Potential buyers seem to give a book a second look when its author has won a contest or received an award, so we decided it would be worth our while to submit our book to contests and award programs. Most have a variety of categories, and we were looking for children’s picture books or holiday books. What did we have to lose? Well, besides money….
Most book award contests charge entry fees ranging from $20 to $100. If you meet the early bird deadline, you will usually pay a little less. There is a limited window of opportunity for entering contests, so books typically need to be submitted soon after they are published. Authors are asked to complete an entry form and submit one to three copies of the book. Additionally, although many award programs welcome self-published books, several cater strictly to traditionally-published books.
Although the possibilities appear to be endless, the following award programs were good fits for our children’s picture book, “The Great PJ Elf Chase.” Perhaps this list will save you time if you decide to enter your self-published book in a contest or two. You can find more information about each one online.
We’ve entered and already received results on the following:
- Readers’ Favorites Book Review and Awards Contest: What’s unique about this contest is they review the book for free and rate it up to five stars. We just received our completed review a few days ago and were pleased with our 5-star rating! We now have a sticker we can include on our book cover, website, etc. They advertise books on their website when they are 4- or 5-star recipients also, which gives us additional publicity. Readers’ Favorites is affiliated with Windstar Films, so we have big dreams of them choosing “The Great PJ Elf Chase” as the next best-loved children’s Christmas movie!
- National Indie Excellence Book Awards: This contest is for self-published authors only. We were just named the finalist in the “holiday books” category. There is a winner and a finalist. The way they state it, they name a finalist if it’s a very close decision between two books, and the winner could’ve gone either way…so we’re pleased with our finalist status.
We’ve entered, but haven’t yet heard results from the following:
- Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards: They award gold, silver and bronze winners in each category.
- U.S.A. Best Book Award
- Patterson Prize for Books for Young People
- B.R.A.G. Medallion:There is no deadline for entering this award contest, and the fee is only $20. It is for self-published authors only. You must have an electronic version of your book to enter this contest. They say only 10% of the submissions receive a medallion.
We plan to enter these contests, but they have later deadlines:
- Feathered Quill Book Award: (June 1st to November 15th)
- Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Literary Blogger Awards: (October 1st to 15th)
- Kids Kart: (They only take submissions at certain times, so you have to keep checking back with them.)
We missed the deadlines on these contests or decided not to enter, but they might work for you.
- Parents’ Choice
- Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Award
- Purple Dragonfly Book Award
- Mom’s Choice Awards: (This was the most expensive at $300, but they say to watch for specials on their website.)
- The Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards