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45 Top Book Awards for Authors in 2019

I followed Scott’s advice. It worked! To my complete surprise, Beautiful Evil Winter earned a bouquet of book awards, including a highly coveted Eric Hoffer Award and a Readers’ Favorite award.

Enter Book Award Contests and Become an Award Winning Author in 2019!

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”  YES!!

As a book publicist, I can assure you they absolutely do matter! One client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction novel.  Another one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.

You win awards you sell more products.  Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon

Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference

Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference (Photo news.techniblogic.com

Not long ago, a business book client won a major award which caused CNN to reach out to request the book.
Most recently a major childrens’ TV show contacted me and asked to review a book after they received my press release about the ‘honorable mention’ my client’s children’s book received.

I could go on and on with examples of how pursuing and winning book awards will give you opportunities to reach out to the media, booksellers, and agents. As a book publicist, I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an ‘award-winning’ book.

Awards also create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities.  A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a bookstore.  A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award-winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course, it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.
Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.
Here’s a list of my Top 45 book awards worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing.

  1. Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards http://www.bookcritics.org/calendar/events/paul-beatty-and-joan-silber-with-introductions-by-jane-ciabattari-and-moder
  2. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/awards/
  3. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world’s most important literary award. Entry Forms are due in March and Finished Books are due in June. http://themanbookerprize.com/fiction
  4. Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/
  5. Strive to be nominated and win the Nobel Prize in literature. Who can nominate? Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges to name a few. (Another reason it pays to keep the ties to your alma mater!) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/nomination
  6. See how to submit your book for The Edgar Allan Poe Award, “The Edgar.” http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=Edgars-Info
  7. The Pulitzer Prize will reopen for new entries in December 2019. http://www.pulitzer.org/how_to_enter
  8. FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. http://www.ft.com/intl/management/business-book-award
  9. The National Book Award by the National Book Foundation. Learn how to submit your book here http://www.nationalbook.org/nbaentry.html
  10. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important e-book only award. http://globalebookawards.com/
  11. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is late June. Check it out here https://www.autumnhouse.org/submissions/
  12. Poets & Writers has nice list of writing contest, grants and awards. Check it out at: http://www.pw.org/grants
  13. Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Click for more details http://www.pen-ne.org/hemingway-foundationpen-award/
  14. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award http://www.bookweb.org/indiebound/nextlist/view
  15. Get your book recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_publishers/discover_program/discover_program.html
  16. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/
  17. Here’s a service where you can enter several book festivals at the same time for about $50 per festival. This is absolutely the best idea. I’ve used this several times. One entry form, one payment, two books, ten plus book awards spread out over a year. Just do it. http://bookfestivals.com/multiple-entry-form/
  18. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors. Deadline is March 2019. http://www.indieexcellence.com
  19. Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories. http://www.axiomawards.com/66/how-to-enter
  20. The non-profit Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Awards are now in their third decade of awarding excellence in book publishing in 55 categories. All entrants receive direct judge feedback–unique in the industry. http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/
  21. USA Best Book Awards has a ten-year plus track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by American Book Fest, which focuses on mainstream, independent, and self-published books. http://www.americanbookfest.com/2019bestbookawards.html
  22. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers. http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/
  23. Amazon Kindle Scout. Submit your new, never-before-published, English-language book of 50,000 words or more to Kindle Scout and be considered for a publishing contract with Kindle Press in 45 days or less. https://kindlescout.amazon.com/help?topicId=AP72QR5GUKEQS
  24. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each. Early Bird deadline is April 1, 2019. http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished
  25. Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors. https://readersfavorite.com/book-reviews.htm
  26. Romance Writer of America promotes the interests of career-focused romance writers by sponsoring awards that acknowledge excellence in the romance genre. RWA sponsors: “The RITA” for published romance fiction novels and “The Golden Heart” for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts. https://www.rwa.org/Online/Awards/Online/Awards/Awards.aspx?hkey=36720e5f-ac35-40e6-8311-22d3816567ad
  27. Epic eBook Awards by The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC) annually recognizes the best ebooks in many categories. (Books may also have been be released in print editions.) The awards were previously known as the “Eppies” http://www.epicorg.com
  28. Rubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self-published books. “The key to our success is having a keen eye for quality from distinguished and reputable judges.” First prize is $1,500 and the winning book will be read by a top literary agent. http://www.ruberybookaward.com/
  29. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,500 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author. http://www.hofferaward.com/
  30. Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a list in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation. http://www.indiebookawards.com/awards.php
  31. The International Book Awards (IBA) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. Winners get an extensive public relations campaign, social media promotion and more. http://www.internationalbookawards.com/
  32. The Literary Classics Book Awards and Reviews were created to help authors gain recognition for their work and to help parents find the best in literature for children and young adults. http://www.clcawards.org
  33. The Scotiabank Giller Prize. A $100,000 grand prize and $10K (CDN) to each of the finalists. To be eligible, a book must be a first-edition, full-length novel or short story collection, written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The publisher must enter. Sorry, no self-published books. http://www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/
  34. The Digital Book Awards celebrate quality and innovation in digital content. Each year, award winners and finalists in fifteen categories illustrate the cutting edge of digital publishing, showcasing creative approaches to design, technology integration and e-reading experiences. http://digitalbookworldconference.com
  35. The Feathered Quill Book Awards accept submissions from all size publishers and work very hard to honor and publicize the winners (there’s a link to a testimonial page on the awards page – read what past winners have to say). https://featheredquill.com/feathered-quill-book-awards/
  36. Shelf Unbound Magazine’s Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition honors more than 100 indie/self-published books. In addition to $1,500 in cash prizes, they’ll feature the winner, five finalists, and more than 100 “notable” books in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound. Any independently published book in any genre in any publication year is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $100 per book. The competition also includes the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book, open to fiction and non-fiction sports-related books. http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html
  37. Chanticleer International Book Awards — Grand prize winner receives $1,000 cash plus other awards. More than $30,000 cash and prizes awarded each year. 15 genres including the CYGNUS for SciFiction, M&M for Mystery & Mayhem, Somerset for Literary, etc.  http://www.ChanticleerReviews.com  Several of our winners have received major publishing deals (6 figures) and two have had their works optioned for film.
  38. The Royal Dragonfly (all genres) and Purple Dragonfly (children’s books) Book Awards are prestigious national book contests recognizing exceptional authors for excellence in writing and a Story Monsters Approved! (children’s books) book must inspire, inform, teach or entertain, and adhere to rigorous standards of excellence. https://www.dragonflybookawards.com
  39. The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/prize
  40. The Independent Author Network IAN Book of the Year Awards, an international contest open to all authors with 35 fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners are eligible to receive a share of cash prizes exceeding $6,000 USD. An Outstanding Book (category winner) will be awarded in each category with recognition of Finalists. Six outstanding titles will be named the Books of the Year. Winning books will be shared at the IAN Facebook page with over 120,000 fans and 575,000 followers at twitter. http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/book-of-the-year.html
  41. The Chautauqua Prize for authors is $7,500 plus travel and expense for a short summer residency. Full-length books of fiction and narrative/literary nonfiction are eligible. Self-published books are not eligible. In general, cookbooks, self-help books (including inspirational literature), reference books, picture books, graphic novels, or children’s books are not eligible. http://chq.org/general-information
  42. Mom’s Choice Awards® is recognized in over 55 countries around the world for setting the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. If you have a children’s book or family-friendly book then this is a terrific award to pursue. https://www.momschoiceawards.com
  43. Book Excellence Awards – With over $30,000 in grand prizes in media and        marketing services, the Book Excellence Awards has helped honorees increase their book sales, garner attention from film producers, receive distribution in book stores and increased their visibility and media attention. https://www.bookexcellenceawards.com
  44. Established in 2013, the Beverly Hills Book Awards® competition is judged by experts from all aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book designers and professional copywriters. Contest winners and finalists are determined based on “overall excellence of presentation – a synergy of form and content” over a wide range of genres. They accept fiction and non-fiction books in a wide range of topics and categories including mystery, romance, business, self-help, memoirs, inspiration, and many more.  http://www.beverlyhillsbookawards.com/
  45. Lucy McCarraher is on a mission to get more women to write and publish their business books. Check out the Business Book Awards (deadline 31st December 2019) Aspiring women authors can find out more at: http://www.abookofonesown.co.uk/challenge.

Author Kelly K. Lavender read this very article about the value of book awards and said this. “I followed Scott’s advice. It worked! To my complete surprise, Beautiful Evil Winter earned a bouquet of book awards, including a highly coveted Eric Hoffer Award and a Readers’ Favorite award. For those that don’t know, the high-profile Readers’ Favorite competition attracts celebrities and New York Times Best-Selling authors. Thanks, Scott for penning that piece! What a game-changer!”

The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few and become an “award-winning author.” As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!”  Get to it and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.
 
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at http://www.The-Book-Publicist.com

 

 Book Marketing Video Westwind
http://youtu.be/bTsTCKjLxc8

Jewish Book Festivals for Jewish Authors and Topics of Jewish Interest for 2019

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

If you are a Jewish author or specialize in writing about Jewish issues, you should consider visiting some of these book festivals in the Jewish community.

Jewish Book Festivals

Authors, reach out to the Jewish community and attend a Jewish book fair or festival this year.

As a book marketing specialist, I am the first to impress on authors the powerful marketing avenues open to all authors on the Internet – from websites and book trailers to social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. While these are excellent tools when used properly, authors should take every opportunity to meet the reading public face-to-face. Book festivals are a terrific way to do just that.

Columbus JCC’s Jewish Bookfair and Author Series will host events on March 5, 6, and 28, 2019. These events will discuss Jewish-related books such as “Sadness is a White Bird,” “The Ruined House,” and “Why Judaism Matters.”

London International Literacy Festival’s Jewish Book Week will occur March 2-10, 2019 in London. It will feature Jewish writers and themes and a number of interesting discussions.

Alper JCC’s Berrin Family Jewish Book Festival will host events until March 13, 2019 in Miami, FL. There will be various author presentations as well as an event for women that focuses on the book “Husbands and Other Sharp Objects” by Marcy Hammer.

Weinstein JCC’s Fife-Davis Family Jewish Book Fair and Gift Shop will take place March 14, 2019 in Richmond, VA. Its purpose is to spark discussion and thought related to Jewish history, issues, literature, and poetry.

Dallas Aaron Family JCC’s BookFest will be host to a number of events until April 3, 2019 in Dallas, TX. Its mission is to celebrate Jewish authors and help attendees discover what inspires them.

Gordon JCC’s Nashville Jewish Book Series will take place until April 4, 2019 in Nashville, TN. It features books that revolve around Jewish themes and topics as well as books that are written from a Jewish perspective.

Greater Naples Jewish Book Festival by the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples will host various events until April 8, 2019 in Naples, FL. There will be presentations from a number of Jewish authors as well as educational and social programs.

The JCCs of West Bloomfield and Oak Park’s Detroit Jewish Book Fair will take place in October 2019 in West Bloomfield, MI. It’s an eight day event that features Jewish related books on serious topics as well as those that revolve around a few humorous ones. Authors will end their presentations with Q&A sessions.

St. Louis Jewish Book Festival will be held November 3-17, 2019 in St. Louis. It will feature premier speakers as well as books related to cooking, business, economics, family, fiction, history, music, sports, religion, and more.

Kaiserman JCC’s Jewish Book Festival will occur November 11-December 5, 2019 in Wynnewood,, PA. There will be a book fair and a variety of events for adults and children.

Book fairs typically seek out guest speakers. By volunteering to speak at a Jewish book fair, you will pique the interest of new readers and potentially gain a few new fans. Additionally, you can add the speaking appearance to your resume. Be sure to plan ahead because book fairs, speaking engagements and readings are all planned months in advance. For a complete list of book fairs and festivals visit https://book-publicist.com/

The bottom line: Reach out to the Jewish community and attend a book fair! You will be happy you did.

About Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Hollywood Movie Producers Offer Tips to Authors

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

“Having an agent skilled in negotiations, rights, and contracts would clearly be beneficial, but even more important is having an agent who believes in you as a writer.”         Peter Miller, producer of  Helter Skelter, Citizen Jane, Kill the Irishman, The Mona Lisa Myth, and Goodbye Miss 4th of July

Find out what movie producers have to say about turning your next book into a cinema worthy masterpiece.

Many writers dream of writing a book that turns into a movie. If your goal is to turn a novel or memoir into a silver screen success, be prepared for some hard work. After all, movie producers are selective and only the right stories make their way to the big screen. The reality is that very few books even get considered for movies. Fortunately, however, turning your book into a movie is not impossible.

To help you understand just what it takes to get your book noticed and turned into a movie, it only makes sense to share some advice from movie producers. Let’s take a closer look at what reputable movie producers have to say to authors who are on a mission to write books that make it to Hollywood.

“The older I get, the more I look at movies as a moving miracle. Audiences are harder to please if you’re just giving them special effects…but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story.” – Steven Spielberg, academy award winning producer of movies such as E.T., Jaws, The Color Purple, and Schindler’s List.

 Spielberg’s quote illustrates just how important it is for you to ensure you have a good story. An average story cannot get spruced up with some special effects and make it to the big screen. Books with high concepts are typically the ones that turn into movies. These books feature striking ideas that can be easily communicated.

“I think the biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to sell an idea is keeping it too narrow,” Sullivan said. “It speaks to such a small demographic that there’s no way that it can be financially successful. Creatives become so attached to their ideas that they’re afraid to make it bigger, because they think it waters it down. But it doesn’t. It actually gives you a better chance for a sale. The broader and more commercial your idea, the bigger audience you can speak to, the better.” -Jamie Primak Sullivan, executive producer for a brand new movie called Breaking In.

Sullivan explains that while working on a horror movie called Fear Followers, she realized that pitching a U.S. movie that captured Americans’ fear obsession could be successful. However, Sullivan knew that incorporating the way the characters use technology could make the movie more appealing to the global market and increase its chances of selling.

The moral of the story is that when you’re writing a book that you hope to be movie ready, search for ways to make your idea resonate with a large demographic. If your book could only capture the attention of a select group of people, it won’t make it to the big screen.

“Selling a great idea to Hollywood most often starts with effective feedback from a person who understands what top decision makers are looking for.” -Regina Romain, producer of Troy the Train of Car City, Judge Alex, and Cristina’s Court

Romain knows what it’s like to be a writer with the hopes of selling a book to Hollywood. She states that most writers want to hear “That’s nice, honey. Your story could be a Hollywood movie one day.” The truth is that this type of feedback does not show you how you can improve or sell your story. If possible, you should work with an agent with ties to the movie industry who can provide you with effective feedback.

“Human stories have always moved me. I like movies about people who are outliers, who are not in the mainstream for one reason or another, even if they are famous. It’s not something I’m actually seeking, it’s just a trend I’ve noticed over the years, about myself as a producer.” -Jonathan Sanger, producer and director, known for The Elephant Man, Chapter and Verse, Flight of the Navigator, and Vanilla Sky.

Sanger is one of my clients so I know that he is specifically interested in people and what makes them unique. When writing a story for Hollywood, remember this: Ensure there are characters that can evoke emotions in your audience because they’ve overcome adversity, opened up about a serious illness, or saved someone’s life. Focus on your characters and things like their incredible achievements or heroic acts.

In Sanger’s film, Marshall, Chadwick Boseman plays Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. The film focuses on State of Connecticut vs. Joseph, one of the first cases of Marshall’s career that involves a chauffeur being accused of rape by his white employer. It showcases how Marshall overcame the daily challenges of working in the Supreme Court and inspired others.

Check out Sanger’s book, Making the Elephant Man: A Producer’s Memoir which offers an insider’s look at the creation of one of the first ever indie films. It can provide you with some valuable insight into what it takes to turn your book into a movie. View the trailer here.

“Having an agent skilled in negotiations, rights, and contracts would clearly be beneficial, but even more important is having an agent who believes in you as a writer.” Peter Miller, producer of Helter Skelter, Citizen Jane, Kill the Irishman, The Mona Lisa Myth, and Goodbye Miss 4th of July

In Miller’s book, “Get Published! Get Produced! A Literary Agent’s Tips on How to Sell Your Writing,” he focuses on why it’s crucial to work with an agent. Miller explains that if you find an agent to represent you, you should ask yourself whether the individual only seems interested in your specific project or whether they’ll work with you to develop your career. He states that success in this field is very difficult but those who make it, make it big. Check out Millers most recent book Author! Screenwriter!

“Find something you enjoy and do it. The money will somehow take care of itself.”-Alan Trustman, writer, lawyer, and producer who is best known his books-to-movies, The Thomas Crown Affair and BULLITT staring Steve McQueen.

In an interview, Trustman, another one of my clients, discussed the importance of passion for writers. You have to really want to turn your book into a movie and pour your heart and soul into your story and efforts to get it noticed.

Here are some resources that may help you take your book to Hollywood:

1. How to Turn a Book Into a Movie, Script Magazine

https://www.scriptmag.com/how-to-turn-a-book-into-a-movie

2. The Power Of Theme: Turning Books Into Movies, Writer’s Digest

https://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/craft-technique/the-power-of-theme-turning-books-into-movies

3. Books Turned Into Movies, Newsday

https://www.newsday.com/entertainment/books/books-turned-into-movies-1.3596896

The Bottom Line: Writing a book that’s worthy of Hollywood’s attention takes a great deal of time, effort, and dedication. Don’t give up as you may just be the author of the next popular flick.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Top Writers’ Conferences for 2019 by Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

“Most authors love to share the latest tips and techniques about writing and publishing and there’s no better place to meet authors than at writers’ conferences.” Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

Want to meet authors and exchange ideas, tips and techniques? Then sign up for a writer's conference today.

Want to meet authors and exchange ideas, tips and techniques? Then sign up for a writer’s conference today.

If you are a serious writer with high aspirations, then you’ll want to go to a writers’ conference. A writers’ conference is a think tank for authors to build on each other’s ideas and inspire new achievements in their own work. For the cost of lodging and registration, the payoff for attending a writers’ conference could be tremendous.

Attending a writers’ conference gives you a chance to pitch your book, learn about the various publishing options and meet book editors, agents and book marketing specialists. If your book is six months or a year from being finished, you can talk to people with valuable input on shaping your book. At a writers’ conference, you’ll get all sorts of advice to help you wrap up your project when you return home.

Of course, you will want to prepare for any writers’ conference you attend by having a plan of what you want to find out and what you will do while there. I suggest you develop an ‘elevator pitch’ about your book that you can deliver in 30 seconds. Have a one-pager available with your book cover, author headshot, short 50-word synopsis, short bio, website URL, Twitter handle and your contact information. You never know who you’ll meet so be prepared for that moment!

Here are some upcoming writers’ conferences in 2019 for your consideration

Select a writers’ conference of interest to you and be prepared to enjoy the benefits of meeting other writers. You may acquire knowledge you can use immediately, find a new market for your book, elevate your professional effectiveness, meet editors, agents and publishers, become inspired and return home energized.
 
The Bottom Line: Make a commitment to attend at least one writers’ conference in the coming months. You’ll be glad you did!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications Book Marketing, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  and check out great articles for authors about book marketing at Book-Publicist.com or contact Scott Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

How to Get More Book Reviews

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

As a book publicist I’ve read a few thousand book reviews and have written a few dozen myself.  I have a pretty good idea about how to write a book review that is helpful to potential readers and buyers of a book. Authors have a difficult time getting people to write a review because their fan base of readers don’t have time or most likely don’t know how to write a review. So, here it is. Hand this to anybody who says, ‘I just don’t know how to write a review.’

Before you pick up a pen, ask yourself these questions:

  • How did the story affect you?
  • Did it make you laugh, cry?
  • Did it affect the way you think about family, spouse, or life in general?
  • Would you recommend it to others?
  • Would you by it as a gift for events such as graduations, birthdays, etc?

 
Here’s What Makes A Good Book Review

  1. In general, you are trying to help someone determine if they should buy the book. “It needs to give a clear reason for someone to want to read or avoid the book in question. Narrowing the potential audience is also helpful,” says Ross Rojek, editor and publisher of the San Francisco Book Review.
  2. Talk about your impression of the book. “For fiction reviews, brief plot summaries. You don’t need details about every character and every event. For non-fiction, say what the book’s premise is and whether it fulfills that,” says Debra Englander, former acquisitions editor for Wiley Books.
  3. Include qualifications or relevant background about the author. “Include information about author – reputation, qualifications, etc, — anything relevant to the book and the author’s authority,” says Bill Asenjo, award-winning freelance writer. For example, a lawyer should be able to write a good courtroom thriller, but not a book on sewing.
  4. Provide a short example from the book. “One good phrase or sentence that encapsulates the book is easy to promote,” Rojek explains. “Be mindful not to give away the ending!”
  5. Who should buy this book? “Do compare similar products,” Amazon’s tips on writing reviews states. For example, “If you liked Harry Potter you’ll love this book” or, “If you are into current news events, this book is for you! It’s perfect for middle school children and older.”
  6. Talk about what kind of reader this book is for. “Summarize some of your thoughts on the book by suggesting the type of reader you’d recommend the book to,” children’s author Luisa Plaja told BookTrust. If this is a great gift book for the recent college graduate or pregnant Moms then say so!
  7. Did the book live up to expectations? Does it deliver on the title? If the book title is “How to Build a House?” Does it in fact tell you how to do it? “Describe what the book does well and what it does poorly (and why), but it should also explain who would value the book,” said Dr. Eric Russell, book reviewer and English Language and Literature professor.
  8. Be sure to create a snappy title for your review. Perhaps one with a key word that would help someone find your review about the book. Using the house theme again:  “If You Want to Build A House, THIS Book with Tell You How!”
  9. Add the stars on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being great. “A five-star review should be for a book that has everything: good writing, good-editing, and a story that makes you want to read it again and tell your friends about,” Neal Wooten, author and managing editor of Mirror Publishing, advises in his article on HuffPost.

 
What Not To Do:

  1. “Be honest, but not overly critical,” Englander warns, “If a reviewer is especially nasty, readers wonder if he/she had a personal agenda.”
  2. Don’t lose focus on what you’re reviewing. “Review the book you read – not the book you wish the author had written,” Asenjo cautions.
  3. Don’t describe your seller or shipping experience,” Amazon urges. Don’t comment on the fact it arrived late or the book was damaged. The author has no control over that and nobody cares.
  4. Don’t review books by your friends or enemies,” suggests Rebecca Skloot, a previous vice president of National Book Critics Circle. Doing this doesn’t provide you any real practice on writing a review and doesn’t help anyone. Keep your intentions as a reviewer in check.
  5. Don’t use a book review as an excuse to show off your writerly voice,” recommends Ann Finkbeiner of The Open Notebook, board of directors and regular reviewer for The New York Times Book Review and The Wall Street Journal. A review’s purpose is to evaluate a piece of text and create discussion with other readers. If you want to showcase your writing ability, start a blog.

Bottom line: Authors, want reviews? Ask your readers to write one! Readers, don’t know how to review? Follow the guidelines above to ensure the creation of a helpful review for future readers!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist