By Stephanie Bearce
What is one of the best ways to get your book into the hands of LOTS of young readers? Get your book nominated for one of the State reading awards.
Children's choice award programs are held each year and in every state in the nation. Books that are selected for the nomination list are purchased by every school and public library and read by thousands of children who then vote for their favorite. It's an incredible honor to win, but just being a nominee is a boost every writer would love.
So how do you get your book on one of these magical lists? Nominations are taken for several months before the list is decided. Some states allow authors or publishers to nominate books. Others only allow teachers and librarians. Authors, this is NOT the time to be shy. If you want your book on the list - ask teacher and librarian friends to nominate you. The first step is getting your book in front of the selection committee. The rest will be up to the readers.
There is no guarantee that your book will be showered in awards, but you can't win if you don't try. And the rewards of having an award-winning book are rich indeed. Not only will your agent and family cheer, but your publisher will also love the increase in sales and publicity. Awards can help you get that next book deal.
I've found a great list of State Awards hosted by Bound to Stay Bound.
This resource lists all of the awards by state and age level. Simply go to the site and check to see what the nomination criteria are for your type of book. Make sure you check the date and subject requirements.
Other sites where you can learn about state book awards are:
Overdrive - National and State Awards
Reading levels and reading lists - Minnesota State University
And good luck! I hope to see your books on many state reading lists!
By Stephanie Bearce
Writers love writing. What we don't love is promoting. But the truth is, promoting is a part of the job, and rather than whining, we need to put on our big-girl panties and get to work!
Last week we talked about getting reviews. They ARE important. But that's just the first part of your promotion plan. The next step is to build a promotion team.
Remember how you're NOT supposed to use our mom, your kids, or your crazy aunt Hilde to critique your manuscript? Total opposite for promoting that baby book of yours. Contact everyone you know and ask for their help. Sure some people are going to say no, but you are a writer. You're used to rejection. AND you're wearing those big-girl panties. You can take it.
A promotion team is simply a group of people willing to help by sharing your media posts. The team will help you broaden your platform and expand your audience reach. Maybe you only have 10 FB friends and you've never heard of twitter. No worries - your promotion team will be lending you their platform by sharing your posts and promoting your book.
Make it easy on them by creating posts that are attractive and fun. Canva is a free graphic art tool that will make your social media posts look professional. (Watch out though - it's fun and can be addicting!) You can create posts for holidays and special events and share them with your promotions team. All they have to do is hit share on their favorite social site.
You don't need a big team. A dozen dedicated team members is better than a hundred half-hearted promoters. Make your team feel special by giving them the inside scoop on your publishing process, sharing your triumphs and disappointments, and of course, showering them with your genuine gratitude.
You can ask your team to post reviews on Good Reads and Amazon. Have them request that their local library purchase your book. Ask if they are willing to pre-order copies of your book. And have your team spread the word to their friends and family that you have a NEW BOOK!
We are nonfiction authors who support readers and writers through our writing, author visits, and workshops.
Disclaimer: The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas . The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.