If you are fortunate (and talented) enough to have won a book award, why not put it to work for you? In the highly competitive space of online bookselling, any tool an author can use to gain recognition and credibility should be considered, including book awards. Allow this guide to walk you through the various ways to leverage such a prestigious accolade.
What Is a Book Award?
A book award is an honor bestowed upon an author by an organization that has determined the submission is an asset to the literary world. The judges read through the entries and decide by a committee which books meet the standards of excellence to earn the distinction.
Consumers today routinely seek out reviews and other sources of useful information to make their selections and justify their purchases. When shopping for books, a prospective reader who notices your book has received a professional commendation is more apt to follow through with the purchase.
Think about how amazing it would feel to refer to yourself as an “award-winning author!” By winning a book award, not only would your confidence as a writer get a big boost, but adding that award to your book cover also gives it automatic street cred.
There are dozens of reputable book contests to consider entering. Some book awards programs have a specific window in which to submit, while others accept submissions year-round. Fortunately, many of the book award entry fees cost less than $100, with a smattering of contests being free of charge and others that run a few hundred dollars.
There are book awards that cater to specific genres, such as nonfiction genres or children’s books, and others that accept entries from all genres. Many book awards offer bronze, silver, or gold level awards, along with cash prizes that range from a modest stipend to tens of thousands of dollars from the top award foundations or organizations. Be aware that some book awards are not open to self-published authors.
Popular Book Awards
Here are some of the top book awards authors can win today.
- Foreword Indies Award (both fiction and nonfiction)
- Hugo Award (fantasy and science fiction)
- Axiom Business Book Awards
- Romance Writers of America
- USA Best Book Awards
- National Book Award (offer separate awards by genre)
- The John Newbery Medal (children’s books)
- Nonfiction Book Awards
- Edgar Awards (mysteries)
- Michael L. Printz Award (young adult literature)
- Kingsly Tufts Poetry Award
How To Best Promote Your Book Award
If you are fortunate to find yourself the recipient of a book award, there are several actions you can take to maximize the impact of this honor:
Update Book Descriptions
Include a sentence about your book award to add instant gravitas to your book description. Update all book descriptions with a mention of the award, including your online bookseller platforms, your Goodreads page, and your website.
Use the Award Seal in Marketing
Use the award seal or badge generously, including across all social media platforms, on your website, and in emails or newsletters. Also, have your book cover updated to incorporate the award seal in the design.
Update Your Author Bio
Edit your author bios, including both the PDF and ePub files, so newly purchased books will have the updated author bio mentioning your book award. Don’t forget to update the author bio on your website (and add the badge), Amazon’s author page, and all your social media platforms.
Post on Social Media About the Award
Social media was created for such a thing as this! If you consistently post on social media, go ahead and toot your own horn there — your followers will be thrilled for you. Share the actual letter or post from the book award organization announcing your award. Go a step further by asking followers to share the announcement, and be sure to include the award image plus a link to the book listing in the post.
Share a Press Release or Blog Post
If the award presenter publishes a press release announcing the winners, go ahead and share that on your social media. If not, you can notify local media with a press release and share that when it is published. Also, create a blog post that you can publish on your website and your social media outlets, acknowledging the achievement.
Share About It in a Newsletter
For authors who’ve cultivated an email subscriber list, create an announcement in your next newsletter about the book award. Remember to include a link to the book listing.
Host a Giveaway or Promo
Use the momentum that’s generated from the book award to jumpstart your marketing efforts and boost the book’s exposure. Consider running a book giveaway promo on your website, Goodreads, or social media offering signed copies, or coordinate the award with a special eBook promo on BookBub.
Best Practices for Book Award Promotion
To enjoy the host of benefits that flow from winning a book award, follow these best practices:
- Promote the book award in a timely manner. The sooner you initiate the promo efforts, the better the results.
- Repost the official award announcement. For maximum credibility, repost the actual book award announcement on your website and social media.
- Use the official seal in marketing efforts. Acquire a PNG or JPEG of the actual award seal and use it across all digital marketing materials.
Publish Your Next Book With Gatekeeper Press
Create a book that is worthy of winning a book award by working with the publishing experts at Gatekeeper Press. Our team of editors and designers will guide you every step of the way toward publication. Call us today!