Book Contests Part 2: If You Don’t Enter You Can’t Win!

I recently published a guest post written by my friend Linda Rodriguez, winner of the 2011 Malice Domestic Award for best first mystery novel. (Book Contests Part 1: Why Malice Pays Off.) Linda’s story is the perfect example of the exciting benefits of winning a writing contest. Winners may receive a contract with a traditional publisher (without having to navigate the slush pile), the opportunity to use the phrase “award-winning author!” and a fast track onto bookstore shelves, among other things, like cash! If you’ve considered entering a contest, there’s no better time than now. Many book contests have significant entry fees, so do your research and choose wisely. Here are a few award programs:

The IPPY Award 
The Independent Publisher Book Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing community. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year. Since 1996, over 5,000 books have received IPPY Awards, and all the recognition, credibility, and increased sales that a book award can bring.

• Download the IPPY Awards guidelines and entry form.
• View the category list.

The National Indie Excellence Award
The Indie Excellence Awards celebrates small presses, independent presses, hybrid publishers and self-published work, and are a good fit for well written and well produced books. Indie Excellence is open to all English language books that are available for sale online and off.

• View the National Indie Excellence Award Rules and Categories.

ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards
Per ForeWord, “If you published a book this year that expands a reader’s world, then it should be submitted to ForeWord’s Book of the Year Awards program. Entries are open to any independently published titles in any format, including ebooks. This includes self-published, university press, and POD books. Note: professional production taken into consideration when judged.”

• View Categories and Descriptions.

Independent Book Publishers (IBPA) Ben Franklin
The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards includes 55 categories recognizing excellence in both editorial and design. The award is administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association, with the help of more than 160 publishing professionals from the library, bookstore, reviewer, designer, publicity and editorial industry segments. The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards program is unique in that entrants receive direct feedback from decision makers in the industry.

Reader Views Award
Established to honor writers who self-published or had their books published by a subsidy publisher, small press, university press, or independent book publisher geared for the North American reading audience. POD books are accepted. The Awards are open to all authors regardless of residency, however, books must be published in the English language, and targeted for the North American market. Work published by major book publishers are not eligible. Ebooks are accepted, but only if there is no print copy. (Scroll down through the entire webpage for all pertinent information.)

The Next Generation Indie Book Award 
Open to all indie book authors and publishers, including small presses and self-published authors. Check out the entry guidelines.

Reader’s Favorite
The Reader’s Favorite Award accepts manuscripts, published and unpublished books, ebooks, audio books, comic books and poetry books. There is no publication date requirement for published books and no word count restriction. They offer 4 award levels plus a finalist level in each of 70+ categories.

Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards
They prefer (not required) that contest entrants have their ebooks on Smashwords.

IndieReader Awards
The IndieReader Discovery Awards are open to indie authors who have self-published books with a valid ISBN. Accepts paper or ebook with no restriction on publishing dates All the info you need can be located via the link above. We love IndieReader!

Have you found other contest resources or competitions for self-published writers? Leave a comment and share!

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13 Responses to Book Contests Part 2: If You Don’t Enter You Can’t Win!

  1. Belinda Pollard (@Belinda_Pollard) August 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    What an excellent resource, Molly! Thanks for doing all the hard work. I’m definitely bookmarking this.

    Another thing that I’ve found good about entering competitions is that it gives me a deadline. Without deadlines, my WIP will be finished in time for my 80th birthday…. 😉

    • Molly Greene August 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

      If this post prompts you to finish your WIP AND enter one of these contests … my work is done. GO, Belinda!

  2. Jeri August 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    I always tell myself I am going to enter writing contests, but never do. Thanks for the great list. I plan on using it to up my motivation ante.

    • Molly Greene August 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

      Yay! I see lots of people I know from Twitter among the 2012 Readers’ Favorite Award finalists!

  3. Pamela Beason August 15, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Molly, you’re so right about entering contests! Even if you’re already published or self-published, it can really help get your name and your books out there in the public eye.

    My novel ENDANGERED just won 1st Place in the Mystery/Suspense Category of the Chanticleer Book Contest and my novel THE ONLY WITNESS just won a GRAND PRIZE there.

    I’ll get some fancy ribbons to tote with me to book festivals and quite a bit of publicity, too, with Chanticleer’s postings in multiple spots, both online and in print. I’m thrilled!

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      OH my gosh Pam, that is so exciting! How did you choose Chanticleer??

    • Laura Zera (@laurazera) August 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      Woot woot! Yay Pam!

  4. Laura Zera (@laurazera) August 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    What a great resource! Here’s another contest that I came across recently from Shelf Unbound: The deadline is Oct.1.

  5. Kathy Brown August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Chanticleer Book Reviews next Blue Ribbon Awards writing contest is for Indie and Self-published and manuscripts for novels. Six categories: Historical, Mystery/Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Romance (all genres), Mainstream, and Cozy (all genres). No erotica, graphic violence or language.

    Deadline is Sept.15, midnight. Digital and print books accepted.

    Score sheets are used. Three rounds. Professional judges. Grand Prize and 1st Place winning titles will receive a Chanticleer Book Review and Blue Ribbons and digital ribbons to use in the promotion of the winning title. Finalists receive Finalist blue ribbon and certificate.

    We are affiliated with Pacific Northwest Writers Association, RWA, Whatcom Writers & Publishers, Surrey International Writers Conferences and more. We support Independent Booksellers!

    We love GOOD books and the authors who write them!
    [email protected]

    • Molly Greene August 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

      Kathy! I was so excited to see your comment – thank you so very much for letting us know!

      • Kathy Brown August 29, 2012 at 9:42 am #

        Thank you! We are also honored to be listed on Stephie Smith’s Contest Calendar.

        We love helping GOOD books get discovered in today’s era of unbounded publishing.

    • Kathy Brown September 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      The deadline for this contest has been extended to Sept. 30, 2012 midnight!