Tell people you won a book award
Michaels knows that it’s on her to make sure the book-buying world knows that her books are award-winners. It’s worth the time it takes, too, because an award lends a certain amount of prestige and cache to your book.
How can you follow Michaels’ lead and make the most of the awards your book will receive? Here are 12 ideas.
1. Ask what the contest organizer is doing to promote winners.
There’s no point in duplicating efforts. Many will distribute an announcement press release and feature a list of winners on the competition website, but what else happens – anything? Do they send a personalized press release to your local newspaper?
If they do, you don’t have to. If they don’t, see number 2 below.
2. Send a press release.
Using the organizer’s press release as a starting point, send your own press release to local media outlets, alumni publications, and industry trade magazines (if that’s appropriate). Change the organizer’s headline and first paragraph to focus on your connection to the media outlet (“Local author wins national book award,” “LSU alum wins national book award,” “Industry expert wins national book award”).
3. Update your cover.
For e-books and print on demand, incorporate the award seal into your cover design immediately. If you have printed books in inventory and the organizer sells award stickers, buy a roll.
4. Send an email announcement.
People who know you will want to share your excitement.
Michaels shared the news with her email newsletter subscribers. In addition to announcing your award and its significance, make sure you explain briefly what the book is about and include a link to a purchase page.
5. Share the news on social media.
Your connections will be happy for you. Give them a chance to applaud your accomplishment.
6. Include it in your social media profile.
For example, when Michaels wins an award, she changes her Twitter and Facebook page headers to images that showcase the awards.
7. Use it to get reviews.
When sending out advance review copies for your newest book, mention any awards in your cover note. People are more likely to want to read and review your newest work when they know that previous books were recognized for their quality.
8. Ask the judges for feedback.
Then use it in your marketing materials. Even a short phrase indicating why your book is a winner will go a long way on your book cover, website, online sales pages, and press materials.
9. Include it in your author bio.
You are now “an award-winning author.” Say so in your bio for the book, your website, and social media profiles.
10. Update your book description.
Few things give book buyers confidence like the phrase “award-winning.” Work this into your book’s description everywhere – including your website, retail sales pages, and Goodreads.
11. Announce it on your website.
This good news belongs on your home page and the page that’s dedicated to book information.
12. Incorporate it into marketing materials.
Michaels added award information to the bookmarks and tent cards she created for book signings.
Watch out for the scammers
Here’s a word or two of caution about awards, though: Because many authors would like to claim “award-winner” status, you have to be careful that you don’t let scammers take advantage of you.
Some aggressively promoted competitions are nothing more than income generators for organizers. Before entering a contest and paying a fee, check the list of contests and competitions reviewed and rated by the Alliance of Independence Authors.
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