Book award lists are garbage. Here’s why.

book award lists
February 21, 2023
Book Award Pro

Book award lists are just the worst. There, we said it. Authors casually looking into the world of book awards probably start by simply trying to get a handle on what awards are out there. But they are quickly assaulted by low-quality listicles of book awards that leave authors more confused and frustrated than when they started. The truth is book awards are like any other competition: they are always changing. Any article you read on book awards is a snapshot in time. So instead of spending hours researching awards and their rules, we have a better way. But first, let's explain why static online lists just don't work.

They're incomplete

Pretty impressive to see a list of 30 book awards right? Not really. There are thousands of book awards out there. Many of them struggle to get publicity and applicants, despite offering terrific benefits and prizes. Some organizers offer bonus benefits, like a review or marketing help, for simply applying. When you look at a list of awards on a webpage, you're only looking at a fraction of the awards available.

They highlight the least-winnable awards

Don't get us wrong: We're rooting for your success. But household names like the Hugo Awards and the Pulitzers are ultra competitive. Websites list these book awards because they're familiar to readers, even if they're not ideal for the author. Finding great book awards that are author-friendly and less competitive can take hours of research.

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Their submission requirements are out of date or missing entirely

Most book award lists are never updated after they are first published. But book awards change their submission requirements all the time. Award organizers may release the perfect category for your book this year. But you found a website from five years ago, with outdated information.

Book award lists you find online may also have only partial requirements on their pages. Many book awards have numerous restrictions, and writers don't want to clutter up a page with a long list.

You already missed the deadline

Imagine finding the perfect award. Your book is eligible, you found the application, and you feel good about your chances.

Then you see you missed the window by two weeks.

Most book awards have a limited submission window. Which means it's more likely that you're past the deadline. If book award lists include deadlines, they might no longer be accurate.

You have to scroll past everything not relevant to you

You probably want to apply for awards that are specific to your genre, background, or various story elements of your book. That's smart, but it also means the majority of awards on a list are meaningless to you. This leads to a lot of scrolling and researching to find the best matches.

How Book Award Pro is different

We don't like massive lists either. So we did something about it. Book Award Pro uses technology to automate and personalize the painstaking process of researching and applying for book awards. Here's how we're a better alternative for authors to become award-winning.

  • We have the largest database of book awards in the world. We track more than 8,000 book awards, and we're adding (and removing) awards all the time.
  • We save you time. You only see awards that are currently open. We don't match you with book awards in categories that don't make sense for you.
  • We curate your awards. You see the awards that are the best fit for your book, without having to sort through awards you don't want or don't qualify for.
  • We highlight your single best match. You'll see all your matches, but we'll suggest one book award that is the best possible match for you.
  • We'll submit for you. Submitting for a book award can take hours of research and preparation. You can automate your submissions for book awards you want to apply for. Or even better, we can pick the best award for you and submit your book.
  • It's free to get matched. Even on our free plan, you can get matched with book awards in minutes.

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