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Book Award Competitions ... Your Winning Ticket

You have poured your blood, sweat, and tears into your first book or perhaps your second, third, or fourth. Whether you’re a novice or veteran author, the days following your book’s publish date are critical. Books awards are one of the most cost effective and efficient means to garner attention for independent authors and publishers. As an award winning author, you can secure a coveted position and have an edge on the competition. Participation in book award programs can elevate your status as an author, increase the visibility of your titles, and lend validity to your work. Winning a place in a book competition creates interest and lends preference over other titles without an award sticker.

Independent Press Award
How hard is it to have an award winning book and what steps do you take after you win?

How to compete for a Book Award:

  • Participate in multiple book award competitions.

  • Evaluate which category describes your book best.

  • Enter your book in multiple categories to improve your chance to win.

  • Don’t give up! If your title didn’t win the first time, compete again the following year.

Congratulations! You’re a Book Award Winner! Now you need to maximize your exposure and take advantage of your award winner status. Here’s how:

  • Order/purchase award seals to affix to the cover of your books

  • Announce you’re an award winner via social media, your website, email, and blogs.

  • Create a press release and submit to the industry publications, websites, bookstores, and consumers.

  • Generate leads and interest through eBlasts and ad banners.

  • Contact your local independent bookstore. Request a display in their windows. Arrange a book tour.

  • Be interviewed. It will promote your award winner status and create interest in your title.

  • Attend a book show (such as Book Expo). Create a poster and promo pieces that highlight your award and display at the show.

Your status as an award winner may not reap immediate benefits; however in the long term award winner status will elevate your reputation, solidify your standing in the publishing world and distinguish you from the competition. Enter competitions and promote!


Gabrielle Olczak is president of the Independent Press Award, as well as the New York City Big Book Award, recognizing hundreds of books a year.

Gabby Olczak

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