Over the years my books have won various awards. For some titles, I worked with my publicist at one of my publishing houses to submit my books for awards. Basically, here's the plan we came up with (that I also use when I’m submitting titles on my own):
1. Prepare a budget for awards submissions. Be sure to include the cost of each of your books submitted, plus postage and envelope to mail it in, and the charge for submissions. If working with a publisher, find out if they have a budget for awards, too. Many do.
2. Make a list of places to submit your book to for awards. Note the cost for submission and the qualifications for the award. Only submit your book for awards if it meets their required criteria.
3. Be sure to include places that don't necessarily offer an award, but honor your book by including it on their list of recommended reads.
4. Make a calendar. The calendar notes the deadlines for each place you're submitting your book.
5. Start submitting. Especially submit to award sites that are free.
Here’s a link to my blog for a list of potential places to submit your book for awards:
The philosophy of the publicists I've worked with has been: Don't worry about whether your book wins the award or not. Submit if it's within your budget for one main reason: EXPOSURE. When you submit your book for an award, it lands in the hands of judges, many who are important folks in their circle of literary influence. For my titles that met the submission criteria, my publicists submitted my books for the Caldecott and Newbery awards and even for the Pulitzer Prize hoping solely for exposure.
One other thought...rather than aim for expensive awards such as the Mom's Choice Award if it's too far above your budget, consider contacting several mom bloggers who have a couple hundred of followers each. Offer to give them a free copy of your book if they'll review it on their site. I have one independent publisher who likes this approach and it has
earned them thousands of dollars of sales of my books and great exposure...for a much more reasonable cost!
-Nancy I. Sanders (www.nancyisanders.com) is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 100 books with publishers big and small including her how-to book for children’s writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children's Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career.
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