So, your book is finished, and it’s all you hoped it would be. You’ve ordered hard copies and identified local bookstores who’ll carry it. You’ve submitted it to Amazon and Kindle. It should fly right off the shelves now, right?
Oh, if only it were that simple! Often, new authors are surprised to find that that writing was the easy part. Creating buzz about your book can be even more labor intensive, but if you’re confident you’ve written a gem, put it out there. Get a professional opinion.
Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful marketing tools an author can hope for. If you need evidence of that, look no further than online shopping sites. More and more, shoppers are paying careful attention to consumer reviews, pluming feedback for an indication of quality from buyers with firsthand knowledge of the product.
Book reviews are no different. A book that has a high rating from a huge number of readers is going have a better shot at making the next sale than one with no or low reviews. Seeing that other readers are passionate about the book to chime in on their reading experience, carries a lot of weight.
Of course, savvy readers have also learned a hard lesson about the reliability of such reviews in recent months. Just last September, author R.J. Ellory was caught padding his own book reviews by posting glowing remarks under an assumed name. Even worse, the ethically challenged Ellory wrote bogus scathing reviews of competitors’ works!
No one really knows how often fraudulent review make their way onto a book’s page. We’ve probably all read anonymous reviews we suspected may have been the work of someone’s mom and pop. This is precisely why award recognition is so important. There’s no faking a book award. It’s that priceless, validating second opinion that readers trust. A professional opinion.
Kudos from a respected literary organization carries tremendous weight. Award nods are a limited commodity, meted out judiciously by a panel of unbiased experts in the publishing field. And their sole job is to identify and recognize the cream of the crop.
You know the saying: “You can’t win if you don’t play.” So put yourself out there; submit to as many book awards as you can. You may get a few surprises. The worst that can happen is you receive constructive critique that will serve to make you better at your craft.