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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, my plan has always been to submit Beyond Parallel into a few Book Awards in 2013, but after doing some research I'm a little unsure. I knew a lot of these awards required a submission fee, but I figured many would also be Free.

Most seem to require one, though, and it seems the average is around the $70 mark, which although isn't astronomical, quickly adds up.

So my question is: 1) what are your experiences with awards. Are they worth it? 2) do you have any recommended awards?

I'm left a little unsure. Many seem a little soul-less and not worth the time or effort. It's hard to say though with no prior experience with them. I've added the list of awards I've come across so far (with price and submission date), which I hope at least helps a few people out :)

http://www.britwriters.com/writing-competitions/judging-criteria.html (check soon)

http://www.dylanthomasprize.com/prize/ (check soon)

http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011 (Free - end of Jan)

http://www.elitawards.com/how_to_enter.php ($80 - end of Jan)

https://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-awards/botya/ ($99 - mid Jan)

http://globalebookawards.com/registration/ ($79 - )

http://www.internationalbookawards.com/2013callforentries.html ($59 - end of Jan)

http://bhgig.brinkster.net/portal/default.asp ($50 - )

http://www.indieexcellence.com/award-rules.htm ($69 - April)

http://www.indiebookawards.com/entryform.php ($75 - )

http://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm ($89 - May)

http://www.beachbookfestival.com/ ($50 - May)

http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished ($100 - April)

http://www.chapteronepromotions.com/competitions/self-published-book-award-2.htm (£25 - February)

http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html (check soon)

http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/Guidelines_for_Entering_DI3.html ($185 - February)

http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/anobii-first-book-award

http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html (check soon)

http://indiereader.com/the-indiereader-discovery-awards-how-to-enter/ ($150 - March)

https://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-awards/botya/ ($99 - January)

http://www.hofferaward.com/ ($50 - January)

http://www.wisebearbooks.com/entry-guidelines/ ($60 - February)

http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php ($75 - July)

http://www.ruberybookaward.com/enter-the-book-awards.html ($50 - April)

http://www.usabooknews.com/2013usabestbookawards.html ($69 - Septemeber)

http://book-awards.org/ ($40 - April)
 

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I haven't looked at the list that you've posted but for me If someone wants to give me an award they'll find me. (which will most likely come only after hitting a best sellers list somewhere.)
 

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Hey!

I am going to be submitting some of my books to awards this year, too.  Winning some awards at some point in my career is an important goal for me (others' mileage may vary, of course) so it's one of my resolutions for this year to get really serious about it and to get the ball rolling!

Yes, most awards require an entry fee.  Most of them offer some form of prize money or the bankrolling of a small print run (or something similar) as the top prize or for runners-up.  Most also get a panel of exceptional judges by offering some financial compensation for all that reading time (sometimes reading books that stink.)  That money has to come from somewhere! 

The idea that Nathan puts forward, that if somebody wants to give you an award they'll find you, is kind of one of the misconceptions among writers of how awards work.  Some work that way -- some like the Hugo and Nebula and some of the big romance awards are done by reader nomination and voting, and writers have no control over whether they're entered.  Most, though, including the biggies like the Pulitzer, require either the author or an agent/publisher to nominate himself...by sending in an entry fee and other required materials (usually X copies of the book and a letter of intent.)  By the way, the entry fee for the Pulitzer is $50 and they do accept self-published books.  Do you think any will win any time soon?  ;D  My guess is we're at least five or six years away from an indie Pulitzer winner, but I think it's on the horizon!

My suggestion in narrowing down your options for awards is to first thoroughly research each one and find out whether they have good reputations.  Are they legitimate? Have they been running for at least a few years?  How is the award perceived among readers, booksellers, etc.?  That will weed out a few for you. 

Next, be very honest about where your book fits in with the overall atmosphere of the award.  Research past winners.  Try to find the things that make them similar.  Does your book share anything in common with them?  Take any whose winners seem way different from your book off the list.

After those weedings-down, contact the administrators for any awards left on your list that do not specify that self-published books are welcome.  Ask them point-blank whether they consider self-published works.  Obviously you shouldn't waste your entry money on an award whose administrators tell you no (if they haven't caught on that indie books are becoming a bigger deal all the time, then you won't change their mind by entering), who don't give you a straight answer, or who ignore your email.  You will get a lot who just ignore your email.

This will leave you with three or four to consider.  When I had my list down to three or four I picked the two whose criteria I fit the best, and who had the best track record of fairly considering "little guys" like books from very small niche presses.  I ended up with two state book awards to enter: Washington (my place of residence) and Idaho (where my novel is set).  Each is $50 to enter, plus a few print copies and shipping.  A reasonable amount of money to spend.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@ElHawk: thanks so much, a great deal of help (did not know that about the Pulitzer. That's amazing, and I agree, in a few years we may just see it. That would be a huge self-publishing milestone).

And yes, I think it will need some tight research and listening to my gut. I don't want to enter many (maybe a few throughout the year) but I think they could help expose my novel and offer some invaluable feedback. It should certainly act as a great learning curve

Matthew
 

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I would encourage you to look through any local-level awards that are offered.  State, city, or regional awards are often open to indie stuff, and there is some real opportunity there to leverage those kinds of awards into highly effective exposure...think about interviews on local NPR affiliates, write-ups in local papers, and events at independent book stores in the area.  State/city/regional awards are often very dear to the hearts of a wider range of readers.  The possibility for local press (assuming I manage to win or even short-list) was a big reason why I chose the two State awards I qualified for.

Oh, and don't be shy about asking whether you qualify for some awards you're unsure on.  The Boise library in Idaho offers a different regional award that is open to Idaho residents.  I'm not a resident currently, but I was born in Idaho and as I already noted, the book is set there.  The Washington State Book award is open not only to current residents, but also  to authors living elsewhere who were born in Washington...so I contacted the awards panel for this second Idaho award and asked whether similar rules applied.  They were very cool and took the question to a meeting.  They decided not to allow Idaho-born, non-resident entrants this year because they'd already posted the rules, but they liked the idea and wanted to give it serious consideration for the 2014 rules.  That may open up another potential award for me, the Idaho native living out of state.  :)  So the moral of the story is, talk to the awards panels.  Don't be shy.  You never know what unforeseen opportunities might come up.
 

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...although I just noticed you're a Brit, so fill in your equivalent for NPR, State awards, etc.  ;)  All the same stuff, right?
 
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