This title is a bit misleading since traditionally published and self-published authors can enter many different book awards contests, including the Readers' Favorite Book Awards Contest, but I've found that most of the people asking me questions about the importance of these contests are Indie authors.
To those of you wondering whether or not entering these contests are worth your while, the answer to that is yes.
Consider how much more likely a reader will be willing to buy a book from a NYT, USA Today, or Amazon bestselling author compared to a book or an author without any accolades. It may seem a bit snobby when you get right down to it, but at the end of the day those accolades and awards can be used for some seriously advantageous marketing.
I'm always drawn to a book cover that has a shiny awards seal on it. I think to myself, "Hey, this book received some recognition. I wonder why." When fighting to be noticed on Amazon amidst a sea of wonderfully written books by talented authors, anything that can up your game and keep your reader glued to your book's Amazon page, prompting them to click the "One-Click" button or sample the chapters, is a definite win.
Us authors need all the help we can get.
So the next question you're going to ask is if I have put my money where my mouth is, braved the possibility of rejection, (as authors we do that everyday), and entered a few contests of my own?
Allow me to share my experiences with the Readers' Favorite Awards Contest. It's an international book awards contest held every year. Here is a little quote from the site.
"Nearly 300 authors and guests attend the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards Ceremony in Miami each year from as far away as Pakistan, Australia, Brazil, Peru, Switzerland, Singapore, India, the UK and more. Guest speakers have been industry experts and celebrities including Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky & Hutch), Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America) and Dete Meserve, president of Wind Dancer films (Home Improvement, What Women Want)."
I was first drawn to their site because of my need for some credible reviews, and this site offers them for free. As I explored the website throughout the week I discovered an awesome author forum, an opportunity to get paid to review books for other authors, and an amazing book awards contest I could enter my book in.
I'd never done anything like that before, but I really wanted to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone, and enter the contest. Since I never seem to do anything half arsed, I didn't enter just one book. I entered two.
I entered The Healer and Marry Your Billionaire before the deadline during the first week of April. They promised to announce the winners in September. In each category, there is awarded a gold medal, silver medal, bronze medal, and an honorable mention. I entered and then tried to forget about it since I had several months to wait.
In September I received two different emails from Readers' Favorite. Allow me to post them here so you can see what I saw. I think it will explain why I ended up in a shocked heap on the floor of my living room,
I got second place for both books in their categories?
Shut the front door!
I was so excited. You have no idea. Once you win, you get all this information on extra things you may have won like a possible movie deal, publishing contracts, free marketing, etc. You also get to download that awesome seal up above and add it to your cover.
You don't have to attend the awards ceremony they hold every year in Miami, Florida, but it was the first time I had ever won anything, and my husband and I decided to splurge. We headed to Miami for the ceremony, met some amazing people in the industry, and had a fabulous time. My mom and best friend also attended for added moral support. Check out these fun picks.
Since then, I've been involved in lots of author collaborations that required authors to have been awarded in some way. I've also been told by several subscribers to my newsletter that the award on my books were what caught their eye and made them stop to take a closer look at everything I had to offer.
I've gone on to do presentations at various colleges and writer's conferences, discussing marketing tactics (book awards being one of them) that involve gaining recognition for your work. Obviously, the more exposure I received, the more books I sold. Crazy, that.
I think, as authors, we truly deserve the awards we receive for the many grueling hours we spend on creative writing, edits, rewrites, and everything in between.
We bleed a little every time we put pen to paper. It's nice to get rewarded for it. There are obviously many other amazing contests for writers to enter, and I hope you'll enter as many as you can, when you can.
To get you started on your book awards adventure, take a look at Readers' Favorite Awards Contest and discover everything it has to offer. I think you'll be thrilled that you did.
As always, happy marketing my author friends!
The Blond Guerrilla
The Blond Guerrilla is your one-stop guide to all things Indie writing, self-publishing, and marketing! I hope you find everything you need to make your author journey a success.
Need some one-on-one coaching? Set up a call with me on Clarity. I'll be happy to answer your questions. Just click on the green button below.
Grab Reader Magnets For Free Below!
My most favorite hot cocoa mug ever!