So many of my blog posts come out of responding to a question from a client or colleague and this is no exception.
Here’s why I think book awards are valuable to authors who are struggling to get recognition and feedback for their books:
· Stimulates sales – most people don’t care or understand what the award or sticker is – only that the book has one.
· Stimulates bookings – get more radio interviews, book signings and speaking gigs
· Provides credibility and feedback on the title for the author/publisher
· Good for putting on your media materials to add credibility
· Gets buyers in book stores, libraries and other outlets a reason to at least look at a book twice
· The “gold seal” impresses consumers to buy the book when in a store or at a signing
· Might get someone interested who wouldn’t be otherwise – like a traditional publisher – again it is the “second look” idea
I have a story that I often tell about a book signing we did where we ran out of the books that the store had ordered from our distributor (they weren’t stickered), so I went to the car and brought in another case, which just happened to already be stickered. Pretty soon, the people who had bought the earlier store copies were coming back wanting their stickers – “why doesn’t mine have the award stickers on it?” Geez, fortunately, I had brought extra stickers in my kit of supplies, so I went and got them and stickered their books – and the extras we left at the store.
People are weird. But I do know that my awards have helped my books and my consulting business. Having won the Ben Franklin for the best marketed booked in 2006 was the start of my consulting business – people started calling me to help them with their books too.So awards are good for not just books.
I guess I feel that the small fee to enter (if you have a worthy book), is insignificant compared to the possible “good things” that can come from it. And yes, as many people point out, it is a good source of revenue for the company holding the contest, but they do have expenses for shipping to judges, preparing the awards, and in the case of the IPPYs and Ben Franklins – they put on quite a nice event for the winners and provide some publicity around the award winners.