The book and the author then receive a great deal of media attention. Few other contests are household words, but if you let people know your acim has won a contest, it might still convince them to buy your book. And having an award sticker on your book cover or a statement on your website that your book has won an award can only help you to get media attention and boost your book’s sales.
But authors beware. Everyone is trying to make a buck today, and unfortunately, that has resulted in some unscrupulous people preying upon authors who are desperate to get their books noticed; these people have created phony book contests whose only real purpose is to put dollars in the contest organizer’s pocket. Remember, even if you win a contest, it does you little good if it doesn’t help increase sales and media attention for your book, so be careful what contests you enter. Following are some guidelines for determining whether a book contest is worth entering, just a waste of your money, or perhaps even a scam.
Make sure the contest is being run by a reputable individual, company, or organization. The contest should be listed on a reputable website that has a full disclosure webpage listing all the contest rules, guidelines, and other information. Simply an ad in a magazine or on Craigslist does not make a contest legitimate unless it refers people to a full disclosure webpage.
Contests have to start somewhere so if it’s the contest’s first year, that doesn’t mean it’s not legitimate, but if the contest has a track record of a few years, it’s more likely to be worth entering. Besides a contest history, you should be able to find a list of past contest winners, which is great not only for determining whether your book has anything in common with the past winners so you determine what chance you have of winning, but it lets you determine the quality of the books that have won in the past to see whether it truly is a contest with critical judges, or just one of those contests where everyone wins-yes, those are out there.
Some people will tell you to avoid contests with fees, but a contest with a reasonable fee is usually as, or more, legitimate. After all, people don’t run contests for their health. It takes a lot of time and effort to organize a contest and to read all those books.