It’s a great feeling to see a book project come full circle — from the initial idea to seeing your work in print. But is there more? Is your book award-worthy?
If you’re considering taking charge of your book through self-publishing, make sure it’s the best it can be. By planning ahead and taking the time to do things right, you can make your book worthy of an award. And best of all, you can confidently market it as an award-winning book!
There are many awards available for self-published books. Reader Views annually honors exemplary books from independent self-publishers with the Literary Book Award — and cash prizes worth up to $1,500. The Readers’ Favorite grants awards up to $35,000, and the EVVY Awards recognize excellence in independently published books as determined by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA). Winning an EVVY Award is a prerequisite to being named the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year Award. (You’ll be happy to know that after you’re published, Outskirts Press offers assistance in entering your book into these awards.)
These are just a few of the potential awards your book could win. So, how do you make sure your book is worthy of an award?
It goes without saying that the first step (often the hardest step) is to finish your book. You can’t win any awards if you don’t have a finished product. Here are 6 ways to help you create the best book possible:
- Create a compelling title. If your book is non-fiction, its title should be specific, to tell potential readers what it offers. If your book is a thriller, choose an exciting and enticing title to pique the reader’s interest.
- Define the purpose of your book. Can you summarize the book in just a few sentences? An award-worthy book has a clear purpose — something for the reader, whether it’s for entertainment, information on how to do something, or a memoir that offers hope and encouragement.
- Ask for constructive criticism. Before it’s published, your book should make the rounds of at least one objective reader. Does the plot make sense? Are the characters relatable? Is the dialogue realistic? Are there any parts that drag, or any sections that don’t make sense? Is your writing clear and concise?
- Edit and proofread. Once you’ve addressed any problems your reader(s) identified, you’ll need a careful review for spelling, grammar, typos, and other pesky problems that can annoy your readers. Hire a professional editor to give it a thorough going-over and resolve any problems with plot, pacing, characterization, and style.
- Create a dynamic book cover. An exclusive custom cover, designed specifically for your book, is probably the single most important element in making that striking first impression. It also helps convey a sense of the style, tone, and content inside, which has an immediate effect on potential buyers.
- Develop a strong marketing plan. Will you be using social media to promote your book? Are your local bookstores and gift shops willing to carry it? Do you want to offer variety for your readers who may prefer digital editions? (Outskirts Press has a variety of marketing strategies to help you.)
Once you’ve finished a project — whether it’s a cookbook, a collection of poetry, or a romance novel — it’s tempting to just hand your work over to a publisher and get it printed as quickly as possible. But by taking the time to make sure your work is polished and its packaging is compelling, you could become not only a published author…but an author with an award-winning book!
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|AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & SUCCESS STORY|
Sandra was born in a small town on the New England seashore. Her parents were older than a lot of the parents of her classmates. Sandra was taught the “old school way.” That meant creating your own entertainment and games to play. It was part of what made her very creative. As her life progressed, she married and had children, and she became a receptacle of many stories of all kinds. Some very unusual ones caused friends to tell her that she should write a book.
Sandra A. Murray never thought about writing over the years, but as she approached elder life, she started by writing a story birthday card for one of her grandchildren. Then she took an online course for children’s literature, and did fairly well. The next step was to join a writer’s site. That was the catalyst to publish a book. Infinite Scribbles in the Sand is the culmination of a couple of years’ collection of poems and short stories that she wrote while on this site.
– Sandra A. Murray, author of Infinite Scribbles in the Sand
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