The best way for new authors to get credibility is to get some kind of placement for their books on literary awards and book contests. But they might find it overwhelming to pick the right one for their titles as they try to manage the type of book, budget allowance, and the parade of different contest currently available. Below are a few tips and points to consider when navigating the world of literary awards programs.
· National: National contests are hard, but the greater the competition, the more important the award. So if your budget allows it, don’t be intimidated, give it a try! Yet, do not disregard the smaller contests. Actually the more the merrier, as they all help to put your book out there, and the more you enter the more opportunity for placement.
· Regional: Local contests have greater chance for placement and some have funding so entry fees are minimal.
· Independent: For self-published authors, these contests are great, as being an Independent becomes a requirement and not a handicap. IPPY (Independent Publishers Association Awards), Reader Favorites, Feather Quill, and our own Reader Views Literary Awards, among many others are a great place to start for getting recognition.
Some awards are so well known by readers and the industry in general that placing in them will most likely increase book sales. However, other contests receive little attention. Some of them are free, and again other ones require a fee (sometimes a high one). Yet, placing in any of them will always provide the book credibility on a higher level than the usual book review. This fact always makes entering awards programs worth it. Entry Fees: When there is no entry fee, you have nothing to lose in terms of budget, so by all means enter the contest! If there is an entry fee (in most cases there is to cover the cost of processing and judges time) so make sure you build the cost into your budget. The important thing is to make the most of the judges’ critiques and keep trying when not winning, and make the most of the placement when winning through publicizing the achievement.