Recognition that great books deserve.
With the advent of self-publishing has come an ever growing number of book awards with much disparity between those whose primary focus is on making money and those recognising the literary accomplishments of authors. Invariably there is a cost associated with entry, even with the most prestigious, and authors need to consider both the award and the benefits before submitting a title for consideration. Some awards have evolved to cater purely for the self-published authors, but with the demarcation becoming ever more blurred in terms of quality it is rapidly becoming an even playing field.
There may be more book awards to choose from, but both readers and the media are still attracted to them and it’s a fact that winning a book award is likely to pique the curiosity of agents and booksellers with the added interest potentially leading to a surge in book sells. The mere fact that a book has won an award speaks volumes and no less than in the credibility stakes. A book award is still a badge of distinction and with thousands of self-published books being released on a weekly basis, the right book award tells a reader that the book they're considering has been vetted by and more importantly endorsed by publishing professionals. It’s this assurance that often makes the difference between a potential reader purchasing your book or not.
Authors should keep in mind though that readers are becoming ever savvier about the value of individual awards. Unless it’s the Nobel prize for literature, the Man Booker prize, or a mere handful in this esteemed league, a reader is more often than not likely to google an award to find out more about it. Far too many now offer an endless list of genres with first, second and third prizes in each one in addition to a host of other honourable mentions which find their way on to medallions. In short, you pay your entry fee and with so many winners up for grabs you are all but guaranteed some sort of recognition. Consider for a moment Margaret Atwood’s Booker win in 2000 with The Blind Assassin and ask yourself in all honesty if it would have been the same notable achievement if she’d been just one of a hundred other winners.
Now there are always two sides to any perspective and it may be that any award will suit an author’s need for recognition but when we started the Millennium Book Award we wanted to do something a little different. First of all we wanted to limit the number of entries to just 1000 titles a year, at which point we don’t accept any more entries, Secondly we wanted to create a book award that not only recognised distinguished fiction but by limiting the number of winners made it an award worth winning and would add real gravitas to an author’s body of work.
It’s great to say you’re an “award winning author” but as with all things in life, there is far more satisfaction and prestige to be gained from something that is a little more elusive. We’re in no doubt that recent years have seen the emergence of some truly brilliant author-centric awards but with the constraints of budgets and time that the majority of authors have to juggle it’s ever more critical to pick the right awards to enter. It’s important to do a little reconnaissance up front. Consider the categories, but look at the calibre of previous winners and the judges too.
Whichever award you chose to enter make sure to follow their guidelines and above all make sure editing and cover design don't let you down. Publishing a book is incredibly rewarding and receiving the recognition of a book award is tremendously uplifting.
Whichever ones you choose to enter the team here at BookViral wish you the very best.