The Book Contest Merry Go Round

Authors may feel overwhelmed by all the different contests out there. Here are a few tips on how to decide which ones to enter.

The first thing authors should ask themselves is what they are hoping to gain by winning the contest they are entering. Is it to bring credibility to their work? Maybe they are after the cash and other prices offered? Or do they just want exposure to increase sales? Some book contests are notable enough that an award will increase book sales. Other contests charge high fees and receive little attention but the prizes are worth it. A few guidelines for choosing a contest are:

  • If there is no entry fee, there is nothing to lose except the postage and book cost, and entering will almost always generate a book review, and some exposure. It is a no brainer.
  • If looking into a National contest, do not be intimidated. It is true that they are very competitive, but the greater the competition, the greater credibility to gain if scoring. When budgets permits, it is always best to enter.
  • Local contests provide greater chances of winning as the number of entries is smaller making an easier competition. The entry fees are also lower. These are great to help authors establish themselves locally, which is always a great first step, they should always be considered by new and upcoming authors.
  • Independent: For self-published authors, these are the best place to start as they can get book notoriety by the Media and create online buzz.

Once an author wins or becomes a finalist, announcements should follow. Letting the media know though press releases is not just wise but also necessary if an author wishes to put themselves available as experts in their book’s topic and be considered for commentary or interviews. Although no one can successfully measure how well book awards sell, contests do get attention for your books and help authors to establish themselves as credible experts. This is actually the best prize contests offer. After all, readers tend to buy books from their favorite authors and check out books from other authors they have heard of somewhere. So what are you waiting for! For more information on the Reader Views Literary Awards click here.