Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Awards: Are they worth it?

Many authors covet winning a book award. In my experience with 3L Publishing books that have won awards, the value isn't the monetary gain. Most awards unless you're no. #1 winner for the general category don't pay awards. I thought I would take a moment to outline what is the value of book awards.

No. 1 -- Credibility
A panel of "experts" evaluate your book based on professional criteria. Some evaluate it just on content. Others evaluate the entire book including design. A panel of experts sanctioning a book as "good" or "excellent" gives an author something to point to that is a credible second party. It far exceeds the idea that your family likes it ... or your local librarian gave it the thumbs-up.

No. 2 -- Exposure
I have rarely seen awards generate much sales. It naturally does depend on the book's sales in the first place. A book already selling well is going to gain even more credibility (as noted) and probably continue to sell more books. However, a book that hasn't been selling that wins an award doesn't mean it will miraculously start selling. In fact, one, two or even three awards may not impact sales at all. An uninterested audience will remain uninterested even when a book is now deemed "good" or even "excellent".

No 3 -- It Feels Good
Yes, the "feed-good" factor counts. Sometimes approval and validation go a long toward your feeling like you've got talent. Even when maybe you know you have talented, it doesn't hurt to have a group validate it. Nothing wrong with wanting validation from an unbiased second party.

Upcoming Awards Worth Entering:

Indie Book Awards -- deadline Feb. 20, 2015
Indie Excellent Awards -- deadline March 31, 2015
Writer's Digest Indie Awards -- April 1, 2015

Good luck!

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