Authors write books for many different reasons: money, recognition, to teach, and sharing our stories. Winning a book award is one way to get validation and recognition for your book. Book awards can also be a great marketing tool. For my latest book, Two Wins for Wiley, I am starting to narrow down the field for this book.
Award programs are a form of advertising. Whether you’re a finalist/honorable mention or the first place winner, any good awards program will share their winners with their network. Your book will be listed on their website, newsletters, social media, and more. That gets your book in front of a whole new audience you might not have access to otherwise.
Book awards can also attract readers. This is particularly helpful for authors who self-publish or publish with hybrid publishers. A reputable award is like a stamp of quality. Plus, the stickers make your book attract attention.
Awards can be expensive. When I am applying for an award, budget is my number one priority. Start with your budget. Generally, entering a book award contest can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 and even higher. The most common cost of an application is between $65-$100. Some authors will enter several awards at at time. To stay within my budget, I complete applications for only two awards for each book.
The next thing I considered are the categories. Depending upon the award there are a number of categories listed under picture books. Two Wins for Wiley is a very different book from Gertie Saves the Day. Wiley is more of an informational picture book or educational picture book. I try to find categories that match my book the best. Most often the most popular category will be picture books. Be sure to read all of the application and complete all of the information requested. Many awards have early entry dates which they offer at a lower cost. Others awards have a short turn around time while others take up to a year. There are even awards that are given a few times a year.
Where to Announce Your Award
Winning a book award is an awesome experience. Once you have won that award, you will want to share your win with your friends, family and followers through blogs, and social media. Here are a few places to let people know your book is an award winner.
- Book Cover (Be sure to purchase and add stickers)
- Sales Pages/Copy
- Author Website (add award image)
- Author Blog/Podcast/Video Channel
- Social Media (multiple posts)
- Press Release
- Your Bios/Profiles
- Email List
- Marketing Materials (bookmarks, flyers, etc.)
Anywhere that you market, you now want you mention your book award, and you can refer to yourself as “Award-Winning Author” because you are!
Initially, I almost didn’t apply for an award because I was afraid of failure. I was concerned that there would be a lot of competition and maybe my book wasn’t good enough. But I didn’t let that fear hold me back and I applied for two awards for Gertie Saves the Day. I am so glad I did because I’d still be wondering if my book were good enough. Gertie Saves the Day won both awards. The Literary Titan Gold Award and the Purple Dragonfly Picture Book Award. I have selected two awards for Two Wins for Wiley. Fingers crossed, that book will be another award winner. Remember – You can’t win if you don’t enter a contest.
I am so glad you’re here and I thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am grateful that I can share my writing journey with you.
I’m looking forward to helping you as a children’s book writer in any way that I can. Speaking of helping — please leave a comment below and let me know what questions you have about picture book writing.
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One last request …
You can really help this author by leaving a book review on Amazon or Goodreads. You can leave a review for Gertie Saves the Day here or here. Two Wins for Wiley here or here. Reviews can be as easy as 2-3 sentences and should take about 30 seconds to leave and would make a huge difference for me. Need help? Click here.