Thursday, October 8, 2015

Legit Book Awards & Contests for Self-Published Authors


You poured your blood, sweat, tears, and maybe a little vodka into your book. Now it’s time to showcase your efforts! I’ve put together some of the most notable and legit fiction book contests specifically for self-published authors to help you get out there and win some awards.

FREE Contests:

The Book Designer Monthly Ebook Cover Design Awards: This heavily trafficked site is definitely worthy of entering because there are no restrictions on publication date and it’s super easy to submit your cover. Restrictions: Your e-book must be published at the time of submission.

Library Journal SELF-e Book Awards:  Library Journal honors the best self-published e-books in the following genres: Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. There’s one winner and two honorable mentions in each genre. Each genre winner receives $1,000.00. Restrictions: Although submissions for 2015 have already closed, this is a good one to keep in mind for 2016. In the meantime, you can submit your book to SELF-e. If selected via Library Journal’s SELF-e curation process, your e-book will become part of a unique discovery platform for participating public libraries across the U.S. that enables patrons to read e-books on any device, at any time. This free service is available to all self-published authors, no matter which self-publishing service(s) you use.

The Guardian Legend Self-Published Book of the Month The Guardian is the first national newspaper to champion self-publishing on a regular basis. The prize has been created with Legend Times, an award-winning independent publishing group, with companies including traditional fiction publisher Legend Press and a self-publishing company New Generation Publishing." Restrictions: Open to UK Residents only.

The Bram Stoker Awards: Each year, the Horror Writer's Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work, Dracula. The Bram Stoker Awards were instituted immediately after the organization's incorporation in 1987. Awards are annual. Restrictions: If you wish to submit your work for Jury consideration, you must follow the special guidelines based on the type of work you're submitting (e.g., YA novel, long fiction, etc.).

Contests That Charge a Fee:

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 premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors. Restrictions: There are different fees and deadlines based on the type of contest you’re entering (e.g. poetry, self-published, popular fiction, etc.). Contests run throughout the year so there’s bound to be something that suites you and your book.

The IPPY Awards:  Book awards are open to independent authors worldwide. Winners get a ton of exposure, notably through Publisher’s Weekly publications and emails. New categories this year include Cover Design - Fiction and Cover Design - Non-Fiction.

Eric Hoffer Award for Independent Books: One of the largest international book awards for small and independent presses. The Hoffer Award recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions, as well as Montaigne Medal, da Vinci Eye, and First Horizon awards.

Benjamin Franklin Awards:  Administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the Benjamin Franklin Awards are unique in that all entrants receive direct feedback on their entries. Indie publishers and self-published authors are invited to enter. The inclusive program includes fifty-five categories recognizing excellence in book editorial and design.

Readers’ Favorite:  They accept manuscripts, published and unpublished books, e-books, audio books, comic books, poetry books and short stories in 100+ genres. There is no publication date requirement or word count restriction. Entries are accepted worldwide.

You can also check out Published to Death and Creative Writing Contests With No Entry Fees for additional opportunities.

Want even more contests? Try researching writing contests specific to your state (and sometimes city), as well as your age,  writing genre, and first time author opportunities. If you do decide to enter a paid contest not on this list, be sure to do your research first and ensure its sponsor is worthy of putting on your resume. Good luck!