April 29, 2017

When should authors enter contests?

Recently, a good friend contacted me about helping her nomination to final in Circle of Moms Top 25 Book Author Moms contest for 2012. The contest is sponsored annually by the Association of Journalists and Authors. This contest simply counts votes, and she earned enough to place among the top 25 authors.

Her book is worthwhile (as I am sure all the other entries are), and the contest probably helps focus attention on the accomplishment of professional women with children who can finish writing a book.

This raised the question for me, “When should authors enter contests?”

Fortunately for me, Nina Amir (developer of the Write Nonfiction in NOVEMBER focus or challenge) had a similar question and helpful response. Here is her list of when a contest is worthwhile:

  • A contest that judges writing–and that is judged by outstanding, expert and qualified judges.
  • A contest that judges books, blogs or articles in your genre.
  • A contest run by a well-respected organization.

Clearly, my friend’s contest falls into the third category. This also gets at my main rubric for entering contests: When the contest (win or not) can help you improve or promote (or both) your writing.

As Nina concludes:

In general, whether you are a writer, author or blogger, winning a contest serves as good promotion. Honestly, just entering one can increase your readership–especially for a blogger. Although it’s better to win, you’ll gain readers even if you lose. So, contest entries can simply be good promotion and platform building strategy.

I agree.


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