First, my apologies for the long title! I normally try to keep things as succinct as possible, but I need to get YOUR attention. There is one simple way every author with a quality product can both promote their book AND gain author credibility at the same time. Ready to here it?
SUBMIT YOUR BOOK (OR MANUSCRIPT) FOR AWARDS!
This seems easy, and yet is so daunting for many authors. You can’t win one until you apply for one (or twenty), and while applying seems easy at first, many authors begin to wonder, “what qualifies MY book for this award?”. That niggling self-doubt often prevents authors from submitting their books for any awards. That, along with the application fees. “How do I know it’s a legitimate award?”.
To the first question I say that you should do your research, but be prepared to invest in yourself. Whether you have written a non-fiction or fiction book, you are going to have to spend some money on it. You should have already invested in the book cover and editing, so why not take it a step further to gain some recognition for those initial investments? Do not spend thousands on applications, but pick a few awards that have your book category and go for it.
To the last question I ask: does it matter? How many readers have a running list of ALL the “legitimate” book awards? How many really pay attention to what award you won? They are looking to see what credibility you have, starting with reviews but accentuated by awards won and other accolades gained. If you published your book the right way, your phenomenal book cover and stellar editing are screaming “Go for it!”. If you know you did not, well check out some tips on publishing. It’s not too late to get it right the second time. If you are still in the manuscript phase and without a contract, never fear! There are at least three awards you can apply for below.
Note: If you are a non-fiction author or business owner, I also highly recommend applying for personal awards in your fields of work. Again, if you are doing something worthwhile then you qualify. Take the time to toot your own horn and gain credibility for yourself and for the work you do. If I had not taken the chance, I would not currently be a Stiletto Woman In Business Award Finalist in two categories: Entrepreneur of the Year and Business On The Rise.
For those ready to move forward, I have compiled a list of awards that I have recommended to my own authors and plan to seek for myself where it’s applicable to my book, The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship. Feel free to add additional awards in the comments, I will try to keep this list updated with your feedback.
Book, eBook & Manuscript Awards
- Axiom Business Book Awards http://www.axiomawards.com/
- Living Now Book Awards http://www.livingnowawards.com/about.php
- Independent Publisher Book Awards http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php
- American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Awards http://www.acfw.com/carol
- ACFW Genesis Awards (Unpublished Manuscripts Only) http://www.acfw.com/genesis
- ACFW First Impressions Award (Based on 1st 5 Pages of Unpublished Manuscripts) http://www.acfw.com/first_impressions
- Indie Book Awards http://www.indiebookawards.com/
- Oregon Book Awards (Check your state for their literary arts book award, I won’t list every state!) http://www.literary-arts.org/oba-home/
- Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association http://www.pnba.org/awards.htm
- Midwest Book Awards http://www.mipa.org/midwest-book-awards/call-for-entries
- ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards https://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-awards/botya/
- ECPA Christian Book Award http://www.ecpa.org/?page=cba_1_overview
- Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards http://www.moonbeamawards.com
- Eric Hoffer Book Award http://www.hofferaward.com/
- Southern California Independent Booksellers Association SCIBA Book Awards http://www.scibabooks.org/book_awards/
- eLit Awards http://elitawards.com/
- PEN Open Book Awards (For Authors of Color who are NOT self-published AND have not received wide media coverage) http://www.pen.org/content/pen-open-book-award-5000
- Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) Book Awards http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/
- IBPA Benjamin Franklin Digital Book Awards http://www.ibpa-bfda.org/articles/
- Late Night Library Debut-Litzer Award http://latenightlibrary.org/2014-debut-litzer-prizes/
- Readers’ Favorite Annual Book Award http://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm
- Ellechor Publishing House Avant-Garde Manuscript Award (Unpublished Manuscripts Only) http://ellechorpublishinghouse.com/contests.cfm
- Writer’s Digest Writing Competition http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writers-digest-annual-competition
- Grace Awards (Reader Nominations Only) http://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/then-go-here-to-nomination-2013-finalists/
- INSPYs Bloggers’ Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature http://inspys.com/?page_id=1183
- Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards http://globalebookawards.com/
- EPIC eBook Contest http://epicorg.org/competitions/epic-s-ebook-competition.html
- International Book Award http://www.internationalbookawards.com/home.html
- Nautilus Book Award http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/
- New England Book Festival http://www.newenglandbookfestival.com/index.asp
- Digital Book Awards http://www.digitalbookworld.com/the-digital-book-awards/
- Reader Views Literary Awards http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/
- Shelf Unbound Writing Award http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html
- USA Best Book Award http://www.usabooknews.com/2014usabestbookawards.html
Self-Published Book Awards
- Bookworks Best Book of the Year http://www.bookworks.com/bookworks-awards
- Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished
- National Indie Excellence Award http://indieexcellence.com/
- Indie Reader Discovery Award http://indiereader.com/irda/?page_id=137
- Shirley You Jest! Book Award http://www.shirley-you-jest.net/#!
- International Rubery Book Award http://www.ruberybookaward.com/enter-the-book-awards.html
Rochelle Carter is the CEO/ Publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, a company with three publishing imprints and a bookstore. She is the author of The 7-Step Guide To Authorpreneurship, Write Success: Inspirational Quotes For The Authorpreneur, and Becoming An Author: Your Quick Start Guide to a Successful Book Launch, three books she put together to help educate and motivate authors based on her experiences with publishing and her own authors.