Whether or not you are heavily embroiled in your NaNoWriMo quest at the moment, you will finish your manuscript. What will you do when that WIP is finished? What is your next step?
You worked hard and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into writing your book. In fact, you may have already invested a good deal of money into an editor, cover designer, online marketing and more.
Remember those book award contests I wrote about last year? I wrote one in January about the ATAI 2017 Book Award Contest! I wrote again in February about a number of additional book award contests. There will be LOTS of them surfacing and each vying for your attention after the first of the year. Most will cost money. 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. You get what you pay for–right?)
If your pulse quickens with a touch of excitement mixed with a hint of fear, you are not alone! It’s akin to laying your soul bare to put your work out there. What’s next in your journey to publish? What will it really do for you?
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:
- Discover If Your Book Has Merit (Take a look at the “score card”)
- Improve Your Writing – You’ll receive constructive criticism that can help you become a better writer. Of course, if you hear the same critique repeatedly, you probably shouldn’t ignore it.
- Help You Set Goals – Hey, you’ll have a deadline. That’s first!
- Get Motivated By the Deadline – I already said that…
- 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. And, you can select positive quotes from the critique or review to share on social media.
- Create a Marketing Buzz
- Win a Cash Award Or Other Prizes
- Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone – Entering a contest somewhat puts you on the line. You need to be prepared for feedback -positive as well as negative (it will help you grow!).
- Become an Award-Winning Author
Depending on your feedback, you may be able to post your results all over social media that you received 4 Stars, 5 Stars, Gold, Silver, or whatnot. If you’re a finalist or a winner or get an honorable mention, you will receive a badge.
Don’t hold yourself or your book back and don’t let fear stop you.
Look for online contests, local contests, genre specific contests…but do it. And, while you’re at it, enter more than one–whatever your budget will allow. You’ll get more feedback, create more buzz, and have more opportunities to get your name and your title out there.
Enter up to FOUR categories for one low entry fee: Your book’s entered in either General Fiction or Nonfiction. Then, you get to choose up to 3 more categories at NO extra fee. No one else does this!
Winners for every category and TWO Grand Prize winners: The grand prize winners include one for General Fiction and one for Nonfiction.
There are thirty-seven (37) listings in the fiction category; seventeen (17) in non-fiction.
There is no minimum or maximum word count.
There is no required publish date. Therefore, you may enter older books as well as ones you are just completing.
If you are an Indie author–I get it–you don’t have much money for contests, but this is only a highlight of benefits. Look at what their First Prize and Grand Prize Categories receive. There is a detailed list of value explained on their website.
Go to their website at Authors Talk About It and read all the details for information on who can enter, a complete listing of categories, and submission details, including acceptable formats.
Much of this post was presented as a Byline by Janelle Alex, co-founder of ATAI and founder of Passionate Women Writers on Purpose.
(The ATAI link on this website is an “affiliate link.” This means if you click on the link and purchase a contest entry, I will receive an affiliate commission. That said, I only recommend a service that I believe will add value to my readers and followers.)