Though many of us don’t write to be recognized as award-winning authors, we can’t deny how much confidence it gives us when we do receive accolades for something we’ve poured our hearts into. It tells us without a doubt that the world sees value in what we’ve created, and for us personally, we feel as though we’ve finally arrived at our destination—achieving our dream of becoming successful authors.
But if your book is being considered for an award, it will require some work from you beyond the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve poured into writing your book. We’ve put together five tips for different ways you can market your book through your award nomination:
1—Send out press releases to boost your signal.
The first step in this process is to announce to the world that you’re up for that amazing award. Some of our more successful Author Academy Awards’ contestants have leveraged their copywriting skills to gain more press leading up to the final award ceremony.
Danni Peters and Jill Armijo are in the running for an Author Academy Award this year, and they did the work to write their own press releases to gain the attention of their local press. If you haven’t already sent out press releases for the initial publication of your book, get on this right away as it can help boost the attention your book receives in your local community, often leading to more press and local signing events. You can check out the two press articles below:
2—Talk about your nomination on social media.
For most writing awards that have a voting element, contestants can download official images to promote their nomination on social media. If voting is one of the important criteria to become a finalist, you should be boosting your nomination consistently to keep your book at the top of the list. You don’t want to drive your fans crazy by talking about it every day, but once a week will help boost awareness for current and prospective readers of your work. Not only does this help your standing as a contestant, but it also shows your readers that your work is potentially award-winning. This leaves a distinct impression on people who haven’t read your work, and it can lead to new sales.
3—Cross-promote with other award contestants.
We recommend seeking out an author who’s up for the same award in another category and collaborating on your efforts to promote your standing as award contestants. This will boost both of your signals tremendously, and it can also open up an opportunity to gain new readers along the way. This promotion can be done through social media, videos, interviews with each other, newsletters, press releases, and blogs you post on your website. Another benefit is that it holds both of you accountable for promoting your book and your nomination for the writing award.
4—Use newsletters to boost voting participation.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing techniques. If you can come up with a catchy title and some engaging content for your newsletter, your email marketing audience will pay attention to what you have to say. And whether you have 50 people or 50,000 people on your email list, this can help you boost your standings in the award contest tremendously.
One tip here—don’t make it all about getting their vote. Voting on your book should be the call to action (CTA) at the end of your email, but give readers something valuable that relates to your book as well. Grab their attention with a lively hook (in your subject line), provide value (in your newsletter), and then ask for their help (in your call to action). You can even ask them to share the voting link with their friends on their social media profiles.
5—Record live readings to encourage fans to vote on your entry.
This is a great way to show readers how amazing your book is! Of course, you’re not going to read your entire manuscript aloud. Pick your favorite few paragraphs in one of your chapters to grab their attention, and at the end of your video, talk about the award nomination. You can get viewers excited about helping you win by sharing about the award, why it’s so important, and what winning the award would mean to you. Not only can this entice your readers to vote for you, but it can also inspire them to purchase your book if they don’t have it on their bookshelves yet.
Yes, when you put these five tips together, it is a lot of work, but the payoff is even greater. Imagine what it might feel like to hear your name called when the winner is announced. Picture yourself dressed to the nines and delivering your prepared speech. Imagine holding the award in your hands as it finally hits you: You are an award-winning author!
What are some of your favorite award-winning books? What is it about that book that makes it so phenomenal? Now, take a moment to think about how you can infuse some of that magic into your own book. What will you do today to ensure your book has that same spark?