Increase Visibility for Your Book, Parts IV

Book News Publicity

Contests

During 2016, I decided to look into ways to increase visibility for our books.  I looked at different marketing options and chose four to explore further: presentations, Facebook ads, e-mail lists, and contests.  So far we’ve talked about presentations, Facebook ads, and e-mail lists.  This week we finish up the series with Contests.

Contests.  Almost all contests where you are judged and prizes are awarded involve some sort of fee.  Fees can vary from as low as $10 to over $100.  Is it worth it?

    • If you select your contest based on factors that can help you as an author or increase the sales of the book, the answer is yes.
    • Make sure to choose a contest sponsored by a reliable organization or company.
      • The first contest I tried was submitting a couple of novels by one of our authors to the Colorado Independent Publishers Association annual awards.  Their judging follows standard writing and publishing guidelines, and each book is judged on its ability to meet those guidelines.  There are times when there are no first-place winners, or perhaps two third-place winners.  If the criteria are not met, books are not elevated in the ranking process just to fill a spot.  This ensures the utmost integrity to the judging process and that the award is truly earned.  I was pleased to bring back a third-place award for our book “Whatever Happened to Will,” by Jerry Moorman.
        • This book now has a bronze seal indicating it is a prize winner; a great eye-catcher to pull readers in.
        • The author’s alma mater featured an article about his book on the front page of their website; great free publicity.
      • The second contest I tried was an e-book contest sponsored by Writer’s Digest.  A hefty goal, perhaps; but the contest also provided a return commentary on every book submitted to the contest.  I entered the book that accompanies this website, “Self-Publishing: Sharing the Secrets,” by Phyllis Moorman.  Although I did not receive one of the top prizes, I found the commentary to be invaluable.  After giving some favorable comments of the book with some valuable advice, the judge summarized the book as, This book provides a necessary and helpful reality check and belongs on the shelf of any aspiring self-publisher…”  excerpt,  Judge, 4th Annual Self-Published e-Book Awards, Writer’s Digest. What a boost to my website (and my ego!).
    • Conclusion:  Contests can be effective if chosen based on the organization sponsoring the contest and its value to you as an author.

Visibility for your book can be found in places other than the newspaper or ads.  Give it a try!

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