Prizes for Promotion

As an independent author, perhaps the most common question to arise post publication is how the heck to actually get your book out there.

After all, while author traditionally published with the Big Five have copious funding behind promotion of their books, indie authors typically find themselves limited to social media promotion. Now, don’t get me wrong – with the right connections and especially for those who have gained a following through a blog, vlog or other means prior to publishing their book, the base readership could already exist.

That said, for those indie writers without such a following, even daily social media promotion, while the most affordable, can often seem slow-going. After all, without a literary agent or large-scale publisher repping you and your work, it’s quite easy to get lost in the masses of other indie authors striving for the exact same kind of recognition as you. On that note, even spending in the grands on promotion might not bring in the type of results you’d prefer to see after making such an investment.

So what can help bring in those readers? Book awards! I’ve listed the top known indie book awards below, complete with links for easy navigation:

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards – Though the price is rather steep, glance at previous winning books to see if yours might be up their alley. The exposure for winners cannot be overstated.
National Indie Excellence Awards – Largest contest open to all independent authors, including self-published, small press and mid-sized publishing houses
Next Generation Indie Book Awards – yet another great contest focused on indie authors!
Best Indie Book Awards – Recognizing independent authors in all major genres
Independent Publisher Book Awards – Longest-running contest for independently published books
Chanticleer International Book Awards – Stellar reviewers and judges offering a selection of diverse subcategories within each genre
Foreword INDIES – With judges that mainly include booksellers and librarians, this group has been around the literary block.
Literary Titan Book Awards – Thomas provides an honest review, giving the opportunity to win either Gold or Silver for merits in storytelling and character development.
BookLife Prize – In my experience, this Publishers Weekly-affiliated group prefers focused characters over multiple story arcs, so you might want to think twice about entering if you’ve written the next ASOIAF.

Note: While none of the above contests are free to enter, it might be a worthwhile investment to shoot for at least a few. Most importantly, I would advise taking a look at the types of books that have done well in your category over previous years.

In the meantime, the podcast Author Inside You does offer a free interview on their podcast. So if you’re looking to showcase over radio, contact them today!

Just remember – while not every award will be bestowed on your book and not every critic will appreciate your story, you must keep trying! Because unless you keep putting your world out there, those who would latch onto your work will never know it exists.

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