Thursday 28 January 2016

Indie spotlight: book awards as part of a marketing strategy

Indie spotlight is our monthly column on self-publishing. This month our regular columnist, Siobhan Daiko, looks at awards for which indie authors are eligible. This ties in nicely with the poll Asian Books Blog is currently running, to find the book of the Lunar Year, and which pits indie authors up against traditionally published ones.  If you haven’t yet voted, you can find details of the shortlist, and instructions on how to vote, by clicking hereBut now: over to Siobhan…

Why enter your book for an award? Today’s readers are inundated with choices; they tend to buy books from authors they know already, or who’ve been recommended by friends, family, book clubs, social media, or the traditional media. With hundreds of thousands of self-published books hitting the virtual shelves every year, indie authors need to find ways of standing out. A book that has won an award becomes instantly more visible when people are browsing. An award sticker will definitely influence consumers at the point-of-sale.
The writer who has won an award can say they are an “award winning author”; this is a great endorsement that can create more interest in them as a brand, leading to higher sales and even propelling them into the bestseller charts. If a book has won an award, it gives credibility to those five star reviews on Amazon. All-in-all, gaining an award should be a central part of an indie author’s book marketing strategy.
The following awards are a selection of those open to indie authors. Check the details carefully before deciding whether entering is worth your while, in time, and effort. You will need to check your book meets the eligibility criteria, and of course you will need to make sure you meet the submission deadlines, which fall throughout the year.
An award’s inclusion on this list does not represent a personal endorsement from me, or from Asian Books Blog. As ever on the internet, be scam savvy. Even if you are not a science fiction writer, it is worth checking out the Writers Beware page of SFWA, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, for its general advice on how writers can avoid getting ripped-off, or succumbing to literary scams.