As an indie author, you can use your writing and your author platform to positively impact people: individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Today on the ALLi blog, we look at how authors writing with a message can use book awards to raise the profile of their story or cause.
Independent authors making a difference
Using book awards to build your author platform is a strategic way to gain recognition, expand your audience, and increase your visibility in the literary world (and beyond). Whether you want to empower, educate, or bring awareness to an issue, a strategic blend of award-winning professionalism builds reader trust and sets up your author platform for success.
How to make an impact using book awards
Stories have the ability to change minds and influence society. How can you use awards to bring recognition to your stories and inspire that kind of change?
Gain visibility for your cause
Awards can come with a multitude of benefits for winners, including media coverage, publicity, and attention from readers. This increased visibility can lead to higher book sales, expanded readership, and more opportunities for the author to engage with their audience.
Raising funds for charity? Bringing attention to an important issue that deserves the spotlight? You can leverage your award news to draw attention to the causes that matter most to you.
When you win an award and share the news authentically through story marketing, relating your win to a clear, strong message — and your support of that message — can help your voice stand out among the crowd.
Inspire your readers with a unique accolade
Winning awards can serve as a motivational factor for indie authors who strive for excellence in their writing. Recognition can inspire you to continuously improve your skills and push creative boundaries.
But award-winning success is inspiring to your readers, too.
Perhaps you are embarking on your author journey in a unique chapter of life. Your story marketing can benefit from sharing a wide range of awards, but let's take age-related accolades as an example. This is an opportunity that may not only motivate you to continue writing, but can also inspire your readers.
The McKitterick Prize celebrates a first novel by an author over the age of 40. The Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award recognizes a full-length work by an author between the ages of 18 to 35. And certainly, both awards accept independent and self-published works.
Make a cultural and social impact through book awards
Have you chosen meaningful themes in your work, addressing important social, cultural, environmental, or ethical issues? As an author, you can use your stories to shed light on topics that need attention and offer insights that can encourage thought and change.
Is the diversity of the world reflected in your characters, settings, and narratives? By representing a range of perspectives and experiences, you can contribute to a more inclusive literary landscape.
The world craves diverse and inclusive content, and awards are keeping up with the demand. Some awards, especially those that highlight socially relevant themes or diverse voices, can contribute to broader cultural conversations and influence societal perspectives.
The Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses Literary Prize is open to indie authors, and is just one example of an award that encourages positive representation in literature. These awards can serve to highlight similar threads in your own writing, ultimately shining a spotlight on these important topics and making an impact on society.
Moving the needle as an indie author
No doubt about it, independent authors around the world are making a difference with their work. You can use your writing and author platform to positively impact individuals, communities, and society as a whole.
Awards spark discussion among readers, creating a community around your books, message, and mission. This engagement can lead to deeper analyses and interpretations of your work, enriching the reading experience and sparking deeper discussion on important societal issues.
Remember that making a difference as an independent author is a gradual and ongoing process. Stay committed, continue learning, submit your books for award consideration, and be open to evolving your approach as you gain insights and feedback from your readers and the broader community.
About Hannah Jacobson, ALLi Awards & Story Marketing Advisor
Hannah Jacobson is the founder of Book Award Pro: the company that leads the industry in helping authors find the perfect reviews and awards for their books.
Book Award Pro has been a trusted ALLi Partner Member since 2020. Hannah is the ALLi advisor for awards and story marketing, and contributes to ALLi resources including the Book Award & Contest Ratings page, Book Prizes & Awards for Indie Authors guidebook, and the Ultimate Guide to Winning Book Awards.