Achieving Indie Book Awards When Nobel Laureate Is Not In The Cards – Part II

This is Part II in a blog series focused on Book Awards programs. While there are a number of such organizations that have debuted over the course of the last decade, it was my intent to provide you with several, which were not only gaining in popularity, but also those attracting and acknowledging up-and-coming self-published… [Read More]

Book ContestsThis is Part II in a blog series focused on Book Awards programs. While there are a number of such organizations that have debuted over the course of the last decade, it was my intent to provide you with several, which were not only gaining in popularity, but also those attracting and acknowledging up-and-coming self-published authors.

Part I reviewed the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the IndieReader Discovery Awards. Today we talk to the founders and directors of an additional four that should also be given some serious consideration when putting together your marketing plan for 2015.

Why Readers’ Favorite Annual Book Award Contest?

Book AwardsIn speaking with Readers' Favorite Annual Book Award Founder and CEO, Debra Gaynor, we learned that in addition to administering asuccessful book review site, in 2009 she focused energies on developing an equally successful annual award contest.

Book Awards

Debra Gaynor

A distinguishing factor for this group is the number of Hollywood celebrity authors who have presented their work fo consideration. Of recent date, Jim Carrey, Henry Winkler, Paul Michael Glaser and Eriq La Salle have entered their books into this contest. And while RF accepts both traditionally published and the work of indie authors, it's interesting to note that Jim Carrey's children's book "How Roland Rolls" was a self-published entry

[see Jim Carrey in this video conducting a book reading for his young fans].

logo_WindDancerAdded to this year’s list of prizes, Wind Dancer Films has joined the group as a sponsor and they will review 10 books in various categories to be considered for a movie adaptation. According to Gaynor, "we feel it is an amazing opportunity to offer this type of opportunity to our authors."

Readers Favorite has been awarded the Association of Independent Authors Honoring Excellence award, which recognizes businesses and organizations that offer exceptional products and services for independent authors.
Format: Print books and eBooks.
Deadline:  1 May 2015, with a late registration deadline of June 1 [no extra fees for late registration but will receive their free review later than those that met the May 1 deadline date].
Organized by: Readers Favorite
Eligibility: Open to authors traditionally published or self-published. No publication date requirement for published books. No short stories or erotica. Entries accepted from all over the world.
Fees: $89 for one category. Up to 3 additional categories: $65 each.
Prizes: Each winner will receive a personalized Award Certificate, a digital high-resolution version of their Award Seal for publication and a roll of 500 high quality, reflective Award Seal stickers to affix to current editions of their book. Ten category winners will be reviewed and considered by Wind Dancer Films to turn one's book into a movie. Winners and finalists are also invited to a Medal Award Ceremony during the week of the Miami Book Fair International.
Website: Click here
Testimonials: Several testimonials listed on the above contest page including Random House, Paul Michael Glazer and Leigh Cunningham, president of the AiA [Association of Independent Authors].
Panel of Judges: [Names are not published]

Why The IPPY Awards?

Book AwardsJim Barnes has headed up the Independent Publisher Book Awards for 15 years [aka IPPY Awards]. "We consider the IPPY a marketing tool that when combined with

Book Awards

Jim Barnes

other PR efforts can really helps a book reach a tipping point of sales success," notes Barnes. When Carl Sams published a children's book with photos instead of hand-drawn illustration [which was unprecedented back in 2003], and won the Children's Picture Book Gold Medal, "this book became a perennial bestseller and has gone on to sell over 100,000 copies," added Barnes.

Mission: To judge 72 subject categories in national awards, with regional awards for the United States, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand. Ebook awards with fiction, non-fiction, children’s and regional categories.
Format: Print books and ebooks
Deadline: March 10, 2015.
Organized by: Jenkins Group, Inc. &
Eligibility: Books with 2013, 2014 and 2015 copyrights from authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market.
Fees: $75 – $95 (Early-bird deadlines are October 21, 2014 and January 21, 2015).
Prizes: Winners receive medals and certificates.
Website: Click here
Testimonials: Click here
Panel of Judges: 25 judges, which include experts from the fields of editing, design, reviewers, booksellers and librarians [names are not published]

Why Foreword Reviews Book of The Year Awards?

Book AwardsVictoria Sutherland is the founder and publisher for Foreword Reviews, which launched over 16 years ago. While working for a book packaging

Book Awards

Victoria Sutherland

company back in the 90s, Sunderland realized the need for a review journal that would focus on independent publishers. In her estimation,  "the small guys weren't getting attention anywhere else." Her awards program was an outgrowth of that thought process. Interesting to note, "the foil seal on the cover of our winners’ books has driven their book sales, or helped catch the attention of a foreign rights agent or a film producer, or a major publisher – and winning the Book of the Year Award has also helped books get noticed by judges of other contests," says Sunderland.

Mission: These awards were established to bring increased attention from librarians and booksellers to the literary achievements of independent publishers and their authors.
Format: Print and ebooks
Deadline: January 15, 2015
Organized by: Forward Reviews
Eligibility: All books with a valid ISBN and an original 2014 publish date are eligible. Books published by the Big 5 publishing houses are excluded from entering
Fees: $99
Prizes: $1,500 & trophy for Editor's Choice in Fiction and $1500 & trophy for the Editor's Choice in Nonfiction. Coverage to winners on website and newsletter.
Website: Click here
Testimonials: Click here
Panel of Judges: [Names are not published]

Why National Indie Excellence Book Awards?

Book AwardsEllen Reid is the owner and sponsor of the National Indie Excellence Award Book Awards now in its 9th year. As testimony to the merits of this award organization, Reid noted a testimonial from one of her winners: "The last thing on my mind was to enter an

Book Awards

Ellen Reid

award competition -- but in so doing, in addition to the awards and acknowledgement for two book submissions, it was a confirmation of my hard work." Another from a book producer indicated that the NIEA’s help separate the wheat from the chaff: "With hundreds of thousands of books published each year, we don't have time to screen them all - so we go straight to the award winners and start our screening process from there."

Mission: Competition is judged by an independent experts from all aspects of the indie book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. They select award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation.
Format: Print books only
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Organized by: Smarketing LLC
Eligibility: all English language books with 2012-2015 copyrights are welcome.
Fees: $69.00 per entry, per category.
Prizes: Comprehensive national print publicity campaign valued at $6,000.00, ) and more.
Website: Click here
Testimonials: Click here
Panel of Judges: [Names are not published]

Ready for the Red Carpet or still on the fence?

As noted in Part I, and as I'm sure these six Award Program administrators would agree, whether you win a Gold, Silver, Bronze or a Cash Prize, it’s also the acknowledgement from a third party that validates an author’s work in the eyes of the public.

And while budgets are always a consideration for the struggling indie writer, I agree with Debra Gaynor’s ‘buckshot’ vs. ‘shotgun’ philosophy of entering as many awards programs as one can [not just one]." There is no silver bullet here. Engage with the entire playing field and learn from experience.

In fact, I would go one step further and say as an indie writer who's testing the waters, consider all of those we've highlighted in this blog series, and if at the end of the day, you've got some funds left in the bank, explore others as well.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

For the budget-conscious -  in talking to award-winning indie author of  "HowToDoItFrugally," Carolyn Howard-Johnson views awards and contests as "a great career-builder," and is an insightful resource for marketing on a shoe-string.

However, if you choose a wait-and-see stance versus participating in the 2015 award season, the best way to conduct some preliminary due diligence is to check out some of the past winners from any or all of these programs - to determine the quality and merits of their work - and if nothing else, you just might be investing in a very good read.

Book Awards

Readers & Writers: I look forward to your feedback, comments and critiques, and please use as your resource to learn more about preparing, publishing and promoting self-published books. My blogs appear bi-weekly on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month.

6 thoughts on “Achieving Indie Book Awards When Nobel Laureate Is Not In The Cards – Part II”

  1. Maximiliano Meza Cruz says:

    Awesome post is really interesting!!! Thank you to sharing this insightful information.

  2. Ron Sidwell says:

    independent author awards, at a minimum, provide exposure for the otherwise obscure author.

    1. So true. Any publicity is good publicity!

  3. Kuldeep says:

    A really appreciated post with entitles some good category, please post some more about these categories.

  4. SydesJokes says:

    A very interesting post. Thanks for sharing. Colin

  5. LoonieGuy says:

    Good stuff. Thanks for sharing!

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