How To Capitalise On A Book Contest Win

A.S. ChungPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.



Trophies by Brad. K

Congratulations! You have just won a book award!

What now?

My self-published book, A Brand New Day, a children’s picture book about divorce, recently won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Book Awards in the divorce category.

This was the first competition I had ever entered my book in and it never occurred to me that I would win. I was therefore extremely ill prepared and I wasn’t able to capitalise on this accolade at an opportune time. Whilst I was busy trying to see what I could do to spread the word about the win, Purple Dragonfly Awards awarded A Brand New Day a second place winner in the Family Matters category. Aaarggh!!! Yay but help! I just wasn’t ready and I am still kicking myself for not being prepared.

Therefore, to ensure you don’t make the same rookie mistake as I did, here are some learnings:

If entering competitions is going to be a regular part of your book marketing repertoire, get a press release template ready. Include all the relevant information you would normally include and just change the paragraph about the actual award you have won.

Make a list of media outlets you would want to send the press release to, as you would no doubt be using the same contact list on numerous occasions. This should include local newspapers, magazines, book reviewers, news desks, TV,  bloggers, radio, to name a few.

Should any of your press releases be successful, you will be contacted asking for different types of information. You will have a small window of opportunity to respond whilst it is still news worthy. Make sure you have all your pertinent details at hand e.g. book cover image, author bio, illustrator bio, synopsis of the book etc….

First and foremost, write a post about it. Then download the seals and make it a permanent fixture on your site for all to see, much like the gold or silver seals on the sides of wine bottles. You just can’t help but give it a go. If you have won several awards, create a dedicated page for your accolades and show them off!

Share your updates over as many social media outlets as possible. Share it aggressively within 24 hours of its public announcement and milk it for all its worth. You deserve the win and you will be surprised how much support you will receive in return.

You are now an award-winning author. Make permanent changes through your digital life e.g. email signature, social media profiles, pages headers etc…

Congratulations once again! Now, go celebrate!

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