With thousands of books competing against your self-published book for sales—how can you help your book stand out and grab more attention? The experts at Self-Publishing Relief will let you in on an effective but often overlooked promotion strategy that can boost your sales, credibility, and fan base: Enter your book in contests.
Winning a prestigious award can convince readers to pull out their wallets and buy your self-published book instead of someone else’s. And you’ll reach new potential fans when the contest sponsor makes the announcement that you’re the prizewinner.
Here are 10 of the best, most reputable annual awards for self-published books
Ben Franklin Book Awards: This award, administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association, has been in existence for over thirty years and celebrates excellence in independent publishing.
Best Indie Book Awards: BIBA is an international contest recognizing the best indie authors in twelve major genres.
Book of the Year Awards: Each year the Independent Author Network (IAN) awards cash and publicity to winners in thirty-six fiction and nonfiction categories.
The Eric Hoffer Book Award: Created to honor the memory of philosopher and author Eric Hoffer, this award is given to recognize “salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers.” There is a category just for self-published authors!
Kindle Book Awards: The Kindle Book Review holds this annual contest to highlight the best e-books (including poetry collections!) available on Amazon. Your book description is a key element in their pre-screening process, so make sure it’s tantalizing!
International Rubery Book Award: Based in the UK but open to writers in all countries, this award exists to recognize outstanding independently published books in a world where it is increasingly difficult to publish traditionally.
Lambda Literary Awards: The Lammys have been around for more than thirty years. Submissions are judged mainly on literary merit and relevance of the content to LGBTQ lives, and self-published books are eligible.
SPR Awards: Self-Publishing Review holds this annual competition for books of any genre. Winners receive promotional packages.
The Wishing Shelf Book Awards: What makes these awards different is that you can get feedback from the judges whether you win or not! There is a small extra fee for this service. Children’s books are also eligible.
Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards: This is another contest exclusively for self-published books in eight categories, including poetry collections and children’s books.
A quick Internet search will yield many other competitions that accept submissions of self-published books. But be careful! Many of them are scams. If you find a competition that piques your interest, make sure it’s legitimate before you invest your time and money. Check with a resource such as the Alliance of Independent Authors.
Question: What has your experience been with self-published book contests?