When a book wins the Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award, or a children's book wins the Newberry Medal, readers take notice. The book and mcdougal then get a lot of media attention. Few other book contests are household words, but if you let people know your book has won a contest, it may still convince them to buy your book. And having an award sticker in your book cover or perhaps a statement in your website that your book has won an award can just only help you to get media attention and boost your book's sales.

But authors beware. Everyone is wanting to create a buck today, and unfortunately, that's resulted in a few unscrupulous people preying upon authors that are desperate to get their books noticed; these folks have created phony book contests whose only purpose is to put dollars in the contest organizer's pocket. Remember, even although you win a contest, it does you little good when it doesn't assist in sales and media attention for the book, so be mindful what contests you enter. Following are some guidelines for determining whether a book contest may be worth entering, merely a waste of your money, or maybe even a scam.

Who is conducting the contest?

Make certain the contest will be run by a respected individual, company, or organization. The contest must be listed on a respected website that's a full disclosure webpage listing most of the contest rules, guidelines, and other information. Simply an offer in a magazine or on Craigslist doesn't create a contest legitimate unless it refers visitors to a full disclosure webpage.

What is the contest's history?

Contests have to start somewhere so if it's the contest's first year, that doesn't mean it's not legitimate, but if the contest has a background of a few years, it's more likely to be worth entering. Besides a contest history, you ought to be able to get a set of past contest winners, which is great not merely for determining whether your book has anything in keeping with yesteryear winners so you determine what chance you've of winning, but it allows you to determine the caliber of the books that have won previously to see whether it is actually a contest with critical judges, or just one of those contests where everyone wins-yes, those are out there.

What is the fee?

Some individuals can tell you in order to avoid contests with fees, but a contest with a fair fee is generally as, or maybe more, legitimate. All things considered, people don't run contests for his or her health. It takes a lot of time and effort to organize a contest and to read all those books. Fees usually buy advertising the contest, for the prizes, and sometimes for small gratuities given to thank the judges for his or her time. Just be sure that as the contest entrant, you receive the most important thing for the fee-someone who actually reads your book. And also that the contest winner actually wins something (see "What is the prize?" below).

 

Published by Peter Garlow