The biggest challenge self-published writers face is obscurity. There are so many books being produced that it’s hard just to get your book noticed. You work hard to market your book in every way you know how but with twitter feeds inundated with free books, new blog hops and book review sites popping up every single day, it can seem like there’s no way your book can stand out. However, if you have a truly great book that you’ve published yourself, you do have a few options available to you that the mass of cookie-cutter novels may not. One of these options is to enter (and hopefully win!) a self-published novel contest.
Not only do contests promise cash prizes, but the even better prize is the media coverage you will receive. Shelf Unbound winners get a year of free advertising in the magazine, and the top five will be mentioned in editorial coverage. The Indie Excellence Awards promises promotion during Book Expo America. All contests worthy of entering should have some marketing and promotional benefit for your book. The real advantage of a win is to get seen by more readers.
Have you been slaving away, creating your masterpiece? Below are three awesome self-publishing contests to submit your novel to. Please be aware that two of these have fast approaching deadlines, so hop to it!
Shelf Unbound Best Independently Published Book Contest
Deadline October 1, 2013. I’ve mentioned this contest before here, but I wanted to bring it up again because it is such a good opportunity for whoever wins this contest. Not only will you win the prize of a year of full page ads in Shelf Unbound (worth $6000), but now Half Price Books is sponsoring the contest so the winner will have also shelf space in every one of the 115 bookstores throughout the country. From the website – “Any independently published book in any genre is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $30 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Shelf Unbound magazine.” You can learn more about submission guidelines and rules here.
Bard and Book Novel Contest
Deadline October 1, 2013. Although the entry fee for this contest is steep at $100, the prizes are steep as well at $2500 to the winner and a $1000 for the runner-up. Every entry will receive at least 1 page of critique as well, regardless of how far your book makes it. From the website – “In addition to the cash awards, award winners will be given an opportunity to create their own author community like Bard and Book’s. Also, Bard and Book Publishing may extend an offer to publish one or more of the winning novels.”. Submission details can be found here.
National Indie Excellence Book Awards
Deadline March 31, 2014. This contest features several awards in more than 100 categories. Although the contest doesn’t seem to come with a cash prize, the media coverage, promotion at the Book Expo of America and sticker of approval for your cover are all marketing gold. From the website – “Winners and finalists in each category will be listed on the official Web site of the IndieExcellence.com site, will be included in a news release announcing the winners, will have the right to highlight their award on their Web sites, book covers, book proposals, and marketing materials.” Learn more about how to enter here.
Do you know about other contests for self-published writers? Please share with us in the comments below!