Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Top 38 Book Awards Authors Should Pursue for 2015

Enter Book Award Contests and Become an Award Winning Author in 2015!

As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said “YOU Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!”

by Scott Lorenz  Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?” YES!!

As a book publicist I am here to inform you that yes, they absolutely do matter! In fact, one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.

Another client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction book.

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity to reach out to the media, booksellers and agents. As a book publicist I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an ‘award winning’ book.

Awards also create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities. A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a book store. A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.

Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.

Here’s a list of my Top 38 book awards worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing.

1. Enter to win The 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The contest is for independent, university, small press, self-publishers and independent authors throughout North America and overseas publishers who publish books intended for the American market. https://secure.independentpublisher.com/cart/?process=product_detail&product_id=4

2. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. Formerly ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards Check it out here https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/

3. Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards http://bookcritics.org/awards/award_submissions/

4. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world's most important literary award. Entry Forms are due March 6 and Finished Books are due June 19. http://www.themanbookerprize.com/node/20

5. The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. Enter before December 31 http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyapp/newberyapplication

6. Enter to win the Caldecott Medal before December 31 for your Children’s picture book http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottapp/caldecottapplication.cfm

7. Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/

8. Strive to be nominated and win the Nobel Prize in literature. Who can nominate? Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges to name a few. (Another reason it pays to keep the ties to your alma mater!) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/nomination/

9. See how to submit your book for The Edgar Allan Poe Award, “The Edgar.” http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=Edgars-Info

10. FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year.

11. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction site will reopen for new entries in May 2015. http://www.pulitzer.org/how_to_enter

12. The National Book Award by the National Book Foundation. Learn how to submit your book here http://www.nationalbook.org/nbaentry.html

13. Enter the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards by March 10, 2015. The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php

14. Learn more about how to enter to win the Stonewall Book Award. Click for details http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award

15. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important ebook only award. http://globalebookawards.com/

16. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is June 30. Check it out here http://www.autumnhouse.org/contest-submissions/

17. Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Click for more details

18. Poets & Writers has nice list of writing contest, grants and awards. Check it out at: http://www.pw.org/grants

19. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award http://www.bookweb.org/indiebound/nextlist/view

20. Get your book recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_publishers/discover_program/discover_program.html

21. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/

22. Here’s a service where you can enter several book festivals at the same time for about $50 per festival. This is absolutely the best idea. I’ve used this several times. One entry form, one payment, two books, ten plus book awards spread out over a year. Just do it. http://bookfestivals.com/

23. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors. Deadline is March 31, 2015 http://www.indieexcellence.com

24. Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories. http://www.axiomawards.com/

25. The non-profit Independent Book Publishers Association's Benjamin Franklin Awards are now in their 27th year of awarding excellence in book publishing in 55 categories. All entrants receive direct judge feedback--unique in the industry. For more information, visit http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/

26. USA Best Book Awards has a ten year track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by USA Book News which covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, & self-published. http://www.usabooknews.com/2015usabestbookawards.html

27. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers. http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/

28. Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance. All you need is a CreateSpace account. Check out this year’s winners and learn how to enter: http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Novel-Award-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=332264011

29. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each. Early Bird deadline April 1, 2015. http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished

30. Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors. https://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm

31. Romance Writer of America promotes the interests of career-focused romance writers by sponsoring awards that acknowledge excellence in the romance genre. RWA sponsors: “The RITA” for published romance fiction novels and “The Golden Heart” for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts. http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=525

32. Epic eBook Awards by The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC) annually recognizes the best ebooks in many categories. (Books may also have been be released in print editions.) The awards were previously known as the "Eppies" https://www.epicorg.com/competitions/epic-s-ebook-competition.html

33. Rubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self-published books. “The key to our success is having a keen eye for quality from distinguished and reputable judges.” First prize is $1,500 and the winning book will be read by a top literary agent. http://www.ruberybookaward.com/

34. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author. http://www.hofferaward.com/HAbooks.html

35. Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a list in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation. http://www.indiebookawards.com/awards.php

36. The International Book Awards (IBA 2015) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. Winners get an extensive public relations campaign, social media promotion and more. http://www.internationalbookawards.com/

37. The Literary Classics Book Awards and Reviews were created to help authors gain recognition for their work and to help parents find the best in literature for children and young adults. http://www.clcawards.org

38. The Digital Book Awards celebrate quality and innovation in digital content. Each year, award winners and finalists in fifteen categories illustrate the cutting edge of digital publishing, showcasing creative approaches to design, technology integration and e-reading experiences.

Need another reason to enter? Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review says, "The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I've seen this happen with librarians -- when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn't have an award to its credit. I'm confident that this same phenomena works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well."

The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few and become an “award winning author.” As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said “YOU Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!” Get to it and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at: http://www.The-Book-Publicist.com

Book Marketing Video Westwind

Monday, July 20, 2015

BOOK PUBLICITY & MARKETING 101 - By Charlie Barrett

During the almost 25 years since our firms (www.thebarrettco.com and www.hollywoodbookpublicity.com ) were first formed with the best-seller book PR project in the 1990s from Oscar winner movie producer Marty Jurow and his autobiography “See In’ Stars: A Show Biz Odyssey” from SMU Press, we at The Barrett Company and Hollywood Book Publicity have been contacted via email or phone by hundreds and hundreds of US and foreign authors needing help, assistance, guidance with bringing their books to world-wide readers. We have also successfully helped with introducing some select authors and their works to the Hollywood creative community for the big and small screens too.

One of the very first questions I ask an author is if they have done at least some basic homework beyond Amazon to get some knowledge of the publishing marketplace and where their published work may fit into it. I’m never surprised to still find that many trade publisher and self-published writers really have no grasp of how the whole process works in getting a book to the competitive marketplace. Many of these very talented non-fiction and fiction authors have been too immersed in getting their book published, quite knowingly a very intensive and very detail-oriented process – – with little time for anything else. Fair enough.

If an author can plan and execute their own PR plan for a book, which to be successful includes, but not limited to – – how to “sell” their book to the book media, write and distribute their own press releases to the print, electronic and growing digital medias, research and determine who it would be best to send their book to for review, if he or she is able to “self-train” themselves for medias interviews, arrange their own suitable book signing venues, determine how to enhance their book’s web site to make it more media friendly, is able to research and determine how to conduct their virtual book tour on the Net and also able to develop the ability to reach out and set-up their own interviews with the producers of meaningful radio and TV shows (“Charlie Rose”) and editor / writers at key national US magazines from “Men’s Health” to “Cosmopolitan” and others…then they do NOT need the services of a professional book publicist.

For any real and successful DIY media campaign for a self-published book author, it comes down to the media contacts he or she may have, be it for national TV shows such as Today or The View or in radio for shows like Coast To Coast AM with George Nouri for a science fiction / fantasy book author or maybe Good Day USA for a book on the U.S. political landscape these days.
Authors’ own PR campaigns also depends on how they can put together ways of capitalizing on the social network portals like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, scribd, Net Galley and others coming to their best advantage - -  to spread the word on their books. Obviously, this is going to take a great deal of time during business hours and oftentimes after business hours too.

First off, I would advise any author new to the world of book publicity to reflect upon what their publicity goals are and to ask themselves: are these realistic goals? One of the most common first questions book PR people can be asked is, “Can you get me on Oprah’s OWN network (I personally handled PR for Ms. Winfrey’s 2007 ABC series “Oprah’s Big Give”)?” Well, of course we can, since we have relationships with the show’s producers. But an author must truly realize it is the producers who ultimately decide to book the writer to fit perhaps any theme the show may be exploring such as child abuse, cheating spouses and maybe adoptees looking for their natural parents and so on and so on.

Now, if an author is being published by Simon & Schuster or Globe Pequot Press, the publisher’s publicist (my firm is a consultant to some big box publishers) will service the reviewers at such key outlets as Publishers Weekly, Book List and the others, but it can often stop at that point since they have other book releases that particular month to work on to expend their monetary and time budgets. So, what happens often is that good books get “lost in the shuffle” through no fault of their own.

If an author has a publisher with a PR department he or she should keep in constant contact with the publicist handling their book. Book reviewers and long lead magazine editors often plan 5 to 6 months ahead of publication month and TV shows too. Many, many big box publisher authors have engaged us to work with their respective publisher publicists to make sure all the bases are covered when their book comes into the marketplace. There is a lot of planning to be done and it’s never too early to start.

As a book publicist I welcome most calls I get from prospective new clients. I have listened to some of the most hilarious to the most sad stories all wrapped up in a book that is coming be it non-fiction or fiction covering – – biographies, politics, health, advice on getting remarried to maybe a thriller / new detective series.

If an author is interested in engaging the services of a professional book publicist he or she should make sure they get a free consultation with the publicist in-person or on the phone. Also, from there, a written plan or proposal should be provided to the author from the PR professional spelling out in detail what they feel they can do to help the author reach his or her goals in getting themselves known…to expand the awareness of their work.

About the author
Charlie began his Book PR career in New York many years ago working with Bantam Books and Simon & Schuster publishers. He also has reviewed books for the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and The Brentwood News in LA.
He formed The Barrett Company after serving in top PR and media relations positions with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) for more than ten years, where he was in charge of media relations for The Tonight Show and Johnny Carson and also, Today, among other well-known NBC shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, Fame and numerous highly-rated NBC specials, including The American Film Institute Awards and The American Movie Awards. As a film publicist in Hollywood, Charlie has worked with Dennis Hopper, Robert Stack, Tatum O’Neal, Steve McQueen, and Candice Bergen.

Charlie began his media career as a reporter with The Associated Press in New Haven, CT and later served on the editorial staffs of both The Hollywood Reporter in Los Angeles and Billboard in New York. He has also authored numerous articles for magazines and newspapers on the performing arts and travel as well as appearing as a regular contributor on major US radio talk shows discussing celebrities, films, television and books. Charlie was voted the Book Publicist of the Year award by the Southern California Book Publicists Society. TBC is a member of The Publishers Association of Los Angeles, The Academy of TV Arts and Sciences (ATAS gives the Emmy Award) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (the Oscar).

The Barrett Company is well known and regarded among the world’s media outlets for its credibility and creativity. Through years of client assignments TBC has developed remarkable and successful PR campaigns for a wide range of authors/publishers, Hollywood creatives, companies and celebrities, which have paved the way for the firm to produce media, consumer and trade events of all descriptions both in the US and overseas, from Book Expo to NATPE (the renowned annual television program executive conference) to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Frankfurt Book Fair and The Cannes International Film Festival. For more information on us see our web sites at www.thebarrettco.com and www.hollywoodbookpublicity.com

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Book Promotion for the Dog Days of Summer

Authors know book promotion is 24/7 year round activity.  Yet when many ask themselves how they can promote their book during the slow summer time, they become discouraged.  They shouldn’t.  The summer is a great time for book promotion and to get the momentum going for the critical fall months.

First authors need to remember in the 24/7 news cycle and social media driven world, there is no slow time.  Newspapers, radio shows, television news, and magazines are all looking for story ideas.  And with the summer a slower period of time, the media is more likely to give a look to a story that they might not in the fall and also give it more coverage than in a busy news time.  Tie your book into a news story to help brand yourself as an expert.  This is an ideal time to do so and can allow you to be branded for even bigger opportunities in the fall.

Regardless of genre a book can be tapped for summer stories of new interests. For example, if you have a cookbook, some ways to position it might be healthy recipes for the summer or tips on how to eat healthy during the summer. If your novel is a mystery, promote your book by offering tips on why mysteries are popular during the summer.  Or if you are a romance writer, tie your book into summer romance tips.

If your book is at all related to family or children activities, the summer offers an abundance of media opportunities. Many novels have a theme of family.  An angle for this is tips on creating family traditions.  Or another angle would be tips on the perfect family reunion (always newsworthy during the summer as many family reunions are held during the summer).  If it is a children’s book with activities, you can incorporate it to summer activities for parents and children.  Tips on foods, style, activities, and travel are always popular angles throughout the summer.

If your novel is set in an exotic location, a travel article or tips on traveling to this location is a good way to get your name and book some coverage with an article or op-ed. The media loves travel tips.  Even a tv segment can be made into this concept.

Parents are always looking for educational ideas for their children during the summer months and this is the ideal time to promote a children’s book.  If you have a book on teaching children Chinese, this can be made into an activity for the summer.

Every author wants to be on the Ellen Show or Rachael Ray.  August is a great time to reach out to producers at nationally syndicated programs as they begin forming their fall schedule and booking guests.

Finally, for the very reason that summer is considered a slow time – vacations, your book can be branded the perfect summertime read on vacation. Suggest it as preferred reading for the summer vacation.

Authors – summer is not a slow time for book promotion.  It is the ideal time to be creative and get a head start before the fall.  Summer book promotion can be the best of times if done well.

David E. Johnson is the CEO of Strategic Vision LLC, a public relations agency that has a division specifically for book public relations and author branding.  Additional information on Strategic Vision LLC may be obtained at www.strategicvision.biz.  The agency offers a free white paper entitled Book PR 101: What You Need For Successful Book Promotion.