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UPDATE... Using Book Award Contests for Marketing

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:23 pm
by mikeyboy_esq
When I published my first book in Oct. 2016, I entered it in 10 book award contests with the hope of winning at least one so I could advertise it as "award-winning." I did the same thing when I published my 2nd book in Feb. 2017, except that I limited that book to only 6 contests to reduce my spending. This strategy was not cheap! I spent approx. $800 (plus ppk books that I mailed in) for the first book and $400 (plus ppk books that I mailed in) for the second book. I mentioned this strategy in an earlier post on this forum (which I can't seem to find now). Yesterday, both of my books were selected for the Readers' Favorite book awards contest, so I thought I'd update my results here in case anyone is curious if this strategy is worth-while or not.

To date, my first book has won or medaled in 3 book awards contests out of the 9 that have announced results thus far. Also, my 2nd book has been selected as a "finalist" or "honorable mention" in 2 book award contests out of the 2 that have announced results thus far. So far, I'm generally happy with these results because I can add these accolades to my books' advertisements with the hope that they will add at least a little "social proof" in the eyes of potential buyers. Sadly, none of the contests that I have won thus far came with cash prizes. However, some of them post announcements of my book awards on social media, and of course I'm glad to get that exposure. The last book awards contest that I'm waiting on regarding my first book is supposed to provide each author with comments from the judges, and I'm actually looking forward to getting feedback whether I win or not.

A fair question is whether my financial investment (over $1,200 total) will result in sufficient book sales to recoup this cost. Honestly, I have no way of measuring the sales that specifically come from the handful of contests that my books have won. In any case, I have had decent sales of my 2 books thus far (total of over 500 copies sold to date) and have to believe that these book awards might have played at least some small part in some of those sales. But even if my investment in this strategy doesn't pay off financially, I'm still glad I entered them because (as a newbie author) I welcome as much recognition and exposure as possible. Just my 2 cents.

I'm sure some folks will read this and think I wasted my time and $$$, but that's okay. I'm still glad I tried this strategy (you don't know if it works or not unless you try!). If you have any thoughts or questions, please chime in below.

Re: UPDATE... Using Book Award Contests for Marketing

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:32 pm
by plughmann
It's your money. You get to decide if it is worth it.
For sure the contest sponsors made out well -- big time.

I don't see any award actually selling books. At least not without a lot of promotion and marketing.
And not providing very much help unless they are a well known name.

It is too easy for someone to invent their own award and declare themselves the winner so that an unknown name award will always be suspect.
Like Sony did with their fake reviewer who they used to hype their movies.

David Manning (sometimes "Dave") was a pseudonym used by a marketing executive working for Sony Corporation around July 2000 to give consistently good reviews for releases from Sony subsidiary Columbia Pictures.

Sony Pictures has failed in its efforts to overturn a class action for false advertising over its use of a non-existent critic to promote the company's movies.

While everyone is suddenly getting bent out of shape because Sony's ad department created a rave movie review by a nonexistent critic, let's remember that this kind of thing has been going on for years ("Sony Says It Will Take Action Over Fake Critic," by Robert W. Welkos, June 5).

In one Times article, DreamWorks' marketing head Terry Press admitted that "if they didn't say it exactly the way you want, you just take the part of what they said that you do want . . . and if they don't say what you want, you just make it up yourself anyway." This is like putting scenes in the trailer that aren't in the movie. What will happen if this "cry wolf" practice continues? The public may eventually get wise and refuse to believe any ad claims at all.

Re: UPDATE... Using Book Award Contests for Marketing

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:24 pm
by MikePhillip
This is an old thread, but thought I'd resurrect it because I have two coppers burning a hole in my pocket. :lol:

Was it worth it? Big question with a lot of little answers.

First, I doubt there should be any concern about false advertising or lawsuits concerning such. If they are real contests, no matter how small or unknown, awardees can legitimately claim the title "Award Winning".

Only one way to discover if being an Award Winning author will increase sales - try it.

I think most people ignore such claims, but there are some readers who might be impressed enough to buy, so it might be worth it to use it. That's not to knock the impressed or the unimpressed - just an observation. And most of us have seen such claims in advertising for many well-known author's books, so I doubt it would hurt a little known writer. In the end, though, only you will know if it was wasted time or money.

Here we are, eight months later and inquiring minds want to know: have you used it? Results?

Re: UPDATE... Using Book Award Contests for Marketing

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 2:31 pm
by mikeyboy_esq
Thanks for asking. Yes, I'm glad I entered these book contests, won a few awards and eventually was able to advertise both books as "award-winning." In reality, there's no way to know exactly how many book sales (if any) that I made were the result of winning these awards and advertising them as such. Without knowing the total sales that resulted from my books' awards, there is no way to do a cost-benefit analysis. In any case, I believe that in a crowded marketplace like Amazon where everyone is trying to make their book stand out, it doesn't hurt to be able to say my books are "award-winning." I'm guessing "best-selling" might have a similar effect on sales and making your book stand out, but I don't yet have that credential.

Going forward, I plan to continue entering my future books in book contests. However, I may not enter future books in as many contests as the first book (I entered 10 contests for that one).