How to Win a Book Contest

31 Mar

Silver Nautilus Book Award Won by Sandy Nathan's novel Numenon

Book contests are advertised everywhere. Book publishers, publicists and promoters, marketing agencies and other book professionals offer contests. Will winning a book contest increase your book sales and promote your author platform? Will winning a contest  increase your book’s visibility? Will it create a competitive advantage in today’s burgeoning self-publishing and independent press world? Bring you money, publicity, and other goodies? How hard is it to win a book contest? What do you have to do to win?

I’m Sandy Nathan. My first two books won a total of twelve awards in national contests. (See the About the Books drop down menu on my web site for details.) I know about winning book contests, and I offer you what I’ve learned in two places.

Win Book Contests––Make Your Book a Winner! appeared on this blog a couple of years ago. The article is lavishly illustrated and packed with information. Click on the link to read it now.

HOW TO WIN A BOOK CONTEST is an updated version of the blog article above appearing on Amy Jones Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. I am  Author of the Month  for April 2011 on Amy’s blog. I rewrote my earlier article to incorporate new info and insights. Amy’s also featuring an interview with me that may give you insights about the creative process. Or my creative process, anyway.

Please check either or both articles for my tips on how to be a book contest winner. They’re packed with more information than you get in some seminars or books.

April is an edgy month if you’ve entered a book contest. Most of the contests are closed. You’ve gotten your entry packet in,  after much work and obsessiveness. Now it’s a matter of waiting for the contest judges to select winners––and tell you if you’re one of them.

Good luck, entrants! If you’ve read my articles and utilized the information, you stand a good chance.

I’m in the same boat you are, by the way. I’ve got two new books out which have been entered in contests for the first time. The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, my sci-fi/fantasy about an angelic visitor from another world and a 16-year-old revolutionary and genius, came out in 2011 and is entered in three contests. Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could, the heartwarming story of a premature horse born on our ranch, is entered in four. I’m in the hot seat waiting for results.

No guarantees in life. No guarantees in book contests. The fact that I’ve won in the past doesn’t mean that I’ll win in the future.  Heartening news? Realistic news. I like to stay in the real world in my nonfiction––and this article is definitely nonfiction.

Here’s a few more goodies for those of you wanting to enter contests for self-publishers and independent presses. A few links to lists of contests:

SPR Self Publishing Review––Self-published Book Review

PUBLISHING BASICS––A Book Award Adds Value to your book

Reader Views––Annual Literary Awards

As of this writing, most of the contests are closed for 2011, though you can still get into the Best Books of 2011 by USA Book News and the National Indie Excellence Award if you’re fast. Best Book’s is accepting books through April. Indie Excellence closes on April 10th.

This photo is a contest winner: The winner of an "It's not my job contest." It's also how you may feel when you get that last contest entry off in the mail.

AND––I’ll be posting another article on winning book contests in a few days. I wrote the article as I sat surrounded by the rubble of materials needed to get my book contest entries off.  It’s my “What’s it all about, Alfie?”––if you remember the song by the same name in the movie of the same name. What is this winning contests all about?

Happy days! Good luck!

Sandy Nathan

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  1. YOUR SHELF LIFE » The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy is the Red Room’s Book of the Day! April 8, 2011 - April 8, 2011

    […] Amy’s Author of the Month page, you can read an interview, as well as my updated article on How to Win a Book Contest. Many of you will have no interest in this article, except possibly to get an inside look at how […]