Hello, SE’ers! It’s Jan again to talk about another aspect of marketing our books through entering book award contests. I’m going to take a look a the pros and cons.
First, I want to take a look at the pros of entering book award contests.
- It gives extra exposure to your book
- Can boost an author’s confidence
- Gives an author bragging rights when there’s a win, place, or show 🙂
- Often book award contest judges provide invaluable feedback to the author
- Raises your book’s credibility status
- You can win cool prizes
- They are inexpensive
- You get to add the words, “Award-Winning Author” to your credentials (when you win)
- You can display your award trophies or medals at book signings
- Can provide motivation to keep writing!
The first book award I won gave me the confidence to call myself an author. Up until that time, I still wouldn’t say the words out loud. My second book was my first win. Then my third book garnered two wins in two separate contests. I’ll never forget the elation of that second announcement. Somehow, I think my daughter must have had a heads-up because she showed up with flowers to the award ceremony.
Did that give me a boost? YES! It lit a fire in me, and I felt validated as a writer. I was sure I had mastered this thing called writing books. Needless to say, that was short-lived as I realized I still knew little to nothing about crafting stories.
The most prestigious win I’ve ever had is a bronze medal from a Reader’s Favorite contest. That one took my breath away!
I love Reader’s Favorite for reviews as well as their yearly contest.
Let’s look at the downside of entering book award contests.
- You don’t win
- It costs money
- Your confidence is crushed
- You might want to give up completely
- You lose faith in your book, making it hard to keep pushing it with love
- It’s heartbreaking, much like seeing a child ostracized by their playmates (our books are our babies)
- It may cause you to feel anger toward the judges (after all, who are they, and what do they know?)
- You’re embarrassed
- It may not be a legitimate contest (Do your homework!)
I’ve entered plenty of contests I didn’t win, so I have experienced almost all of the above thoughts and emotions. And as heartbreaking as it is to see one of your books shot down in a contest, in contrast, the joy of seeing it place is undeniable.
Is it worth the cost to enter book contests?
In my opinion, the answer is a big YES! I will clarify that by saying I have a monetary limit that I will not exceed to enter any contest. For me, that is $99. I won’t spend more than that and mostly seek out contests that are $40 or less. After all, in this day and age, what will two twenty-dollar bills buy? Not much. But it could buy you a win, prestige, confidence, and motivation.
I’d love to hear from you about your experience with book award contests. Have you ever participated and won? Lost? Let’s talk about it.
If you’ve missed any of my previous book marketing posts, here they are:
#MKTG Part 1 – OVERVIEW – BOOK MARKETING OPTIONS
#MKTG Part 2 – FACEBOOK ADS AND PASSION PAGES
#MKTG Part 3 – FACEBOOK ADS DETAILS
#MKTG Part 4 – TWITTER ADS
#MKTG Part 5 – INSTAGRAM
#MKTG Part 6 – PINTEREST
#MKTG Part 7 – IN-PERSON EVENTS
#MKTG Part 8 – GOODREADS
#MKTG Part 9 – AMAZON
#MKTG Part 10 – More AMAZON ADS
#MKTG Part 11 – AMAZON A+ CONTENT
#MKTG Part 12 – LinkedIn
#MKTG Part 13 – BOOKBub Ads
#MKTG Part 14 – Book Blog Tours
#MKTG Part 15 – Paid Book Blog Tours
#MKTG Part 16 – Rafflecopter
#MKTG Part 17 – TikTok
#MKTG Part 18 – Building an Email List