While some competitions refuse to allow entries from self-publishers, British novelist James Minter, with generosity typical of the indie scene, shares a list of awards whichwelcome indie authors – along with compelling reasons for entering. Please note: the inclusion of an award in this list does not mean the scheme is endorsed by ALLi – authors are advised to check carefully the details of any award programme before deciding whether entering is worth their while. Discoverability is the word on every self-published author’s lips. Book awards are part of your arsenal to achieve discoverability. The majority of book purchases are made from existing authors who are known and trusted by readers, or through recommendation from friends, family, book clubs or the media. In this fiercely competitive and teeming book world where readers are overwhelmed with choice, a book with an award immediately stands out from the crowd. It’s all about discoverability, and awards increase your discoverability. Awards have a number of benefits: They create interest in your book. This leads to more sales or other opportunities. A book displaying an award may cause someone to pick up your book while browsing. A book award will give you an edge and may be all the difference needed to propel your book into bestseller territory. When you win or get placed, you can say you are an “award winning author.” It sounds and is great, and gives the book a magic lift that comes from a third party endorsement. Book awards give your book a seal of excellenceunequalled by other forms of media exposure. No reviews, nor articles, nor TV or radio interviews can compete with having an “Award Winning Book,” selected from hundreds of competing titles by experienced and professionally-trained judges. Awards absolutely do matter. They add credibility and give readers / reviewers / reporters / agents / publishers the assurance a book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation. Gaining awards should be a central part of your book marketing strategy. About the award list: These fifty awards represent a range of competitions from ones that are on-going to monthly, annual or bi-annual for a variety of genres and book types. The details of the competitions are many and varied – submission criterion, deadlines, award dates, prizes, entry fees etc. but they all have one thing in common; they are open to self-publishers. They are listed here for convenience and are not endorsed by me or the Alliance. As ever on the internet, be scam savvy; check out the writers beware site http://www.sfwa.org/ since competition fees can be quite hefty. Finally, this list is not definitive. If you know of more awards please email me so I can add them to the list. Good luck.
UPDATE: This post has been superceded by our new Awards & Contest Ratings page so please refer to that page for the latest information, which also includes a quality guide by our Services Watchdog.