Can self-published books win awards?

Can self-published books win awards
November 15, 2023
Book Award Pro

Self-publishing has come a long way from its humble beginnings. With our modern, digital world, authors can now produce high-quality, exceptional books. This revolution has paved the way for self-published books to compete with their traditionally-published counterparts. But, can self-published books win awards?

Read on to learn the best ways for self-published authors to find, win, and leverage notable literary accolades.

Can self-published books win awards?
(Hint: yes, they can!)

In the ever-evolving publishing industry, authors may wonder: Can self-published books win awards? The short answer is a resounding YES.

Book Award Pro operates the world’s largest database of legitimate book reviews and awards. We can unquestionably say: most literary awards have recognized the merits of self-published works. And that includes many highly-respected accolades such as the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

How can self-published books win awards?

It’s exciting that self-published books can win awards and indie authors can be recognized for their hard work.

But how does the process work? How can indie authors pursue those accolades and achieve award-winning success?

While traditionally published books may have more visibility, the good news is that most awards are opening up to indie authors. This often creates a level playing field, no matter how a book was published (or will be published in the future). Sometimes, there are even entire award categories specifically for self-published works.

The expert way to pursue book awards

Searching through frustrating lists of awards will take hours of your time and still not give you all the options. Instead, look to the experts. It’s completely free to have Book Award Pro instantly curate the ideal award and review opportunities for your self-published book.

Our advanced AI technology matches the unique characteristics of your book with legitimate accolades. Book Award Pro identifies awards and review options that align perfectly with your book's qualities and that you can enter right now. No digging, sorting, or tireless research.

The DIY way to pursue book awards

If you want to do everything yourself (without using Book Award Pro), here’s how you can find award options and prepare your submission:

Finding Award Opportunities

There are many thousands of book award options out there. Be sure to only invest your time and resources into awards that help your book grow and succeed. If you are doing this process manually, sorting out the great opportunities from the thousands of possibilities will be a significant effort.

  • Alternatively, it's free to have Book Award Pro instantly curate options for awards and reviews, specifically for your book.


Research Awards

Consider awards that specifically recognize books like yours. Award guidelines will stipulate whether or not self-published works can be entered. Many book awards honor indie authors alongside traditionally-published authors, making it possible for self-published books to compete on an even playing field.

  • Save countless hours with Expert Research. Get all the award details - like due date, entry fee, results dates, requirements, and more - right in your Book Award Pro dashboard.


Eligibility Requirements

Review the eligibility criteria for each award or competition carefully. Many awards have specific requirements regarding publication dates, genres, or other factors. Ensure your book meets these requirements before submitting.

Quality Matters

Just like traditionally published books, self-published books need to be high quality to stand a chance of winning awards. Make sure your book is well-edited, has a professional cover design, and is formatted properly.

Budget for Entry Fees

Most book awards and competitions have entry fees. On average, an award entry fee costs $89 USD. Be prepared to budget for these expenses as you submit your work to various contests.

  • Look for the “Automate Entry” button on your Book Award Pro dashboard. Our expert AI will handle the entire award entry for you, including paying the award’s entry fee.


Craft a Compelling Submission

Carefully follow the submission guidelines for each award to which you submit. This may include providing a synopsis, author bio, and other required materials. Make sure your submission is well-crafted, professional, and presents your book in the best possible light.

  • The Pro Plan is your strategy to gain accolades without the hassle. AI technology expertly submits your book for its best award opportunity every month.

Remember that winning an award is a significant achievement and can help boost your book's visibility and credibility.

book reviews

Making the most of your self-publishing journey

When you go after book reviews and awards, you want to get all the recognition and benefits your book deserves. Story marketing offers a multitude of unique benefits for self-published authors. This strategy enables you to connect with your audience on a deeper level and maximize your book marketing results.

  • Authenticity: Story marketing enables self-published authors to showcase their journey, creating a relatable connection with readers. This authenticity builds trust and loyalty, as readers appreciate the transparency of an author who shares their struggles and successes.
  • Engagement: Sharing the story behind the book, from inception through today, keeps readers engaged. It allows authors to maintain an ongoing conversation with their audience, fostering a sense of community and loyalty among readers.
  • Emotional connection: Story marketing taps into emotions, making readers more invested in your author journey. When readers feel connected on an emotional level, they are more likely to support an author's work, attend book events, and recommend the author to others.
  • Visibility: This is an approachable way to get content for social media, blog posts, newsletters, and interviews. All of those things raise an author's online presence. Regular story marketing keeps your book on readers' radars and expands it to a broader audience.
  • Enhanced author brand: Putting the spotlight on your entire award and review journey helps self-published authors establish a strong author brand. A well-defined brand leads to increased recognition and credibility in the literary world.
  • Reader involvement: Story marketing invites readers to be part of your book’s progress. Authors can ask for feedback, involve readers in decisions, and create a sense of co-creation, which dramatically enhances reader engagement and loyalty.
  • Selling without selling: Story marketing respectfully promotes your work without overtly pushing sales. When readers are emotionally invested in your story, they are more likely to explore your work organically.

Start your award-winning journey with Book Award Pro.

We have plans for every author at every stage.

The easiest way to start story marketing

The Story Marketing feature from Book Award Pro makes it easy to amplify your book’s progress, accomplishments, and connections with your audience. It highlights your accolades, such as winning awards or receiving great reviews, into posts ready to share on social media and beyond. This keeps readers connected to your book, ultimately fostering a loyal fan base.

This isn't just about sharing successes. Even if your self-published book doesn't win, you can still gain a lot of story marketing exposure. Participating in these competitions can provide valuable exposure and feedback to help you improve your writing and marketing skills.

A big part of story marketing is being authentic and creating a connection between authors and readers. It enables you to showcase your dedication and passion, which contributes to building a strong author brand. With each post, you can impress readers, cultivate a community, and make the most of your unique self-publishing journey.

Adding esteem to your self-published author brand

Self-published authors have a unique opportunity to bolster their entire author brand through awards and reviews. These accolades are more than just badges of honor; they represent a seal of quality and professional recognition. This elevates an author’s credibility and literary accomplishments.

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