Three Book Awards Programs: Deadlines Soon

Independent_Book_Publishers_Association_Awards_Program entry brochureOne of the difficulties of self-publishing is that the responsibility for getting the word out about your book lies squarely with you. There’s no publisher cranking out press releases, no publicist lining up media tours on your behalf, no sales force selling your books into bookstores. (In truth, few traditional publishers are still doing that for their own authors these days. As Seth Godin so aptly observed: out of the 75,000+ books published by traditional houses in any given year, perhaps 100 of them receive the full marketing muscle that publishers can deliver.)

That’s why you might consider entering an awards program. If you win, you get bragging rights, which you can parlay across the Web and in your print promotions.

This time of year, there are several excellent awards programs to consider–each of which welcomes self-published books. Here are three I’d recommend:

Independent Book Publishers Association’s
Benjamin Franklin Awards

Deadline: January 15, 2012
Program offers awards in 55 separate categories, including both fiction and nonfiction.

Foreword Review’s Book-of-the-Year Award
Deadline: January 15, 2012
Program offers awards in 60 separate categories. Two Editor’s Choice prizes of $1,500 are awarded, one for fiction, the other for nonfiction.

Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award
Submissions received: Jan 23 — Feb 5, 2012 (limited to first 5,000 entries in each category)
Two grand prizes are awarded, one for general fiction and one for young adult fiction. Each winner will receive a $15,000 publishing contract with Penguin.

And here’s a little tip from someone who’s hosted more than one awards program. If you do win, show up at the awards ceremony and accept your award with your most gracious smile. People remember.

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