Self-publishing a book: The power of awards and reviews

self-publishing a book
September 6, 2023
Book Award Pro

Self-published authors face unique challenges in the literary world. From establishing their credibility, attracting the ideal audience, and building a book marketing strategy, it’s understandable that those self-publishing a book feel daunted by the task at hand.

Book awards and reviews are powerful, multifaceted tools from which any author can benefit. For self-published authors, their value can’t be overstated. Author accolades provide a wide range of affordable, approachable, and effective ways to send your self-published book to great heights.

Read on to learn about the power of reviews and awards for authors self-publishing a book.

Self-publishing a book: The power of awards and reviews

Before we discuss the influential power of author accolades, it’s important to establish the types of awards and reviews available to those self-publishing a book:

  • Awards solely for self-published authors: There are some awards that specifically call for self-published books. These accolades often have a mission of giving self-published books the professional validation and praise they deserve, with opportunities that are particularly beneficial for self-published authors.
  • Awards open to all publishing types: Other accolades accept submissions from books of all publishing types. There may be separate categories within the same award for self-published, independent, hybrid, and traditionally published works, or an award may consider all the above. These accolades may be more competitive but often provide just as much value as self-published-only opportunities.
  • Professional book reviews: Self-published authors looking to receive credibility from trusted literary experts can pursue professional reviews. These accolades come from reputable sources and offer a thorough professional critique of your book. Some reviews may specifically call for self-published books, while others may accept submissions of all publishing types.
  • Blogger reviews: Another type of review to consider includes those from professional book bloggers. These professionals can help self-published authors connect with a new audience and increase visibility. Some book bloggers specialize in reviewing self-published authors, while others accept submissions of all kinds.

Can you win awards and get reviews before self-publishing a book?

Yes! In fact, collecting author accolades before you launch your self-published book is a strategic way to hit the ground running. With your credibility established beforehand, authors may find it easier to gain the trust of potential readers immediately upon their book’s release. Today’s readers are on the lookout for legitimate, esteemed authors among the millions of self-published books on the market. Reviews and awards are powerful forms of social proof you can pursue from the very start.

self-publishing a book

At Book Award Pro, we’ve seen many self-published authors pursue (and win!) accolades before launching their books. As long as you have a completed, properly formatted book, you’re eligible for reviews and awards.

Start your award-winning journey with Book Award Pro.

We have plans for every author at every stage.

Finding accolades that align with your goals

The goals of self-published authors are inherently a little different from those with traditional publishing backgrounds. For self-published authors, book marketing, editing, printing, and preparing your book for sale are largely up to you.

This is why taking a strategic approach to author accolades is so essential. Many accolades offer bonus benefits: tools and resources in addition to winning the award or getting the review. By pursuing bonus benefits that bring you closer to your self-publishing goals, you can save time, effort, and money.

Here are a few common goals to consider after self-publishing a book and how bonus benefits can help you reach them:

  • Increase visibility: For newly self-published authors, increasing visibility and awareness of your book is probably at the top of your to-do list. Seeking accolades that offer interviews on a blog or newsletter, sharing on social media platforms, and even book marketing services is an excellent way to get your book in front of new audiences.
  • Pursue professional opportunities: If your goals include establishing connections in the literary world, bonus benefits like a meeting with a publisher or literary agent should be on your radar. Many accolades also hold award ceremonies, which make for wonderful networking opportunities.
  • Attract the ideal audience: Connecting with your ideal audience is a priority for authors of all types. For self-published authors, finding and engaging with your audience from the very start can establish a loyal readership for years to come. When pursuing awards, consider the type of audience each resonates with and focus on those with audiences most similar to your ideal readership.
  • Sell more books: For self-published authors who invested their own time and money into launching a book, making a profit from book sales is an important consideration. A shiny award seal on the cover of your book will stir interest in readers, so the strategy here is all about timing. Pursue awards that are announcing winners soon, so you can add that eye-catching seal to the cover of your book, impress readers, and sell more books as quickly as possible.

At Book Award Pro, finding awards and reviews that are most valuable for your book is exactly what we do. No matter your publishing type or unique goals as an author, our technology will match you to perfectly curated accolade opportunities in one easy-to-use platform.

Using accolades to promote your self-published book

As soon as you begin pursuing author accolades, you can take the following steps to promote your self-published book:

1. Build your online author presence

Much of today’s marketing is done on the Internet. Building a strong online author presence is crucial for increasing awareness, reaching as many readers as possible, and successfully marketing your book. A well-rounded author presence often comprises a professional website, social media accounts, and an online book listing. To promote your book through accolades, ensure you have dedicated author platforms on which to share content. These platforms can include:

  • Goodreads
  • Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok
  • Amazon
  • An author website or blog

2. Strengthen your author brand

Strengthening your author brand to convey notability and professionalism can help you build credibility among readers and industry experts. Any proof you can provide of your book’s quality goes a long way in creating an impactful author brand. As you begin winning awards and getting reviews, be sure to update your brand along the way. This can include:

  • Adding “award-winning author” to your email signature, book description, author bio, and social media bios
  • Adding award seals to the cover of your book
  • Including snippets of your most positive reviews on the cover of your book
  • Adding reviews and awards to your book’s online listing

3. Take advantage of story marketing

Story marketing is an improved, author-friendly approach to book marketing that involves sharing news of your accolades with audiences on modern platforms like social media. With story marketing, each new step toward receiving a review or winning an award becomes a compelling piece of shareable content.

Did you submit your book to an award? Share the exciting news with your Instagram followers and watch as engagement increases from the buzz of curious readers. Did you receive a glowing review? Share it on Twitter and enjoy the likes, congratulatory comments, and new followers.

Story marketing is inherently approachable for authors of all kinds. It uses free, familiar platforms with millions of readers waiting to be reached. For an even simpler way to start story marketing, check out our Story Marketing feature to easily create customized posts about your book in just a few clicks.

4. Share, share, share!

Any opportunity to discuss your self-published book’s award and review success is a win. As you continue to gain traction with author accolades, be on the lookout for opportunities to discuss your success. Reach out to your local bookstore to see if you can hold a book reading, start up a newsletter to keep your readers up-to-date on your book’s accolade progress, and pitch the idea of an interview to book podcast hosts. Anything you can do to keep readers engaged and excited will help you build author notability.

Accolades for every book and every author

At Book Award Pro, we’ve seen authors from every publishing background reap the massive benefits of author accolades. For self-published authors, the brand enhancement, professional validation, and career-changing possibilities are especially exciting.

self-publishing a book

As the world’s largest database of legitimate book awards and reviews, we know many exciting opportunities are awaiting your self-published book. All you have to do is sign up, tell us a bit about your book, and begin your journey toward self-published acclaim, one award and review at a time.

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