This week I participated in a discussion on book awards as part of the pre-taped Ottawa Writes podcast (to go live in January) with author Catherine Brunelle. I am a big fan of entering book awards because if you win, it can help increase publicity, sales, and credibility for your book as a self-published author. During the podcast, I promised to share with everyone my top book awards for indie authors, so here they are.
When I self-published my first novel last September, I researched how to promote a book and soon stumbled upon the world of book awards. One year later, I'm happy to say I won three awards/recognitions which have been invaluable to me--not only to boost my confidence as a new writer but also to bring attention to my book and to make it stand out in such a competitive market. You can also place the award symbol on your website and on your book cover.
Some things you may not know about book awards:
It's common for a book award to have an entry fee, which offsets the cost of administering the award, having prizes, and hosting the ceremony. So if you're on a budget, you'll need to plan ahead to decide which book awards to enter.
There are all kinds of scam book-award websites out there, so research wisely before you complete an entry form and pay the fee. You can usually tell that an award website is a scam by the amateur graphic design, neon fonts and unrelated ads. You can also google the name of the award with the word "scam" and see what results show up.
If you win a book award, you could receive some great prizes ranging from money to free books. You might also receive feedback from the judges, which can really help you understand your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
My top picks for book awards for self-published authors in Canada/US:
City-sponsored awards such as the Ottawa Book Awards
Regional awards such as the Atlantic Book Awards
Good luck on your entries!