The Basics of Book Awards for Self Published Authors

February 24, 2023

If you’re an author looking to increase your visibility, book contests are one of the best ways to go. Book contests are an integral part of the writing community and are held by numerous organizations throughout the year. These types of contests allow authors to show their published work to a wider audience. Whether you’re an inexperienced author hoping to show your skill or a published author wanting to gain more publicity, writing contests are a valuable opportunity. Let’s dive in and learn more about what these contests are.

Book Awards Basics

Book awards are held by several different organizations every year. They vary from national contests to small local competitions. Writing competitions come in all shapes and sizes depending on the genres and topics. Some require you to submit original pieces while others let you submit published works for review. Prizes often include money, publication, and recognition. With the right preparation, entering a writing contest can be an incredibly rewarding experience; one could open new doors of creativity and lead you down a path of success.

Why Join a Book Award Contest?

You may be thinking: what’s the big deal? Why should I even join a writing contest? You may not think of it as being worth your time. But many writing contests are well-known and come with impressive awards.
Contests are meant to help authors with advertising and promotion and can help expose authors to new audiences. If you win or are a finalist of notable book awards, you may attract new work opportunities.
Even if you apply to local contests, it can help get your name recognition and your book known to local communities. Joining these types of contests can only help you grow your brand and credibility.

Which One to Join?

There are hundreds of book contests held every year. A simple google search can give plenty of lists to search through, local and international. Here are some ones held by notable organizations:

  • Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards – The winner of this contest held for self-published writers will be interviewed and have an excerpt of their book published on the Writer’s Digest website, be given a special trophy, and have the opportunity to work one on one with an editor!
  • Nautilus Book Awards – Awards include promotional opportunities at book conferences, featured articles about the author, and recognition on book covers and websites. 
  • Reader’s View Annual Literary Awards – A contest for less-known publishers. This award includes a cash prize, social media coverage, and a book review.
  • USA Best Book Awards – Held since 2003, this book award contest highlights notable writers. They offer social media postings and contacts to the entertainment industry for winners. 

Costs to Joining

We’ve discussed the many benefits of entering your book, so let’s explore some of the costs of joining these competitions.

  • Many competitions will have entry fees to be paid when submitting entries. These fees will vary depending on the competition but typically are around $100. However, some contests don’t have any entry fee!
  • It can be an involved process to apply to some book awards. But the benefits of winning or being a finalist far outweigh the time spent to enter.
  • Some contests may be scams. Be careful when applying. Consider the benefits of entering and whether or not it will be worth your while to join. 

The cost associated with entering books into awards and prize programs is often outweighed by the benefits they provide. Winning an award can establish credibility within your industry, give you more exposure, attract new readers, and lead to increased sales—all invaluable rewards that far exceed the downsides associated with applying.

If you’re looking for ways to increase the visibility of your book then consider entering it into one (or several) of the many book awards available. While there is no guarantee that any particular competition will result in success it never hurts to try! With careful consideration and research into each program’s requirements and guidelines—as well as their associated costs and benefits—you can make an informed decision that will help position your work as a leader in your field! Good luck!

If you’re just starting on your writing journey, reach out to us and learn more about the services we offer at 

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