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Authors Want Reviews? Use NetGalley For Ultimate Book Marketing

by Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

“Reviews are a third party endorsement of your work. They give the potential buyer assurance the book they may buy is worthwhile.” Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist
“We are still trying to get reviews. It is worse than pulling teeth though. Unfortunately I used up the reviewers I could threaten bodily harm to with my first book!”   Exasperated Author

One of the most difficult things to do is to get people to read and review your book to help get the buzz going. How would you like to get your book into the eager hands of reviewers, bloggers, members of the media, librarians, booksellers, and educators before it was published? Ever wonder how some books have 50 reviews the day of publishing? Want to know the tricks of the trade? One way is through NetGalley and their 450,000 readers.

NetGalley is a service that allows authors and publishers to get reviews of their work before and after it is published. Members get galleys before others, read books digitally, share feedback, and become part of a reading community. There are also built-in benefits beyond the review, including advance promotion (more about that on their website: https://www.netgalley.com/

“What an author will get from NetGalley, but may not always welcome, are reviews that are about as truly independent as can be,” said Tom Barry, author of Saving Jay and When the Siren Calls.  If you can’t handle the truth or someone’s version of the truth don’t do it!
“We work with over 400 publishers, indie authors and small publishers who are incorporating NetGalley into their marketing and publicity activities,” says Kristina Radke of NetGalley. We work in all genres, and the formats we support are ePub (converted to Mobi for Kindle devices and apps) or PDF.”

The reach is often beyond the NetGalley platform. “NetGalley does encourage its reviewers to post outside NetGalley, on places such as a personal blog, Amazon or GoodReads. It does not, however, guarantee or require this to happen,” says C.E. Kilgore, a self-published author of Science Fiction, Space Opera, and Contemporary Romance.

Check out The Science Fiction Writers Association who have a special rate with Net Galley. http://www.sfwa.org/member-links/netgalley-application/

“NetGallians are not only strangers but staunch supporters of good fiction, like Templars defending a holy artifact,” says J.S. Leonard, author of Modern Rituals. “They care only to support excellent writing.”  One thing Leonard discovered with NetGalley are his “superfans,” those individuals who read the book, love the book, and tell everyone they know.

“NetGalley is so huge, your books are getting listed next to some pretty big name titles, and that can sometimes do wonders at getting your book noticed.  It’s a great chance to discover new authors and for authors to be discovered by new readers,” said Melissa Pearl, author of The Elements Trilogy.

“NetGalley is about marketing for authors/publishers, in addition to connecting with readers, and we have to keep in mind the game of trying to reach as many readers as possible,” said Keary Taylor, author of The Eden Trilogy, The Fall of Angels Trilogy, and What I Didn’t Say.

Corrin Foster of Greenleaf Book Group says that their publishing firm uses NetGalley for nearly every title that they publish as a way to reach active and influential reviewers. “The NetGalley community is fair and transparent with their reviews, responsive to collaboration, and an invaluable resource for generating early reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, and social media which carry a lot of weight with general consumers. We value our relationship with NetGalley and their members very highly,” says Foster.

Some authors believe NetGalley is costly, but as a book publicist, I can attest to the fact that the cost of soliciting, shipping and following-up is pretty costly in terms of money and time too.  Author C.E. Kilgore is concerned that the site has little reader/reviewer vetting process.

NetGalley admits this, but they believe that publishers and authors know best the readers who are most useful for them. When a reviewer requests a book, the author or publisher can accept or decline the request after reviewing their profiles. The price for a listing ranges from $399 to $599 for six months with the higher fee including a marketing boost and newsletter placement.

Want to save money? NetGalley works in partnership with the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association). They have a NetGalley program that makes it very easy for small and self-published authors to participate at a discount. Click here for more information: https://www.ibpa-online.org/page/netgalley?&hhsearchterms=%22net+and+galley%22

The Bottom Line: NetGalley is a great way to obtain pre-publish reviews and is yet another resource available to authors and publishers to reach a community of avid 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

47 Book Cover Designers to Create Your Best Selling Cover

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

“A Good Book Cover Can Help Sell a Book- A Bad Cover Can Kill a Book.”  Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

“Your book cover is not a decoration. It’s a smart business investment.” George Foster,  Foster Covers

Being a book publicist and book marketing guy I often weigh in on book cover designs. Sometimes it’s in the nick of time sometimes it’s too late to make a change. Here’s the situation, authors, please – do not underestimate the importance of a book cover’s design.

Not only do potential book buyers judge a book by its cover but so do members of the media. Many reporters receive dozens of books every day! Do you really think they read the book flap and your pitch? Ha!

Here are some important items to consider when making decisions on book cover design:

Use a subhead to create more description. If you have a 10-word title, you have not properly named the book in the first place.

Check with Google on the words that are most searched on your topic. To do this, type in the word that best describes your book in the search box and then see what the next most important or popular words are in that list. That ranking is very relevant marketing- wise so try to use those words in your title or subtitle. Consider using the genre in the subtitle too because that’s what people are searching on.

Visit book stores look at the covers of all types of books. What catches your eye? Look at the book face and look at the spines. Which ones are readable and why?

Will it play on Amazon? Go to Amazon.com, BN.com, Good Reads, Smashwords and search for competitive books in your space. Notice the book covers that catch your eye and the ones that do not. If your cover does not show up well in an Amazon thumbnail then you are going to lose sales.

Contrast. Don’t let your graphic designer get started without keeping contrast in mind. The reason black ink works so well on white paper is because it produces the best contrast possible. Yellow ink on green paper in a small font simply does not work. How does your book look in black and white? Not every publication will be printing it in color.

Font size. Many designers are young with great eyesight. But your buyer may not be able to read the tiny font some designers insist upon using. Be practical.

The spine. Can you read it from five feet away? If not, neither can browsers in a bookstore.

Blurbs. Keep them relevant and short. Consider including a mention on the cover of a foreword written by a famous person or author. “Foreword by Best Selling Author Judith Grisel” or “Foreword by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos” or “Foreword by Singer Ariana Grande.”

Back inside flaps. Do not overlook creating content on the back inside flaps because consumers pick up a book after looking at the spine, front cover and back and then open the book to find the price or more information.

Use a laser printer. Don’t just review your cover on a computer screen which will make it look considerably better. Print it out actual size and make a determination using that printed version.

Pictures are worth 1000 words. Use photos and illustrations to describe what would take too long to explain. When choosing a book design ask yourself how the cover will look on your website home page. Branding is important so you’ll want to use the same design elements on your website that you do on your book cover

Ask for feedback. Show your cover designs to as many people in your target group of potential readers. Get their reactions and opinions. It costs you nothing and you’ll likely find out something you did not realize before.
Here are 47 book cover designers and services to consider for your next cover:

  1. 99 Designs, https://99designs.com/:  99designs.com uses graphic designers from around the world who compete for your business by actually designing the book cover on speculation, ie no charge. I commissioned many covers for authors using 99designs after the author was not happy with the creations from his own designer. I mentioned several design elements such as the title, subtitle, what the book was about etc. Figuring more is better, we got 65 different cover designs in 5 days! The most difficult part was narrowing down the selection to 8 then having friends, family, co-workers vote on their favorites from all corners of the world all online. They also added their comments, insight and logic behind liking or disliking a cover design right under the image of that cover. They voted over several days and the comments were able to be read by our team, also scattered all over North America. The cost was under $700 or so and it was only that high because we put a rush on it and paid extra. This was an excellent process that delivered a NY Times bestseller quality cover that I highly recommend.
  2. Fiverr, http://fiverr.com/: Fiverr gives you many options for just $5. These are fast and obviously cheap but I’ve seen some pretty nice work. Order from 2 or 3 designers at the same time. Hey, it’s only $5 bucks!
  3. Draw Big Design, http://www.jeniferthomasdesign.com/: Draw Big Design produces smart visuals that stand out from the ordinary.
  4. Killer Covers, http://killercovers.com/: Killer Covers offers various packages for your book cover needs including web pages, Facebook pages etc. They are based in Australia and I’ve used them and recommended them several times.
  5. Book Cover Express, http://www.bookcoverexpress.com/: Book Cover Express has a competitive flat rate so you can work with your ideal budget.
  6. Author Support, http://www.authorsupport.com/: The designers at Author Support are a great resource.
  7. Book Creatives, http://www.bookcreatives.com/: Book Creatives offers book cover design and ebook design for authors.
  8. Foster Covers, http://www.fostercovers.com: George Foster of Foster Covers is a book cover designer who has earned more than 300 awards and created covers for 134 bestsellers. His work has appeared on over 1,000 books.
  9. Karrie Ross Graphics,  http://www.bookcoverdesigner.com/: Karrie Ross of Karrie Ross Graphics specializes in book cover design for the self-publishing industry
  10. Damonza, http://damonza.com/: Damonza has over 30 years combined experience in the design and advertising industry
  11. Robin Ludwig Design, http://www.gobookcoverdesign.com/: Robin Ludwig Design  specializes in providing superior book cover design services utilizing professional equipment and software
  12. Andy Carpenter Design, http://acdbookcoverdesign.com/: Andy Carpenter Design is a boutique design firm for self-publishers and small presses.
  13. Self-Publishing Lab, http://www.bookcovercafe.com/: Self-Publishing Lab has been voted the best website for authors, so be sure to check it out
  14. Lulu, http://www.lulu.com/publish/books/: Along with publishing services Lulu provides design quality at a competitive price.
  15. David Airey, http://www.davidairey.com/designing-book-covers/: David Airey is a creative book cover designer
  16. Book Cover Genius, http://bookcovergenius.com/bcg-2/: Book Cover Genius offers a great sales pitch about why you should download their software to design your own book cover. Worth a look.
  17. CreateSpace, https://www.createspace.com/Services/UniqueBookCover.jsp: CreateSpace allows you to work with their professional design team to custom-create an affordable, striking cover that broadcasts your book’s key messages with distinct colors, fonts, and one central image.
  18. BookBaby, http://www.bookbaby.com/services/coverdesign: BookBaby offers a straightforward approach to finding a budget and designing your book cover.
  19. Guru, http://www.guru.com/Find-Freelancers/Cover-Book-Designers/004-RQ3JSR: Guru is a great website to utilize to find freelance book cover designers from around the world. Very cool.
  20. 1106 Design, http://1106design.com/: 1106 Design offers editing, proofreading, cover design, Interior page layout, eBook formatting, Printing and more.
  21. Infinity Publishing, http://www.infinitypublishing.com/book-cover-designs-gallery/book-cover-designs-gallery.html : With Infinity Publishing you have complete control over the cover design and layout of your book.
  22. Abacus Graphics, http://www.abacusgraphics.com/: Abacaus Graphics is an intimate award-winning design studio creating exceptional image building graphic designs for print and the web since 1979.
  23. Albertine Book Design, http://www.dotdesign.net: Albertine Book Design offers complete design and production services for children’s books, tabletop books, cookbooks, textbooks, fiction and non-fiction hard covers and paperbacks.
  24. Book Covers for All, http://bookcoversforall.com/: Book Covers for All features one designer boasting over 18 years of experience with 1000+ books to his credit.
  25. Book Cover Express, http://www.bookcoverexpress.com/ Cathi Stevenson of Book Cover Express has 30 years of publishing experience and more than 1500 book covers to her credit.
  26. Duck of All Trades, http://www.duckofalltrades.com/: Duck of All Trades is a full service design studio offering graphic design, illustration, publication layout and more.
  27. Dunn+Associates, http://www.dunn-design.com: Dunn + Associates creates the success tools that authors need like best-selling book covers and more.
  28. Elaine Gignilliat, http://www.romancebookcoverart.com/: Elaine Gignilliat is one of the foremost romance book cover artists. She has painted covers for over 350 romance books representing more than 150 authors
  29. Extended Imagery, http://extendedimagery.com/predesignedcovers.html: Carl Graves is a professional book cover designer who has a fire sale on book covers with more than 2,000 book covers on hand. These are really amazing must see covers.
  30. Illumination Graphics, http://www.illuminationgraphics.com/: Illumination Graphics provides affordable and dynamic design for books, both book cover designs and book interior layouts.
  31. BookWise Design, http://lightbourne.com/: BookWise Design has designed over 1200 book covers and strives to provide the most experienced and helpful book production services.
  32. ExpertSubjects, http://www.expertsubjects.com/covers: Expert Subjects has several cover artists and you can choose to create a fully customized book cover depending on your budget constraints. They also provide an array of services including typesetting, editing, critique and undertake publishing & distribution too.
  33. Canva, https://www.canva.com/create/book-covers/: Canva’s book cover maker makes book covers amazingly simple to design – even for non-designers. I’ve used them for memes too.
  34. The Cover Collection, http://www.thecovercollection.com/: Here’s a way to get a high quality book cover for a great price using premade book cover designs. Authors receive multiple drafts to choose from and a choice of font options. I’ve checked out their covers and they are top notch.
  35. TS95 Studios, https://www.ts95studios.com/subpages/MyServices.html: Hampton Lamoureux of TS95 Studios is a Daily Deviation award-winning artist on DeviantArt.com. He designs e-book and full-jacket covers, crafting elaborate realistic scenes from stock photos for fantasy, horror, mystery, and sci-fi novels.
  36. JD Smith Design, http://www.jdsmith-design.com/: JD Smith is an award-winning book cover designer who has worked in the graphic design industry since she was 17. She designs book publishers for traditional publishers and independent authors.
  37. Jessica Bell Design, https://www.jessicabelldesign.com/: Jessica Bell is dedicated to creating one-of-a-kind book cover designs that fit any author’s budget. She began designing covers as favors for her author friends and has turned her hobby into a successful business.
  38. Mars Dorian, http://www.marsdorian.com/: Mars Dorian is a digital illustrator and storyteller who specializes in creating e-book covers that stand out for affordable prices.
  39. Alexandra Brandt, http://www.alexandrajbrandt.com/:  Alexandra Brandt’s print and e-book covers focus on sci-fi and fantasy works.
  40. Kingwood Creations, https://www.kingwoodcreations.com/: Find stunning premade book covers at Kingwood Creations. You can select your favorite design from over 100 premade covers.
  41. MiblArt, https://miblart.com/: MiblArt is a design company that specializes in book covers. If you choose them for your book cover design, you can expect the first concept to be delivered in 3 days and an unlimited number of revisions.
  42. Jeff Brown Graphics, http://jeffbrowngraphics.com/: Beautiful sci-fi and fantasy book cover designs can be found at Jeff Brown Graphics. Jeff has collaborated with over 90 authors on more than 250 covers.
  43. Historical Fiction Book Covers, http://www.historicalfictionbookcovers.com: For a historical fiction book cover design, consider Historical Fiction Book Covers by Jenny Quinlan.
  44. Dissect Design, https://www.dissectdesigns.com/: Dissect Design was created for indie book authors who are in search stunning book covers that don’t break the bank. https://www.dissectdesigns.com/
  45. Laura Duffy Design, https://www.lauraduffydesign.com/: Laura Duffy of Laura Duffy Design is a former art director who takes great pride in creating professional book designs.
  46. The Frontispiece, http://www.thefrontispiece.com/: Known as an award-winning design studio, The Frontispiece offers book design services. They believe that great books deserve thoughtful consideration, inside and out.
  47. More Visual, https://thebookcoverdesigners.com/: Dave Kessler of More Visual is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and specializes in unique and professional book design services.
  48. David Moratto, http://www.davidmoratto.com/  With more than 225 covers to date David Moratto brings his unique graphic design expertise to each cover project. The book’s interior design and cover is designed to the demographic profile of  the reader.

You can and should spend a few hours going through all of these websites. You’ll be glad you did. I know I was enlightened myself in creating this list of book cover designers.

The Bottom Line: Get involved early in the entire book publishing design process and get at least several creative concepts for the front cover, back cover, and spine. Don’t let it be the ‘last thing’ you do.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and book 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

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