Posted 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.
IMPORTANCE OF BOOK CONTESTS FOR SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
5 Star Trip (Caldecott Medal) – Worth the Travel! by Carol VanHook.
I don’t believe that self-published authors understand the true benefits of winning a book contest. Apart from the fact that someone is telling you that you have written a great book, the knock on effect from a marketing point of view is substantial. Let’s explore some of these advantages.
RECOGNITION AND CREDIBILITY
It is an excellent medium to gain some recognition for your work. Being an award winning author immediately improves the perception of you as an author and a reader’s willingness to read your book. Continual accolades lend credibility that can be hard to ignore. It naturally spikes curiosity and could lead to increase in sales.
A WELL WRITTEN BOOK
In the first instance, getting good reviews from family and friends about your book isn’t necessarily unbiased or valuable. Entering a book competition means you are confident your book is worthy of the contest whilst winning an award cements what you had always thought along, you’re a great writer! It is important to know you have in fact written a good book.
RE-VISITING REVIEW REQUESTS
With your increased credibility, it may assist you in gaining more reviews about your book. Requests which may have been ignored previously may be worthwhile exploring again. Reviewers may re-consider reading your award winning book.
CREATES PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL
Winning a contest gives you something to talk about and enables you to create promotional material for marketing purposes. You can send out press releases to various different mediums and also have fodder for your blogging, website and social media.
The creators of the competition would also be sending out their press releases and creating a marketing buzz on your behalf. A renowned competition can command a large audience that matters to you and your book. Award seals are also a great promotional tool for your books at the point of sale.
PRIZES AND CONTRACTS
Most book contests offer some lucrative prizes. Monetary rewards, no matter the amount, would at least cover the costs of the entering the competition in the first place. Additional funds may be utilised to enter further contests for newly published books for the following year or ease any other expenses you may incur in the future.
Some contests offer audience with literary agents or traditional publishing houses. This poses a great opportunity for all indie authors trying to get that publishing contract.
Some book competitions offer feedback. This is a most useful service that should be embraced. You would gain unbiased and productive comments about how to improve your book.
The next important step is to identify which book competitions are worth entering. There are many out there in the marketplace but only really a handful which will bring you good marketing dollars and wide spread recognition. Find ones that suit you best and be strategic about your selections. Competitions are spread out throughout the year so make a comprehensive list as you will no doubt need it all again for the next book. Good luck with your entries!