When you write a book, winning a book award can be a really wonderful reward for all your hard work! Book sales are nice but recognition can mean so much to you as an author. That said, winning a book award doesn’t do that much for you as an author unless you make the most of it!
If you’re trying to figure out how you can leverage your new win to reach more of your target audience, keep reading!
The truth is, getting a distinction can be exhilarating, but to help you sell more, you must learn to make the most out of your new title as an award-winning author.
Learn To Spread The News About Your Book Award Win
When you win a book award, you deserve to celebrate and share that good news with your audience so they too can celebrate with you. Maybe, even more importantly, you want to let your potential book buyers out there know that you’re an award winner so you stand out from other books they are considering reading. Embracing an award and promoting your win isn’t just an ego boost. It’s an intelligent business strategy.
First Things First: What NOT TO DO when you win a book award
Before we get into what to do, let’s hit on what not to do. After you win, many award companies, including the most reputable ones, may offer you a very large award marketing package. And when I’m talking large, I mean the dollar figure they want to charge you for it.
Even reputable award companies like IPPY will email you after a victory to offer you various packages to help spread the news. This service is a smart move on IPPY’s part because many authors may not know what to do after getting their awards. Depending on the level you buy into, you’ll typically receive a professionally-written press release, PR and media outreach, a media one sheet, or a list of targeted media crafted for you to do your outreach.
Do Well Without Spending Too Much
You could also buy stickers, certificates, additional medals, and other merch alongside one of these packages. But as an author, you might want to think carefully before you buy into an after-award marketing package you’re offered. Stickers are useful because you can put them on your cover when you do live events and signings. The award sticker DOES help your book stand out, but all the other things are pretty expensive offerings with minimal to no results for you as an author. Instead, I recommend you do the following things to promote your win.
And remember when you skip the expensive promo package -you’re a winner without it.
5 Steps To Promote Your Book Award Win Without Spending A Lot
1. Check What The Contest Organizer Does When Promoting Winners
One of the cool things IPPY does is hold big award ceremonies, which this year were live-streamed. These events are incredible, and you don’t have to pay to attend when it’s virtual. Additionally, the organizer will ensure to feature news of your win, whether in their press release, website, social media, or all of the above. Figure out what they’ve got planned before starting your own promotion. Knowing their methods or procedures allows you to leverage whatever they’re doing.
2. Use The Award Logo In Your Own Promo Social Media Posts
Snag the award logo from the award company’s website and slap it on some fun social media posts. Here are a few my team made for me with my recent award wins to give you a good idea of what I mean:
If you don’t have a graphically-inclined team as I do, there are some lovely folks on Fiverr.com that can whip up some things that look pretty darn good, too.
3. Fully Embrace Your Awesomeness
Fully embrace your awesomeness, even if it feels a bit weird at first. Update your title to award-winning author everywhere you can. Do it on your website, author bios, social media profiles, media kit, email signatures, or anywhere else where many people can see it. Anywhere that previously said “author” should now say, “award-winning author.” It may take some getting used to, but you earned it, so display it with pride.
While you’re at it, you can update your book description on its product pages. You can consider updating your cover if you want. Ask your designer to put the award seal on your cover and design files for your ebook and print files or any books you may have in your inventory. Or, you can just buy stickers of the seal instead and stick them on top of the physical product. If you have bookstore listings, this can make your cover pop at events or even on a bookstore shelf.
4. Announce Your Book Award Win
Now that you’ve updated your title, it’s time to make the announcement. While you can write a press release and mass distribute it, that isn’t going to do that much. Instead, announce your award to your audience, starting with your email newsletter [speaking of newsletter – are you connected to the Launch Letter? Tips every two weeks to help you write, publish, and promote your fabulous award winning book]. There’s a good chance that the subscribers on your email list are your most devoted fans. It’s a pretty simple way to deliver those need-to-know updates. Explain the award and its significance in the newsletter and include the link to buy the book, just in case they haven’t grabbed a copy yet, or, if they’d like to be extra-wonderful and buy another one.
If you have a blog on your website, which hopefully you do, then write a post announcing the award as well. Include pictures of the award itself or the seal, and of course, share the blog post on your social media with some high-quality hashtags to drive traffic to your website or blog. Don’t forget to tag the organization or contest. They might share it or repost it as well, which further expands your audience.
5. Mention Your Book Award in Every Media Pitch
If media attention is your goal, make sure to update your media kit and mention the award in any media pitch you send out. Winning an award can genuinely open up some opportunities for media exposure, interviews, and speaking engagements. These pitches are different than a press release. They’re targeted to your local media or industry-specific outlets, the places that are actually going to care that you won an award. Local outlets, in particular, are always keen to showcase their award-winning local author.
If you’re getting some press or media coverage, consider pairing it with a celebratory event like a 99-cent ebook sale on Amazon. It’s also worth making sure your Amazon page is set up to sell your book. Having an award-winning book might be awesome enough to generate some extra sales. Still, having an award-winning book with a special limited-time lower price will definitely entice readers to click that Buy button.
Final Words on Winning a Book Award
Winning an award for the piece you’ve worked so hard for can be one of your career’s greatest highlights. And, if you leverage your win the right way, you can enjoy more from it than you thought you could.
You want your book to be an award-winning potential, right? Well, then you’d definitely want to check out our handy guide on writing a book that not only sells but is something you can be proud of for years to come. Writing a book takes a lot of time and effort. If you want to save tons of hours writing your bestseller, check out our video guide on how you can save 1,418 hours in writing.
To get you further prepped for media attention as an award winner, don’t miss this epic guide for a book launch marketing plan.