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!

Book Giveaways!

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This post will be updated with ongoing Rafflecopter book giveaways.

Check periodically for the latest book that we are giving away to lucky readers!

Read more about the books and authors we work with on our campaigns page.

We are currently giving away a copy of Neal Rabin’s adventurous novel (perfect for summer reading) 23 DEGREES SOUTH: A Tropical Tale of Changing Whether… ending on May 16th, 2018 at 12:00AM EST. The winner will be contacted by email, so make sure to check your inbox in case it was you!

“Enjoy with your favorite cocktail!…23 DEGREES SOUTH will capture all readers with its story of two young friends on different paths who intersect within an action packed story.”
– Chanticleer Reviews, 5/5 Stars

“McKinney, a veteran book publicist, has produced a clear, basic road map to publicizing a book. .” – Publishers Weekly
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Links Round Up, Week of 3/20

This week brought the first day of spring and we can’t wait for warmer weather ahead!

PR 101: 4 Things to Consider for Your Author Photo. [Writers Win]

Do you use any of these weird vocab words? [PW]

Check out Gretchen Archer in a Q&A about her new book! [Criminal Element]

Hamilton’s creator made a playlist just for writer’s block. [Nerdist]

Ever wonder how many books you can read before you die? [LitHub]

How to publish an ebook. [Jane Friedman]

Creating compelling content as told from Hollywood. [Chanticleer]

Reading can improve your relationships? [Bustle]

Are you brave enough to try this Scrabble test? [BuzzFeed]

Links Roundup, Week of 1/23

The New York Times is cutting a range of bestsellers lists. [PW]

Roxane Gay, by the book. [NYT]

Star Wars fans prepare yourself for The Last Jedi. [E! News]

What’s the ‘code’ for a bestselling novel? [Guardian]

Even the most successful in traditional publishing are going the indie route! [PW]

Do you know about the dynamic writer/publisher relationship? [Women Writers]

Nail down that elevator pitch! Those 15 seconds could make or break you. [TBD]

We love cover art – check out the best ones from 2016! [NYT]

Inspirational books that could actually change your life! [The EveryGirl]

Virginia Woolf would have been 135 this week. [NYBooks]


Links Roundup, Week of 1/16

American treasure Betty White’s birthday was this week! [EW]

Publishing needs a blockbuster of a book in 2017. [LA Times]

National Book Critics Circle announces its finalists. [NYT]

Why SEO is a necessary skill for authors. [Where Writers Win]

A last goodbye to BookCourt. 🙁 [LitHub]

7 social media trends to watch for 2017. [PR News]

Rumpus has a new owner and editor-in-chief. [Rumpus]

Using self-publishing to teach your students. [The Book Designer]

When your creative process isn’t productive. [PsychCentral]

Watch out for Instagram Stories. [Entrepreneur]