Book Awards for Indie Authors

There are limitless strategies devised to drive book publicity and generate sales. Whether it’s maintaining social media, mining micro-influencers, or tracking both with your editorial calendar, these tools serve the same purpose. What about one method that encompasses the results of all three? You might have a winner in books awards.

If you’re an author just starting out, you may think book awards are reserved for those established in the industry –or signed with the “Big 5” publishing houses. That isn’t necessarily the case. While big awards like PEN/America or the Pulitzer Prize tend to shine more favorably on well-known authors, there are other prestigious options that even offer cash prizes and opportunities to consult with experts in the business.

Much like any step in generating buzz around your book and book sales, selecting reputable awards takes scrupulous research. Some book awards, even those that are well known, serve only to line the pockets of those in charge. See what fellow authors are saying about your chosen award. There is no definitive verification process for these awards, which means that the most reliable information will be from others in your station. One list we consulted while building our award database can be found here, custom tailored by the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Researching awards and curating the perfect, realistic list also depends on your budget. Many book awards have an application fee, and additional fees per category in which you submit. Some also require that you pay a fee for the subsequent social media boosting and online advertising that would accompany your win. If your budget is limited, don’t worry; there are book awards that do not require entry/additional fees. Looking for book awards local to your state or town will greatly reduce, and sometimes all-together cut out that entry fee -you also save on travel expenses that way!

While you can find book awards with no entry fee, it is worth investing the money for others. You might even see a return tenfold on your investment. A recent Authors Guild study revealed that book awards and prizes, along with advances, royalties, foreign sales, serial rights, reprint/permission rights, and mass media rights comprise writer income on average.

Putting aside dollars and cents, there are priceless advantages to winning awards. Organizations like The North Street Book Prize and The Indie Author Project Regional Contests offer opportunities to consult with established authors and publishers, placement of a piece detailing your win in reputable publications, and book promotion at local hotspots. These awards will often do email blasts announcing your win and plug across media platforms in conjunction with the other prizes.

What’s our proof that this stuff actually works? Recently, our indie authors Douglas Wood and David Finkle won categories in the 2018 Independent Press Awards. Doug won Humor & Wit for his book Asshole Attorney, and David won Distinguished Favorite in Humor & Wit for his book Humpty Trumpty Hit a Brick Wall.

If they can do it, so can you!

The Contract by Sheila Grinell

“How do you encourage curiosity in a place where thoughts are policed?”

Joanna Dunhill knows just how difficult it can be working with family, and now that she has an opportunity to finally, in mid-life, achieve professional and financial success, family—and Saudi Arabian culture—stand in the way. Author Sheila Grinell flawlessly depicts female empowerment and cultural dissonance in this story about the difficulties of owning and growing a small business. Her new novel, THE CONTRACT (She Writes Press, October 2019, Original Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-63152-648-0, $16.95), explores the many “contracts” we enter in our lives, implicitly in marriage and with siblings, as well as explicitly on the job.

Joanna and her husband, Ev Dana, operate a museum design company to which Ev supplies brawn and creativity in an abstracted, laid-back way that irks Jo no end. Given her drive and management skills, though, she’s convinced they can win a much-prized deal with the Saudi Arabian government. The mission: to create a new children’s museum focused on renewable energy.

When Jo’s competitor and archrival, Phil Owen, becomes involved in the deal, Jo must find a way to look past their personal drama and join forces. Harder still, she must probe the limits of what she will be allowed to accomplish in Saudi Arabia as she seeks to expand opportunities for the mothers and daughters who will patronize the future museum. Meanwhile, it seems Ev would rather pass on the entire project and explore one of his own at a local art gallery. Will Joanna’s over-ambitiousness and Ev’s side-gig get in the way of both their business and their marriage?

“The test was about to begin. Not the presentation she and Ev would make to the review committee–they knew how to present their qualifications. No, the test would be learning the ropes of a society that repressed women yet where the potential client, the deputy director of the agency that had summoned them, was female.”

 In THE CONTRACT, Grinell draws complex characters who share many of the struggles Americans face in business, especially when confronted with gender and cultural differences. Even here, where we enjoy the freedom to choose our own paths, we are often unsure how to take the next step.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheila Grinell spent forty years developing science centers in the US and consulting on museum projects around the world, including in Saudi Arabia. She turned to literature in her sixties, publishing a debut novel, Appetite, in 2016. The Contract is her second work of fiction. Born in a taxi in Manhattan, she studied at The Bronx High School of Science, Harvard University, and the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and their dog.

Meet the Bobs and Tweets: Scout Camp by Pepper Springfield

BOBS AND TWEETS

Book #4: Scout Camp!

by Pepper Springfield

Illustrated by Kristy Caldwell

The Bobs and Tweets are back for a whole new summer adventure. Their next destination: camp! In Pepper Springfield’s latest book BOBS AND TWEETS: Scout Camp! (Scholastic; August 1st, 2019; Original Trade Paperback; ISBN: 9781338355406) illustrated by Kristy Caldwell, readers join the Bonefish Scouts as Bus Driver Joan leads them on a trip filled with sing-songy hikes, breathtaking views, tippy canoes, smores, and more camp fun!

But when Scout Leader Mike splits the group in two for a “team-building” exercise that forces them into survival mode, the Bobs and Tweets must work together in order to overcome some serious challenges. Will the scouts be able to pitch a tent, build a fire, and boil water before the ominous storm clouds keep them from finding their way home?

 Scout Camp!  flawlessly demonstrates just how far a little teamwork and problem-solving can go when learning new skills and having fun along the way!

Mirador by James Jennings

Epic New Novel Set to Release with 25th Anniversary of Zapatista Revolt in Mexico  

NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed by Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. in the early 1990s, was billed as a pathway to growtNew Book h and prosperity for the people of the member nations. Not so for Mexico’s indigenous people. Their agrarian way of life received a death sentence when their own government canceled land reforms, ended communal land holdings, and opened their homeland to multinational corporations. The day the treaty took effect an army of peasants rose up, calling themselves Zapatistas and demanding a voice in their own affairs. They refused to be forgotten. In his new novel MIRADOR (Greenpoint Press; August 1, 2019; Original Trade Paperback; ISBN: 978-0-9906194-4-4; $20.00), Oklahoma native James Jennings tells the story of Nate Hunter, an ordinary man unwillingly thrust into the heart of the Zapatista struggle.

Nate and Sarah Hunter are a golden couple. Nate is established in an upwardly mobile career; and Sarah is a nurse, determined to make a difference in the world by helping people in need.

When Pastor Tom, a Dallas minister, looks for volunteers to join a mission trip to the village of Mirador in Chiapas, Mexico, Sarah quickly decides she’s going. Nate won’t let her go alone. It is only supposed to be a simple two-week trip, but Nate and Sarah are oblivious to the unrest brewing below the surface calm. Nate soon discovers that the cost of choosing to accompany Sarah rather than trying to stop her from going will be high.

MIRADOR is written in the historic tradition, taking a relatively unknown event and enlarging it in human terms through the lives of its characters. Jennings has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, including Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Chiapas, where he has seen the poverty of the local people first-hand. 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of NAFTA and the Zapatista uprising – a perfect time for an epic story depicting the passions of people fighting to protect their way of life and a man who joins their struggle and sees their heroism up-close.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Jennings is a writer and trial lawyer who practices in Oklahoma City and lives with his wife, Vicky, in Edmond. He is a fifth-generation Oklahoman and a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. MIRADOR is Jim’s second novel. His first, The Light Most Favorable, was published in 2012. His third, Blue Wild Indigo, is nearing completion, and his fourth, Travertine Rim, is in progress.

Dark Data: Control, Alt, Delete by Douglas J. Wood


DARK DATA
Control, Alt, Delete
Douglas J. Wood
_________________________________________________________________________________________

“If you can identify a person’s desires, then you can also exploit their weaknesses, both physical and mental, through algorithms that serve up alternatives as subliminal tools for behavioral manipulation.”

Paula Janković is no ordinary hacker. With the ability to access any system at any time, Janković utilizes the principles of the “Selfish Ledger” to profile individuals through their emails, social media accounts, and online activities; unleashing a superstorm of dark data and fake news and manipulating people to do her bidding. But who is really behind such operations? Meet Constantine Petrenko, a seasoned Russian criminal and financial oligarch whose hunger for world domination takes center stage as he enlists a myriad of talented felons, like Janković, to coordinate a series of terrorist attacks intended to bring the international business community to its knees.

Meanwhile, as Janković does her part for Petrenko, ISIS leader Abu al-Badri teams up with the Russian and his minions to devise a plan intended to wreak even greater havoc upon innocent victims throughout the world.

With hopes to thwart the oncoming death and destruction, rookie journalist Rebecca Taft— the only person who might have a lead on al-Badri and Petrenko’s master plan— is working with the CIA. Together they decode an ominous list of dates in efforts to learn where and when the imminent attack will be. Can they solve this puzzle of pandemonium before it’s too late?

“No one is immune from being off social media.”

In his new thriller, DARK DATA: Control, Alt, Delete (Plum Bay Publishing, August 13th, 2019, Original Trade Paperback/Hardback, ISBN 978-1-7335253-1-2/978-1-7335253-2-9, $16.99/$25.99), award-winning author Douglas J. Wood transports readers to a world where privacy is just an illusion and using data for the targeted advertising and marketing we see today is nothing compared to what is truly possible. Experts Wood interviewed while writing DARK DATA warn that the reality of this books’ scenes could be just one “click”, “share,” “tweet,” or “like” away.

DARK DATA is not only a thrilling novel, but also serves as a cautionary tale that sheds light on the dangers of social media and the mystery that is the Selfish Ledger. Involving questionable characters in positions high and low, Wood brilliantly portrays what could happen if the wrong people control information that has the potential to destroy us all.