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The Value of Book Awards

Some people think of them as a marketing ploy or a waste of money, and other focus on them too much. In this guest post, author and marketer Sarah Bolme shares the value she finds in book awards and how to make them work for you and your books!

Every good book marketing plan should include submissions for book awards. Winning a book awards increases your visibility, expands your marketability, and solidifies your credibility. Consider the following three reasons to submit your book(s) for a book award.

A book award raises the value of your book in the mind of the consumer

Awards give merit. When consumers see that a book has won an award, they immediately assume the book has better value than a book that has not won an award. When faced with two similar books, one that has won an award and one that has not, consumers will consistently choose to purchase the book that has won an award.

Winning a book award is a boon to an author and publisher. An award opens new doors for publicity and marketing. Placing an award on all your marketing materials and on the book cover itself in subsequent print runs can boost sales and lengthen the life of a book. Of course, the better known the award is to the consumer group you are trying to reach, the bigger the payoff.

Book award entry fees are not wasted marketing dollars

Entry fees for book awards range from $40.00 to over $100.00. Many publishers and authors take umbrage at having to pay to enter their book in an award. These individuals will say that they feel like they are “buying” an award. The fact is, running a book award costs money. It costs both to oversee and to publicize an award. Award programs charge entry fees to cover these expenses. Yes, some awards make quite a bit of money off of running an award. However, a publisher or author can be discerning about which awards to enter and choose not to participate in those that appear to be only for the purpose of making money rather than promoting fine books.

Smart marketers will even use entering a book award to their benefit. One independent publisher and author entered his book into the Christy Awards. He then put on all his marketing material that the book was “nominated for a Christy Award.” His statement was true. What most consumers will not know is that the author himself did the nominating. For many consumers just learning that a book was “nominated” for an award will raise the esteem of the book in their eyes.

Book awards bring benefits to everyone involved in the book industry

Entering your books into book awards is good for the whole literary community. Book awards need nominations to exist. They need books to give their awards to. Most importantly, book awards help promote the value of books to consumers, and this benefits everyone involved in writing, publishing, and selling books.

Wrap Up

Winning a book award brings much personal satisfaction to authors and publishers in addition to the credibility and prestige it brings the book. In addition, a book award opens doors of new opportunities for publicity and sales. Even if your book does not win a book award, you can know that simply through participating in a book award, you have helped raise the overall value of your own book through helping to continue to elevate the overall value of books for consumers.

Sarah Bolme is the author of the award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, now in its third edition. As the Director of Christian Small Publishers Association she helps small publishers market their books in the Christian marketplace. CPSA sponsors a book award for Christian books. You can learn more at http://www.bookoftheyear.net.


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