Are book awards worth it?

Are Book Awards Worth It
October 28, 2022
Book Award Pro

(Hint: They are. Here’s why.)

If we’re being honest, every author dreams of getting a phone call from someone who tells you that your book has been selected for a prestigious book award. We imagine calling our friends and family, posting on social media, and adding the accolade to our book description.

But at some point, we learn that’s not really how it works. Book awards don’t find you, you have to find them. And it’s not always easy. Applying for a book award might take you more than just an afternoon, especially if you’re doing it on your own. You may have to write an introductory letter, prepare a synopsis, and maybe even try to work a fax machine. You may ask yourself:

Is this even worth it?

It’s a fair question, no one wants to put in hours of work only to be rejected. But the answer is unequivocally yes. Book awards may not instantly grant you fame and fortune, but they can be a powerful tool for your story marketing. Here’s how:

A book award is a powerful symbol of legitimacy.

It’s easier to publish a book than ever before. But it’s a double edged sword. Many books are either poorly written or poorly produced. Readers know this, and they have learned to be discerning. They will scrutinize your book description, reviews, and cover looking for signs of legitimacy. A book award is the most powerful form of social proof you can have. It shows potential readers that your book isn’t just good according to readers, but accepted by critics and people who read books for a living. This is the kind of “social-proof” that can help offset modest reviews or being an unknown author.

Book awards can get you access.

Got a website or podcast that you’d love to be featured on? If you don’t have a dedicated audience, getting discovered by someone else’s followers can be a major boon for your books. Sending an introductory email or video to an influencer stating that you won a relevant award is a great way to show them that you're a serious author. Won a local book award? You can contact local websites and publications and ask to be featured. Don’t be embarrassed or think that your award isn’t significant enough. Remember, everybody needs content to share. Many people who host podcasts or run blogs need to make content every day. You’re doing them a favor when you approach them as an award-winning author.

Winning matters less than you think.

Savvy story marketers don’t apply for their book awards in secret, hoping to win but ready to pretend it never happened if they don't. Being nominated or even just considered for a book award can be used in your story marketing. In fact, just the nomination for an award can be enough for authors to add to their book descriptions or covers. Others may go all out, and document their entire submission process on a vlog or social media. What’s important isn’t winning, but taking your supporters on a journey and using it to build your audience.

But there are awards you can win.

The average author drastically underestimates how many book awards exist. There are awards for nearly every genre and style you can think of. There are even awards for books that aren’t published yet. We should know, we have the largest database of book awards on the planet, constantly updated for new and changing awards. You share your book with us, we’ll match you with the best awards, and even help you apply. Read how Book Award Pro can help your book.

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