How Can Book Awards Enhance the Careers of Self-Published and Indie Authors?

As an author, you may have struggled with the following question: Do I submit my book to be reviewed for awards? With the saturated field of award opportunities; submitting your work to every book award entry would be too time consuming. Often times, authors wonder if it is worth their energy, time, and— even money as it is common for organization and literary fields to have submission fees.

If you are an author and wondering if a book award will enhance your writing career, we believe the answer is yes! To help you understand why, we’ll explain it further. In addition to this, we’ll even share a list of book awards and book contests for you to consider entering this year. Bonus tip: We recommend book-marking this page as a reference; you may need it in the future.

Reminder: Things to Look for in Book Awards and Writing Competitions

Indeed, there are various ways for you to promote your book and make it stand out as a self-published or indie author. Recognition in book awards is one way to get attention from would-be readers. Thousands of indie and self-published books release every year, making the market more competitive. Awards can be a strategy you can utilize while you plan your journey to the top. Take a look at the key factors we have listed below. Keep these in mind before entering book awards:

  • Be aware of the rules of the contest: Most competitions or contests have certain guidelines you have to meet before you enter. In most cases, writing competitions require entrants to submit their work in the proper format, category and meet the deadline. Follow the instructions to make sure your book entry goes smoothly.
  • Ensure your book is thoroughly refined and edited: Judges will often have a prestigious association with the writing field, and they will quickly notice grammatical errors. In some cases, book awards can be entered with just your manuscript—prior to your book’s publication. If you are entering a manuscript that is still being edited, make sure they are aware of it.

Research the contest before signing up: Beware of scams as you don’t want to waste your time with a contest that is not well-sustained or creditable.

 

Book Awards and How They Enhance the Careers of Self-Published and Indie Authors

So, how can book awards enhance your career as an author? There are many advantages. We’ve gathered the ones we feel are most beneficial:

  • Publicity: Winning a book award will be a major win for you because of the boost and visibility you’ll receive from the media. Your audience and fellow writers will recognize you, not to mention the praise you’ll receive from your family and friends. Besides the praise, the awards’ website will usually announce their winners for all their readers to see. This may cause readers to become part of your audience. Even better if their website is found during search results!
  • Traffic and stimulation of sales: If there is an award’s sticker or badge on your book cover, readers and bookstores will take notice. Also, readers will be intrigued and will want to know more about other writing projects you’ve published; this can also create back-list sales.
  • Awards inspire reviews: Winning a book award comes with the domino effect. The more awards you receive, the more prospective readers will want to take a chance on reviewing your work. Similarly, while you receive more reviews, other book awards may potentially begin to notice you as well.
  • Accumulate extra money: Many book awards come with money as part of the prize package.
  • You will be honored as a worthy author or writer: In all honesty, being recognized for your craft as a writer is important. You likely spent years perfecting your manuscript, and getting recognition feels great.

Entering or winning a book contest will help you go a long way when it comes to publicity and making a name for yourself in the publishing world. To help you sort through the many options you’ll have for book contests, here is a comprehensive list that will steer you in the right direction this year as you prepare to submit your work for book awards.

2020 Book Awards List

American Book Fest

American Eagle Book Awards

Autumn House Fiction Prize

Axiom Awards

Annual Book Award Contest

Bath Novel Award

Best Indies Book Award

Big Book Award

Cookbook Awards

Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book: 2020 Colorado Book Awards

Colorado Independent Publishers Association

Dragonfly Book Award

Elit Book Awards

Erick Hoffer Book Awards

Foreword Reviews Award

FAPA President’s Book Award

IFERS Awards

Independent Publisher Award

Independent Press Award

International Book Award

Indie Reader Discovery Awards

Indie Book Award

IPPY Awards

Living Now Book Awards

Moms Choice Award

Mom Beam Award

Monthly e-book Cover Design Awards

National Indie Excellence Awards

Nonfiction Book Awards

Rubery Book Award

Royal Dragon Fly Award

SPR Book Awards

Shelf Unbound Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition

The Mystery and Mayhem Awards—Cozy Mystery Novel Writing Contest 2020

The Independent Author Network: Book of the Year Awards

2020 Zia Book Award Contest