Search Site
Be a Guest Blogger

Charities We Sponsor

Fribbit the Frog

This area does not yet contain any content.



Follow Us


Follow Me on Pinterest




Shop for Books


After house


After House

« What’s So Great About a Romance Novel? | Main | 5 Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Authors »

32 Book Awards Authors Should Pursue for 2013

Guest Post by Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”  YES!! 

As a book publicist I am here to inform you that yes, they absolutely do matter! In fact, one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. Deals are in the offing. This author, needless to say, is happy he decided to enter. 

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity to reach out to the media, booksellers and agents. As a book publicist I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an ‘award winning’ book. 

Awards also create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities.  A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a book store.  A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless. 

Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.


Here’s a list of my Top 32 book awards worthy of your consideration. 

  1. Enter to win The 2013 Independent Book Publisher Awards. The contest is for independent, university, small press, self-publishers and independent authors throughout North America and overseas publishers who publish books intended for the American market.
  2. Entering the Book of the Year Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. Check it out here
  3. Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards and enter by December 1
  4. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world's most important literary award. Entery forms are due April 2 and Finished Books are due July 1
  5. The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. Enter before December 31  
  6. Enter to win the Caldecott Medal before December 31 for your Children’s picture book
  7. Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details
  8. Strive to be nominated and win the Nobel Prize in literature. Who can nominate? Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges to name a few. (Another reason it pays to keep the ties your alma mater!) ttp://
  9. The Edgar Allan Poe Award for books submission deadline is September 28. See how to submit your book
  10. FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year submission deadline is June 30
  11. Enter to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction before January 2013
  12. The National Book Award deadline is June 15. Learn how to submit your book here
  13. Enter the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards by March 2013. The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market.
  14. Learn more about how to enter to win the Stonewall Book Award. Click for details
  15. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards Don’t miss this important ebook only award.
  16. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for fiction is June 30. Check it out here 
  17. Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Click for more details
  18. Check out how to enter many writing contests, grants and awards. 
  19. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award 
  20. Get your book recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award 
  21. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. 
  22. With book trailers being an important part of all book marketing strategies. Be sure to enter your book trailer in the Moby Awards. They are looking for the best…and worst book trailers. Click for more details as they are released. 
  23. Here’s a service where you can enter several book festivals at the same time for about $50 per festival. This is absolutely the best idea. I’ve used this several times. One entry form, one payment, two books, ten plus book awards spread out over a year.  Just do it. 
  24. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self published authors. 
  25. Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories. They have a year-end deadline of January 12. 
  26. ForeWord Reviews sponsors the Book of the Year Awards. It's open to all independently- and self-published books released that year. There are sixty categories, and in each category a gold, silver, and bronze winner. The deadline to enter is January. Check out: 
  27. The non-profit Independent Book Publishers Association's Benjamin Franklin Awards are now in their 26th year of awarding excellence in book publishing in 55 categories.  All entrants receive direct judge feedback--unique in the industry. For more information, visit 
  28. USA Best Book Awards has a ten year track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by USA Book News which covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, & self-published. Entry deadline September 30. 
  29. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers. 
  30. Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance. All you need is a CreateSpace account. Check it out. 
  31. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors. 
  32. Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors.  

Need another reason to enter? Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review says, "The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I've seen this happen with librarians -- when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn't have an award to its credit. I'm confident that this same phenomena works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well." 

The bottom line, book awards do matter. Enter a few and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.  


About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at  or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist



Reader Comments (1)

Thanks, Scott Lorenz for your fairly complete and positive listing of book awards. As winner of the Silver Medal in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards, as well as Honorable Mention in the 2008 New England Book Festival for one book, and Honorable Mention in the 2011 New England Book Festival, 2012 New York Book Festival, and 2012 London Book Festival for a second book, and the Pinnacle Achievement Award for a third book, I must say there's a whole lot more money being invested in awards programs than there is ever getting back to the "winning" authors. Yes, the winning or placing in a contest does legitimize the work of an author, but unfortunately there is still massive prejudice in the book industry against independently published books -- and the vast majority of those prize winning books never see placement in major bookstores.

The independently published book is in permanent limbo for the most part -- having been published already, it is less likely a publisher will take it on; and the inability to get the book represented in major bookstores insures that the expected sales will run about 300. Book publicity is expensive and hit-or-miss; authors who don't have financial resources generally must have winning personalities and plenty of time to do the footwork of visiting independent bookstores in constant effort to keep books visible. Bottom line is that if an author can afford to keep entering book award programs (and not all are open to self-published, especially without an agent), then go ahead. As far as awards bringing better sales, the jury is still out on that.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephen V. Masse

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.