Book Promotion: 5 reasons you should enter competitions and awards…and a success story

There are thousands of competitions every year for authors all over the world, in every genre.

But have you actually entered any of them?

Here are 5 reasons you should start:

  1. Give your writing purpose. Competitions and awards give you something to write for, a purpose for your creativity. Perhaps it’s an original short story, or a poem or part of a novel. Whatever it is, it gives you guidelines for writing and a deadline.
  2. Networking. Many events have an award event or a noticeboard and publish entries and results in magazines. You can contact other authors this way and may make contacts you would never have made otherwise.
  3. Practice for other awards. There are some big awards and competitions out there and starting with the small ones is great practice. You can get to know how they are judged and perhaps even get feedback for next time.
  4. Promotion. Even if you are a runner-up you can promote being in the competition.
  5. You might win! Think how you react to reading about a new competition or award. You probably think you stand no chance so you don’t enter. Authors are not the most self-confident of people generally. But remember, many other people feel this way too and don’t enter either. So the entries are few and you would have stood a great chance.

So add it to your list of things to do this year – enter at least 1 competition or award. You just never know how successful you will be!

How do you find out about awards and competitions?

Become a member of the local or national author society, or join forums and websites in your genre. Start with the local ones and then as your confidence grows, try the national prizes.

My own success story

I entered the NSW (Australia) Writer’s Centre competition for self-published authors and won the Marketing Award for best marketing plan. I wrote a 4 page marketing plan on how I market my book “How to Enjoy Your Job” and included everything from internet, to networking to press releases and more.

The prize is $500 cash and tickets to a marketing seminar so I am very pleased with myself. I will post the marketing plan on a separate post so you can see how to do one yourself.

For other book promotion and marketing ideas, see the Articles page.


Thank you for visiting The Creative Penn! For more top posts, try the Articles page.
Like this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed by email or in a RSS reader.


Be Sociable, Share!


  1. says

    It seems like so many contests require an entry fee. Without knowing how many people might enter the contest and whether you have a chance, these fees can add up quickly without doing anything but emptying your pockets. How can you assess whether it is worth entering a contest with a fee and how much a fee is reasonable?

  2. admin says

    Great question JoAnna. I think you should only enter the competition if you know enough about it and think there is some chance of a return. Even if you just use it for promotional purposes. Also its good to assess the likelihood of the other people who you are up against. Is it a global competition with a big prize? If yes, new authors are unlikely to win it! Try local ones that have fewer entrants to start with and build up.
    Perhaps also limit yourself to one or two per year to save the costs.
    Thanks for your comment! Joanna

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *