As a book publicist, I can assure you that winning book awards matters! One client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction novel. Another one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.
You win awards you sell more products. Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon
Recently a business book client won a major award which caused CNN to reach out to request the book.
I could go on and on with examples of how pursuing and winning book awards will give you opportunities to reach out to the media, booksellers, and agents. As a book publicist, I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an ‘award-winning’ book.
Awards also create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities. A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a bookstore. A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award-winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course, it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.
Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.
Here’s a list of my Top 39 book awards worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing.
- Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards http://bookcritics.org/awards/award_submissions/
- Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/awards/
- The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world’s most important literary award. Entry Forms are due in March and Finished Books are due in June. http://themanbookerprize.com/fiction
- Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/
- Strive to be nominated and win the Nobel Prize in literature. Who can nominate? Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges to name a few. (Another reason it pays to keep the ties to your alma mater!) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/nomination/
- See how to submit your book for The Edgar Allan Poe Award, “The Edgar.” http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=Edgars-Info
- FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. http://www.ft.com/intl/management/business-book-award
- The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction site will reopen for new entries in May. http://www.pulitzer.org/how_to_enter
- The National Book Award by the National Book Foundation. Learn how to submit your book here http://www.nationalbook.org/nbaentry.html
- Learn more about how to enter to win the Stonewall Book Award. Click for details http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award
- Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important ebook only award. http://globalebookawards.com/
- The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is late June. Check it out here http://www.autumnhouse.org/contest-submissions/
- Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Click for more details http://www.pen-ne.org/hemingway-foundationpen-award/
- Poets & Writers has nice list of writing contest, grants and awards. Check it out at: http://www.pw.org/grants
- Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award http://www.bookweb.org/indiebound/nextlist/view
- Get your book recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_publishers/discover_program/discover_program.html
- The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/
- Here’s a service where you can enter several book festivals at the same time for about $50 per festival. This is absolutely the best idea. I’ve used this several times. One entry form, one payment, two books, ten plus book awards spread out over a year. Just do it. http://bookfestivals.com/
- The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors. Deadline is April. http://www.indieexcellence.com
- Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories. http://www.axiomawards.com/
- The non-profit Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Awards are now in their third decade of awarding excellence in book publishing in 55 categories. All entrants receive direct judge feedback–unique in the industry. For more information, visit http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/
- USA Best Book Awards has a ten-year plus track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by USA Book News which covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, & self-published. http://www.usabooknews.com/
- Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers. http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/
- Amazon Kindle Scout. Submit your new, never-before-published, English-language book of 50,000 words or more to Kindle Scout and be considered for a publishing contract with Kindle Press in 45 days or less. https://kindlescout.amazon.com/help?topicId=AP72QR5GUKEQS
- Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each. Early Bird deadline in April 1. http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished
- Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors. https://readersfavorite.com/book-reviews.htm
- Romance Writer of America promotes the interests of career-focused romance writers by sponsoring awards that acknowledge excellence in the romance genre. RWA sponsors: “The RITA” for published romance fiction novels and “The Golden Heart” for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts. http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=525
- Epic eBook Awards by The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC) annually recognizes the best ebooks in many categories. (Books may also have been be released in print editions.) The awards were previously known as the “Eppies” http://www.epicorg.com
- Rubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self-published books. “The key to our success is having a keen eye for quality from distinguished and reputable judges.” First prize is $1,500 and the winning book will be read by a top literary agent. http://www.ruberybookaward.com/
- The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author. http://www.hofferaward.com/HAbooks.html
- Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a list in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation. http://www.indiebookawards.com/awards.php
- The International Book Awards (IBA) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. Winners get an extensive public relations campaign, social media promotion and more. http://www.internationalbookawards.com/
- The Literary Classics Book Awards and Reviews were created to help authors gain recognition for their work and to help parents find the best in literature for children and young adults. http://www.clcawards.org
- The Scotiabank Giller Prize. A $100,000 grand prize and $10K (CDN) to each of the finalists. To be eligible, a book must be a first-edition, full-length novel or short story collection, written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The publisher must enter. Sorry, no self-published books. http://www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/
- The Digital Book Awards celebrate quality and innovation in digital content. Each year, award winners and finalists in fifteen categories illustrate the cutting edge of digital publishing, showcasing creative approaches to design, technology integration and e-reading experiences. http://digitalbookworldconference.com
- The Feathered Quill Book Awards accept submissions from all size publishers and work very hard to honor and publicize the winners (there’s a link to a testimonial page on the awards page – read what past winners have to say). http://www.featheredquill.com/awardprogram.shtml
- Shelf Unbound Magazine’s Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition honors more than 100 indie/self-published books. In addition to $1,500 in cash prizes, they’ll feature the winner, five finalists, and more than 100 “notable” books in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound. Any independently published book in any genre in any publication year is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $50 per book. The competition also includes the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book, open to fiction and non-fiction sports-related books. http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html
- Chanticleer International Book Awards — Grand prize winner receives $1,000 cash plus other awards. More than $30,000 cash and prizes awarded each year. 15 genres including the CYGNUS for SciFiction, M&M for Mystery & Mayhem, Somerset for Literary, etc. http://www.ChanticleerReviews.com Several of our winners have received major publishing deals (6 figures) and two have had their works optioned for film.
- The Royal Dragonfly (all genres) and Purple Dragonfly (children’s books) Book Awards are prestigious national book contests recognizing exceptional authors for excellence in writing and a Story Monsters Approved! (children’s books) book must inspire, inform, teach or entertain, and adhere to rigorous standards of excellence. https://www.dragonflybookawards.com/
The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few and become an “award-winning author.” As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!” Get to it and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at http://www.The-Book-Publicist.com