You’ve worked hard and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into writing your book. In fact, you may have invested a good deal of money into an editor, cover designer, online marketing and more.
Then, you come across a book award contest. Your pulse quickens with a touch of excitement mixed with a hint of fear. You sit pondering whether or not you should enter. What will it really do for you?
Every contest is different; therefore, it’s important to do some research and make sure that you’re entering a valid contest, especially if there’s an entry fee. However, free contests may not benefit you as much as those with an entry fee, so keep that in mind as well.
The question remains; should you enter one or more book award contests and how will they benefit you. Here are 9 reasons you should enter.
1. Discover If Your Book Has Merit
Judging is subjective. There’s no way around that, but a credible and trustworthy contest will have judges who critique with a professional eye. They will help you truly know if your readers will likely find value in your book. You’ll know if, from their professional perspectives, your book is worthy of attention and praise. *Remember, it’s still a subjective opinion even as a professional one.
2. Improve Your Writing
You’ll receive constructive criticism that can help you become a better writer. Take what resonates with you and the leave the rest behind. Mind you, if you hear the same critique repeatedly, you probably shouldn’t ignore it. When you’re open to supportive criticism, you open the door to not only enhance your skills as a writer but to experience personal growth.
3. Help You Set Goals
Knowing you want to enter can help you establish and set goals. It can help you set goals such as taking writing workshops or courses to improve your writing skills, setting daily, weekly or monthly writing goals, finding and hiring a professional editor, and/or getting a professionally designed cover.
4. Get Motivated By the Deadline
Once you’ve paid your entry fee, you’ll have a deadline to complete your manuscript – that is if you haven’t already completed your book. There is room for reasonable procrastination, but continually putting something off won’t benefit you. Therefore, an entry deadline can help you get in gear.
5. Receive a Critique of Your Book
Not all contests write a critique or review and return it to you, but those that do can be invaluable to you. This offers more of an opportunity for praise as well as the constructive criticism that can help you improve your writing. And, you can select positive quotes from the critique or review to share on social media, your website, in the editorial review section on Amazon, etc.
6. Become an Award-Winning Author
It’s super exciting to be able to say you’re an award-winning author. It gives you clout and credibility, and it lets other potential readers know they might very well like your book, too. It can also help you get media attention from podcast interviews to local television interviews to newspaper articles. You can say that you’re an award-winning author in your bio, on your website, in your social media profiles and banners, in your email signature, on the cover of your book, and more.
7. Win a Cash Award Or Other Prizes
Some book award contests offer cash prizes. Obviously, winning that is a good reason to take the chance to enter. Other book award contests offer other prizes such as coaching VIP Days, mastermind access, book cover designs, publishing it, marketing it, a chance at turning it into a movie, and more.
8. Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone
Entering a contest somewhat puts you on the line. It stretches you personally and professionally as you take the mild risk of allowing someone else to judge your work. You need to be prepared for feedback -positive as well as negative.
9. Can Create a Marketing Buzz
Depending on the feedback you get, you may be able to sing it from the rooftops (or just post all over social media, your newsletter, your website, etc.) that you received 4 Stars, 5 Stars, Gold or Silver or whatnot. If you’re a finalist or a winner or get honorable mention, you can put that on your cover or any of the other places already mentioned. Again, this gives you a chance to get media attention and can help you get speaking engagements.
Don’t Hold Yourself or Your Book Back
Don’t let fear stop you. Fear of rejection or criticism can hold you back and hold your book back. Don’t let that happen to you. Go for it. Look for online contests, local contests, genre specific contests…but do it. And, while you’re at it, enter more than one. You’ll get more feedback, create more buzz and have more opportunities that way.
Enter the Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest Today!
Best Selling author, Janelle Alex is the co-founder of Authors Talk About It and founder of Passionate Women Writers on Purpose.