6 Misconceptions about Winning Book Awards

winning book awardsSeasoned and first-time authors alike struggle with marketing and promoting their books. It is often a confusing and dreaded chore, yet it is absolutely necessary for your book’s success. In the end, marketing is how your book is introduced to new audiences and readers, which becomes fanfare, buzz, and selling more books.

There are a myriad of ways an author can approach marketing. One effective and attainable strategy is to leverage book awards to grow your success. Book awards give you an exciting way to impact your cause, keep your author image fresh, entice readers, and build buzz for your book.

Let’s clear up a few misconceptions about winning book awards so you can make your book marketing strategy something to celebrate.


MYTH #1:  Only traditionally published authors can win awards.

TRUTH:  Over 92% of all book awards are available to indie and self-published books.

Did you know Margaret Atwood self-published a book of poems that won an award, even before she wrote The Handmaid’s Tale?

Highly-esteemed awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize, accept self-published books. Every day, more independent authors are putting their books out into the world, and award programs are taking notice.


MYTH #2:  Only award winners benefit from entering awards.

TRUTH:  Of course award-winning books and their authors are celebrated. But what most authors don’t realize is there are important book marketing opportunities to capture at every stage of the competition, beginning the moment you enter your book for an award.

Starting the instant your book is submitted for an award, you are an award nominee and your book is an award-nominated book.

This unlocks important marketing opportunities to capture for your book. Entice your audience with the exciting news of your award-nominated book by sharing social posts and sending a special edition of your author newsletter. Also, be sure to update your Amazon and Goodreads descriptions to reflect your new award-nominated status.

There are further opportunities to capture if your book is announced as a finalist in the competition. Many authors are too quick to write off “finalist” as “not quite a winner,” and that is a marketing mistake. If your book is announced as a finalist, it can mean that your book will move on to the next round of judging, or it is considered another place among your fellow award-winners. The structure and meaning of “finalist” vary from contest to contest, but in every case, it is an additional opportunity to create buzz and interest among readers and fans.

Being an award-winning author and having an award-winning book is a tremendous boon for your marketing and acclaim. But do not overlook the wealth of opportunities to promote your book’s growing success, beginning the very moment you enter for an award.

winning book awards

MYTH #3:  Awards that charge entry fees are scams.

TRUTH:  Just because an award charges money for an entry fee does not mean it is a scam. Reasonable entry fees go toward helping the contest run a quality program.

As with any business, there are real costs associated with running a contest, including administrative and technical costs. Some of these costs include:

  • Prizes/prize money
  • Compensating judges
  • Website maintenance
  • Website hosting
  • Payment processing


MYTH #4:  Only fancy “name brand” awards matter.

TRUTH:  While the National Book Award, Nobel Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize can bring great honor and prestige to your book, awards of all sizes can be leveraged for your book’s success.

Small contests are often created by individuals or groups of people who want to do their part to support the author community. Nominees, finalists, and winners of these awards often find that they are impactful networking opportunities to connect with fellow authors.

Marketing is all about generating awareness and interest in your book. Awards of all sizes can bring amazing benefits in spreading the word about your book, generating interest among readers, building fanfare, and promoting your success.

winning book awards

MYTH #5:  My publisher handles awards for me.

TRUTH:  Like most other aspects of book marketing, publishers usually rely on authors to research awards and prepare their own nominations.

Unfortunately, the awards process can be tedious, time-consuming, and simply too much for an author to juggle while managing the daily hurdles that come with publishing a book. But it does not have to be this way.

Many authors are discouraged and never enter their books for awards. That’s a problem. If you never enter your book to begin with, there is never a chance for it to become award-winning.

If it all sounds intimidating and you just want to have awards done for you, check out the expert services from Book Award Pro.


MYTH #6:  Marketing my book is better than seeking awards.

TRUTH:  They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, pursuing awards is marketing for your book, and awards are a significant part of many successful book marketing strategies.

Not only that, but awards are a form of marketing your book which continues to pay off over time. When you run an ad and that ad is done, it’s done. However, when you win an award, you have an award-winning book forever (and you are an award-winning author forever).

Awards open doors to opportunities. Some forms of marketing, while enticing, are unattainable or unrealistic for the independent author. Fortunately, book awards can be leveraged for marketing success by any author.

Awards can be a powerful way to grow your author platform. As an author, the direction of your book is entirely your decision. There are thousands of award opportunities waiting to boost your book marketing success!

My name is Hannah Jacobson, and I am the founder of Book Award Pro. It’s been a pleasure to introduce you to the world of book awards, and I truly hope you capture awarding success for your book.



Hannah Jacobson is the founder of Book Award Pro, the company that created technology enabling authors to become award-winning authors.

Book Award Pro researches thousands of awards, continuously targets your perfect matches, and professionally submits your book for awards. This service creates a windfall of fresh promotional opportunities for your book every single month.

To learn more and get started with boosting your book’s success, check out Book Award Pro at: https://bookawardpro.com


Catch these previous interviews with Hannah Jacobson:

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