependentPublisher.com for more information and articles about book awards and the independent publishing movement. IndependentPublisher.com is owned and operated by Jenkins Group Inc. of Traverse City, Michigan, a publishing and marketing services firm founded in 1988.