Book Contests – Why Bother Entering?

Ellen Reid has been a guest on the AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing podcast and a supporter of AuthorU. In today’s blog, she answers the question, Why bother entering book contests?

So … you received an email or saw an ad about a book contest. What’s your first thought? For many authors it’s, “Can I win?” That question is likely followed by, “Why would I enter, anyway?”

The best answer to the question can be summed up in one word: Publicity. And publicity is what you need in order to generate sales. Authors who receive awards – whether top prize like First Place or Gold Medal or a very respectable award like Honorable Mention or Finalist – have a significant and legitimate reason to put out press releases, send emails, add mentions to their websites and solicit media interviews or articles.

But the benefits don’t end there. Browsers who see an award sticker on a book cover are more likely to give that book a second glance. And one of our prize recipients discovered an unanticipated benefit when she was contacted by a television show producer to appear on their show as an “expert” in her field. The producer explained to her that they don’t have time to research every book in a topic area, so they look first to award-winning authors.

The bottom line is that if you have a book that meets industry parameters in the technical areas and you have done your best in the writing arena, entering contests can be a savvy move for generating awareness and interest in your book. And that can translate naturally into sales if you know how to leverage the win – which happens to be the topic of my next blog.

AuthorU’s Thoughts …

Ellen Reid created The Indie Excellence Book Awards, Beverly Hills Book Awards and the International Excellence Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards.

Contrary to what many old-timers think, the public does pay attention to book awards. So does the media and independent book stores and librarians. We encourage you to enter (certainly not all, but ones that are dedicated to book awards, publicize the winners, create press releases and have a dedicated website. You then, the author and/or publisher, need to your side.

If your book could use an extra publicity boost to increase awareness and sales, a book award may be the “cosmic goose” you’ve been looking for.

If you are honored to be a Finalist or Award Winner (and all Finalists are winners in our eyes), get your bragging rights in gear. Create a Press Release—send it out. Add it and the announcement to your website; continued with shout outs to your social media platforms—how about creating a special “buy” in celebration giving new buyers an opportunity for a bit of a discount? AND, make sure you add “award winning author” to all your social media profiles. Brag, brag, brag.

Here’s a recap of the Indie Excellence Award opportunities:

Joining the Indie Excellence and Beverly Hills book awards in 2017 is:

International Excellence  Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards® 

All books are wonderful — and some make a special contribution. Those are the books this contest celebrates and promotes. Receiving an IEBMS award gives you added opportunity to create publicity for your book and lets readers know it is a book worth reading. It also lets media producers know you are a prime candidate for interviews.

What kinds of books qualify?   

Any book dealing with alternative medicine — which can include Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, energetic healing; anything other than standard western medicine — including spirituality, meditation, Feng Shui, Astrology, get the picture? A glance at our contest categories will give you a sense of just how amazingly rich and varied this universe is.

Submission Guidelines and Categories care be found here:

All Submissions must be in by February 17, 2017 and 
Winners & Finalists will be announced in mid-March, 2017.

The National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA)

Created 11 years ago to help establish self-publishing as a proud, legitimate, and respectable part of the publishing industry.

The National Indie Excellence® Awards is open to all English language books available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. NIEA is proud to be a champion of self-publishers and small and independent presses that go the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect.

You are invited to enter the 11th Annual Contest!

You are the ones putting your hearts and souls on the line by getting your books into print. And that’s just the beginning. Marketing is a key and we know it can be a bear. An NIEA Winner or Finalist sticker on a book cover can help your book stand out.

Small press, self and independently published books are getting better and better and our judges are working harder and harder.

Submissions for the 2016 National Indie Excellence® Awards are now open. We look forward to receiving your books and celebrating how far our industry has come.

Submission Guidelines and Categories care be found here:

All entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2017. Winners and Finalists will be notified Mid May, 2017.

Beverly Hills Book Awards

Why the Beverly Hills Book Awards?
Beverly Hills is synonymous with excellence, the best of the best. After decades in the publishing industry and listening to our colleagues talk about the ever-growing challenges when promoting books, we decided that since there were so many books being done well, wanted to celebrate the physical book in print that has always and will always be a part of our worldwide culture.

The team of judges consider cover and interior design, promotional text, aesthetic components and other factors that demonstrate outstanding presentation, in addition to the writing. We accept fiction and non-fiction books in a wide range of topics and categories including mystery, romance, business, self-help, memoirs, inspiration, and many more.

Submissions for the 6th Annual contest
will be open January 1, 2017

Is there a book award in you? The answer could be a huge YES … but you have to enter for the opportunity.



Ellen Reid is the author of Putting Your Best Book Forward. A long-time advocate of authors, she commands an eclectic mix of book judges who excel in identifying trending themes and the hot new books of each season. Birthing the Indie Excellence Book Awards 11 years ago, it has become one of the most respected book awards for the independent book market.


header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join today. If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen




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