Today’s exploration of author branding is all about book awards that indie authors can apply for in order to build their credibility, reach, and reputation.
We’ll take a look into the types of awards that are out there, who they are suitable for, and any particular features that make the award noteworthy.
The Benefits Of Book Awards
Entering, and winning book awards, offers a range of benefits. These include:
- Standing out from your competition in the mind of your readers
- Building trust with readers who don’t yet know you
- Gaining extra exposure through the award’s own promotional reach
- Possible cash prizes and other bonus incentives
Now that you know why book awards are worth your time and attention, let’s take a look at some of the contests that are out there, along with some tips for applying for them. The awards listed have been chosen with the guiding principle of ‘something for everyone’. It is truly my hope that no matter what type of author you are, you will find something suitable here.
I’m aware that awards can be a controversial topic in the author world, and I urge you to do due diligence before entering any book prize contest, especially where fees or contracts are involved. Always read the fine print and vet everything. As with most aspects of self-publishing, there is no one-size-fits-all.
Author Awards and Application Pages
Entry Fee - $150 for the first category, $50 for additional categories*
The IndieReader Discovery Awards aim to do more for an author than simply present them with a shiny trophy. As the award name implies, a key benefit of this award is exposure to people who matter. The award winners are given a privileged introduction to top literary representatives. If you win a Discovery Award, you gain access to parts of the publishing world which are usually off-limits.
*BookWorks members get $20 off entry fee with code BWIRDA
Entry Fee - $99*
Entering The BookLife Prize is money well spent. Why? As well as consideration for the award, your book will be given a short critique. This Critic’s Report has proved to be a valuable marketing asset for many previous entrants of The BookLife Prize. Winners of the Grand Prize receive $5000 in addition to a priceless profile in Publishers Weekly.
*BookWorks members get $10.00 off entry fee with code BWRKS
Named after an American philosopher, the grand prize of the Eric Hoffer Book Award is a $2000 award. There are also eighteen other categories so there is almost sure to be something suitable for your book. By entering your book in any one category, it is considered for all award categories.
An award for indie books with a Christian theme. Various categories exist for different types of Christian books, including romantic Christian fiction, historical Christian fiction, and Christian living.
Entry Fee - $95
The most prestigious award for self-published business books. Over eighteen categories of award exist for different types of business books. In order to keep the quality of entries high, Axiom charge a small fee for applications. You can save money on the application fee by applying early and taking advantage of the early bird rate.
These awards feature over 70 categories and offer cash prizes as well as the chance for your work to be exposed to top literary agents. The awards are also presented at a gala dinner, images of which would make a great addition to any indie authors branding and portfolio.
The Benjamin Franklin awards have been celebrating excellence in independent books for over 30 years. Award winners receive an engraved trophy, and the awards are presented at a gala dinner, which once again presents the opportunity for excellent author branding photos.
Writer’s Digest is one of the most reputable and respected names in the publishing world. In addition to cash prizes, winning a Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award instantly adds solid credibility to you as an author, as the prestige of the Writer’s Digest brand rubs off on you and your work in the mind of the reader.
An award for indie books which has been running for over twelve years. Winners of National Indie Excellence awards receive a mixture of cash prizes and services intended for self-published authors in recognition of their efforts. The awards also promise to increase exposure for your work, even if you are only listed as a finalist.
A glamorous award with a gala presentation in Times Square, the Independent Publisher Book Awards celebrate over eighty different categories, and also feature regional awards as well as awards specifically intended for ebooks only. The organizers promise winners will receive national press attention as well as extensive social media promotion.
Book Awards Summary
Today we’ve looked at the benefits of applying for and winning book awards as well as some of the awards on offer. Some tips to keep in mind when applying include:
- Have a solid grasp of the timescale for the award, such as application deadlines, and when winners will be announced
- Understand the eligibility criteria for each award to avoid wasting time entering a contest you don’t qualify for
- If there is an application cost for an award, weigh it against your chances of winning, and the benefits you will potentially experience
Have you won a book award? Do you know of any great award contests your fellow authors should know about? Let us know in the comments section below.
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