Book awards and reviews: How to promote a self-published book

self-published book
September 6, 2023
Book Award Pro

It’s no secret that book awards and reviews are crucial for building author success. From selling more books to unlocking literary opportunities, accolades offer compelling validation, social proof, and marketing fuel from which any author can benefit. For self-published books, the promotional potential of book awards and reviews is especially noteworthy.

Read on to learn why accolades are so important for self-published authors, how to find the right awards and reviews for your goals, and how to promote your self-published book through accolades.

Why are reviews and awards so important for self-published books?

Self-published authors are in a unique and exciting position to reap the benefits of book awards and reviews. Here’s why:

Accolades endorse the quality of your work

As a self-published author, you don’t have a publisher, literary agent, or book marketer to endorse the quality of your work. Providing proof of your book’s excellence is largely your responsibility.

We know this sounds a little daunting, but the good news is: book awards and reviews provide all the endorsement and validation you need. Plus, you’re in complete control of which accolades to pursue. This means you can strategically seek out accolades that promote your book to your ideal audience, offer bonus benefits that align with your unique goals, and bring you closer to author success.

Story marketing value for self-published books

Book marketing. It sounds complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. Much like endorsing your self-published book’s quality, marketing your book is also up to you. Luckily, story marketing (a modern approach to book marketing that combines author accolades with popular platforms like social media) allows awards and reviews to be the foundation of your book promotion strategy. Plus, it will cost you less time, money, and effort than any form of traditional marketing, but more on that later.

Accolades distinguish you from other authors

Did you know there are millions of books published each year? According to this source, over half of those are self-published. Book awards and reviews are the platform you need to distinguish yourself from other self-published authors.

It’s not just the award seal sparkling on the cover of your book or the five-star review online; it’s also the buzz generated by accolades, the professional opportunities they create, and the connections with readers they nurture that help you shine brightest in a sea of other authors.

Unlock professional opportunities with accolades

For some authors, self-publishing is a stepping stone toward more traditional methods of publication. Book reviews and awards are markers of excellence to literary experts. When scouting for new authors, publishers and literary agents take notice of those with impressive accolades.

Awards and professional book reviews prove that your book has been well-received by reputable sources in the industry, while glowing reader reviews inform literary decision-makers that your book has best-seller potential.

Start your award-winning journey with Book Award Pro.

We have plans for every author at every stage.

Getting awards and reviews for self-published books

Follow these simple steps to begin pursuing the best accolades for self-published authors:

Consider your unique author goals

First, it’s important to understand and define your unique author goals. Establishing specific, measurable, and attainable objectives in your writing career can help you more accurately target your efforts. Do you want to land a publishing deal with one of the Big Five? Are you simply trying to sell more books? Do you want to establish your professional brand? These are the kinds of motivations to consider when defining your goals as an author.

Apart from motivations, logistics also play a role in determining which accolades are best for you. Things like the time you have to spare and the size of your budget are also important considerations.

Pursue awards and reviews that align with your goals

Once you’ve clearly defined your personal goals as an author, you can begin to selectively pursue accolades that align with your objectives. This does take a bit of research, but finding accolades that bring you maximum value justifies the time, money, and effort you put into the journey.

Here are some things to consider when looking for accolades that best align with your goals:

  • Grand prize: What’s the grand prize for winning first place? If it’s a monetary reward and making a profit with your self-published book is one of your goals, it might be a good opportunity for you. If you’re looking for professional opportunities, shooting for a grand prize that includes a publishing deal is a smart choice.
  • Bonus benefits: Bonus benefits are additional resources offered by awards and reviews. These can include marketing opportunities, appearances on a blog or newsletter, meetings with an editor, and more. Research an accolade’s bonus benefits and focus on those that align with your objectives.
  • Target audience: Attracting an ideal readership is a common goal among self-published authors. You can use reviews and awards to do just that! Look for accolades that work with authors or genres similar to yours, or that target an audience that’s related to your ideal reader.

Find curated awards and reviews with Book Award Pro

For authors looking to skip the hassle of finding, researching, and sorting through awards and reviews, Book Award Pro offers several plans that automate the process.

The Book Award Pro platform analyzes millions of data points about your book and compares it to the current accolade landscape. Then, you receive perfectly curated award and review matches, complete with all of the expert research you need to make the most valuable accolade decision for your unique author goals. The best part? It takes just a few minutes to get started.

How to use awards and reviews to promote your self-published book

Here are a few ideas to help you start promoting your self-published book through accolades. If you want to dive in deeper, check out other articles on the Book Award Pro blog.

Enhance your author brand

Accolades add professionalism and credibility to your online author presence. Be sure to add “award-winning author” to your email signature, author website, and social media bios. Include award seals and reviews on your book’s cover. Include your accolades in your book’s online listing. Anywhere you can reference your impressive collection of accolades is an opportunity to establish yourself as an acclaimed author.

Implement story marketing

To begin story marketing, simply share your award and review progress with your audience on social media. Did you submit your book to an award? Share the news with your Instagram followers and enjoy the praise of excited readers. Did you receive a five-star review? Share it on Twitter and attract new followers. Each step you take toward receiving an accolade is a compelling piece of marketing content you can use to generate interest in your book.

For authors looking to make story marketing even simpler, Book Award Pro offers a Story Marketing feature. You can share customized posts about your book’s accolade journey across major social media platforms in just a few clicks.

Promote your success

Don’t be afraid to actively pursue platforms on which to promote your success. Connect with a local bookstore to see if you can hold a book reading, reach out to book bloggers for a review on their website, or start a newsletter to discuss your accolade journey.

Self-publishing a book is an exciting journey; one that can be made simpler and even more prosperous with awards and reviews. With the power of accolades at your side, there’s no limit to your success.

Originally published on Reader Views.

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