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Book Publicist Scott Lorenz offers Authors Book Marketing Tips and Techniques on his Blog “The Book Publicist”

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33 Top Book Awards for Authors in 2020

List of Book Awards by Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book Publicist Scott Lorenz has compiled a list of Top Book Awards authors can enter.

ENTER BOOK AWARD CONTESTS AND BECOME AN AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR in 2020! 

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. 

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.

Recently a business book client won a major award which caused CNN to reach out to request the book. 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 33 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. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/awards/

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. The Pulitzer Prize will reopen for new entries in May 2020: https://bdmentrysite.pulitzer.org/

 

  1. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important e-book only award. http://globalebookawards.com

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. Poets & Writers has a nice list of writing contests, grants and awards. Check it out at: http://www.pw.org/grants

 

  1. Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Click for more details http://www.pen-ne.org/hemingway-foundationpen-award/

 

  1. 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

 

  1. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/

 

  1. 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.  http://www.indieexcellence.com

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. 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/2020bestbookawards.html

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. 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.  http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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/

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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 their winners have received major publishing deals (6 figures) and two have had their works optioned for film.

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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 increase their visibility and media attention. https://www.bookexcellenceawards.com

 

If You Don’t Have Time to Do All This... A great option for authors to maximize their success in the world of book awards is an automation service called Book Award Pro https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro Their smart matching technology pinpoints the best award opportunities for your book and delivers actionable results. This service automates it all for you: researching thousands of awards, continuously targeting your perfect matches, and professionally submitting your book for awards. Book Award Pro creates a windfall of fresh promotional opportunities for your book – every single month. Check them out at https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro 

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

How Authors Can Get Speaking Gigs in a COVID-19 World

Want to become a sought-after speaker? Then get cracking on this list and tell the world what you talk about and line up some speaking gigs. DO IT TODAY.

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

In this COVID-19 world, speaking gigs have been canceled by the thousands. But, some speakers are pivoting and getting booked in Virtual Conferences online. Being a book publicist, I am often asked to help authors get speaking gigs. But, it’s a specialty in itself and outside our wheelhouse. Authors can make a lot of money speaking, more so sometimes than selling books, but generally, it’s the book that creates the demand so there is a symbiotic relationship. Some of my clients earn anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 per speech routinely. It’s getting on the circuit that’s difficult.

I’ve compiled a list of people and companies in this business that authors can engage with, who represent potential speakers. For many of these entities, their client is the company or organization looking for a speaker and not you.  They want a good fit and someone who’ll deliver a terrific speech. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You can’t score unless you shoot!”

Here’s the list:

Learn how Authors can get Speaking Gigs

Get Speaking Gigs to Promote your book and your business.

All American Speakers https://www.allamericanspeakers.com/category/Authors
All American Speakers assists meeting professionals, event producers, corporate groups, universities, nonprofits and

associations in booking speakers and entertainment. The database “houses booking information on everyone on the speaker circuit, regardless of their agency/bureau affiliation.”

Endless Speaker Leads http://www.EndlessSpeakerLeads.com
Jess Todtfeld author of Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course, has curated some of the biggest resources for speakers in one place.  Using online videos, Todtfeld explains how to find conferences and the contacts who are the decision-makers. Todtfeld suggests authors and experts add speaking as a profit center to help drive more book sales and drive more business.  Says Todtfeld, “If you can get more leads, you can make more connections and get more offers to have you as a speaker.” Watch an interview Jess conducted with Christa Haberstock of the SeeAgency about getting a speaker’s agent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO_V5vUpI4Y&feature=youtu.be 

American Program Bureau http://www.apbspeakers.com/literature-speakers
American Program Bureau books renowned literature speakers, including best-selling authors, historians and poets. The website has easy-to-browse categories and sub-topics to easily find speakers for any conference. I used this firm back when I was in college at UNLV to book speakers for the University. A great company with an incredible roster and reach.

Charli Jane Speaker Club   https://charlijanespeakers.lpages.co/cj-members/
Charli Jane actively seeks speaking opportunities and lists them on their members-only website. Charli Jane’s service is different from a speaker bureaus in that YOU reach out to the people looking for a speaker. They charge a nominal monthly fee but they also do the heavy lifting by compiling a list of 200+ speaking opportunities a month. Then you reach out to the best prospects. If it’s a good fit you get booked.

Christian Speakers Services http://www.christianspeakersservices.com/about.html
The organization serves event planners and ministry leaders. Everyone on the speaker’s roster has been vetted. You must complete an application to be represented by the organization.

ExpertClick  http://www.ExpertClick.com  Many speakers and authors turn to Expert Click to send news releases and to expand their online platform. Their proprietary news release distribution service pushes out ten ways including via Google News. Authors can get found based on 30+ key words that meeting planners are searching for. They pull the author’s blog on an RSS feed and syndicate them into the press rooms, thereby getting more exposure, distribution of content and ‘Google Juice. According to CEO Mitch Davis, “We have 150+ speakers and authors who use us including Patricia Fripp, Alan Weiss and Jeffrey Gitomer.  We were featured in Tim Ferris’s book Four Hour Work Week, and PRWeek called us ‘a dating service of PR,’ The New York Times called us ‘dial-an-expert.’ I use it and recommend it. When you join at this discount link you can save $100: www.ExpertClick.com/Discount/Scott_Lorenz

Espeakers   https://www.eSpeakers.com/
The eSpeakers Marketplace brings the world’s greatest speakers together in one place and makes it easy for buyers to filter by topic, price range, and availability. Their platform takes the hassle out of booking and scheduling for both meeting planners and speakers.  They offer a cloud-based, multiuser calendar suite; (they’re sort of like the Airbnb for speakers). They also connect speakers to over 50+ speaker directories saving hours of tedious administrative duties. It’s no wonder they are the preferred choice for many top speakers.

GigSalad https://www.gigsalad.com/
A service that books entertainment and speakers for parties, productions and events of all kinds. This platform books10,000+ performers and presenters across the U.S. and Canada. The website’s search tool allows potential clients to view authors, categorized by genre and location.

HarperCollins Speakers Bureau http://www.harpercollinsspeakersbureau.com/
The HarperCollins Speakers Bureau is only accessible to authors published by HarperCollins, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. It works with corporations, universities, schools, associations, libraries, clubs, hospitals, foundations, and other professional groups and societies in the U.S. and around the world.

Harry Walker Agency http://www.harrywalker.com/
The Harry Walker Agency works with thousands of meeting planners in need of speakers. The agency belongs to the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) and has largest breadth and highest caliber of speakers in the world.

International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) http://www.iasbweb.org/
IASB is the only trade association that exclusively represents speakers bureaus and agencies. Meeting professionals that request assistance in locating a speaker are referred to the Bureau Directory on the IASB website. IASB encourages meeting professionals to seek out member bureaus when searching for speakers.

Lyceum Agency http://www.lyceumagency.com/  
The Lyceum Agency represents authors and academics for speeches, lectures and readings on a variety on subjects. Access to an impressive list of speakers is available on the website.

Nancy Vogl Speakers Bureau http://www.nancyvoglspeakers.com/
A “boutique bureau” that books professional speakers in leadership, diversity and sales, futurists, health and wellness professionals and those sending a message of hope and inspiration. It’s located in Traverse City, Michigan.

National Speakers Association (NSA) http://www.nsaspeaker.org/
NSA has a network of 3,400+ speakers and has the tools, techniques and professional connections to help you share your message effectively. Whether you speak at their annual conference, chapter meetings or other events, NSA is eager to help you grow your business.

National Speakers Bureau http://www.NationalSpeakers.com National Speakers Bureau has achieved over 40 years of success! Clients are primarily corporations and business associations. Speakers are searchable on their website according to topic and fee. **Only a small fraction of received speaker inquiries result in a correct fit.

Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) http://www.pcma.org/
Professional Convention Management Association calls itself “the definitive authority in education, business networking and community engagement for leaders in the global meetings, convention and business events industry.” PCMA has more than 6,500 members and 50,000 customers.

redBrick Agency http://redbrickagency.com/applause/
The redBrick Agency works with corporations, conventions, arts and lecture venues, libraries, performing arts centers, schools, colleges and universities. The agency represents authors and all kinds of speakers.

Speakers’ Spotlight http://www.speakers.ca/
Speakers’ Spotlight has arranged more than 20,000 speaking engagements in over 30 countries. The agency finds speakers for leading corporations, associations, government agencies, colleges and universities, school boards, health care organizations and charities.

Steven Barclay Agency http://www.barclayagency.com/
The Steven Barclay Agency serves colleges, universities, schools, performing arts centers, corporations, associations, and for private events.

TED https://www.ted.com/
Collectively, TED speakers have won every major prize awarded for excellence, including the Nobel, Pritzker, Pulitzer, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony and MacArthur “genius” grant. TED also seeks out emerging artists, scientists and thinkers, introducing them to the TED community.

To speak at TED: https://www.ted.com/about/conferences/speaking-at-ted

TEDx https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/tedx-program
A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and videos previously recorded at TED conferences are shared with the community. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

The GUILD Agency http://www.theguildagency.com/
A full-service international Speakers Bureau, Literary Agency, Social Impact Consultancy, and Smart-Content Media Firm. The organization has assisted with thousands of events and works with many speakers not listed on their website.

The Tuesday Agency http://tuesdayagency.com/about
The Tuesday Agency is a full-service lecture agency representing elite authors, journalists, historians, artists and scholars. Based in Iowa City, “The Tuesday Agency is dedicated to the literary arts and to thoughtful dialogue.”

Thumbtack https://www.thumbtack.com/
This platform’s motto is “From house painting to personal training, we bring you the right pros for every project on your list.” Although presentations are more obscure than other professional services offered, this platform does book motivational speakers. Special attention: Lifestyle coaches and authors sending a positive message.

“If authors want to get speaking gigs they need to figure out where the leads are and have an easy system for following up on them,” says Jess Todtfeld, creator of  EndlessSpeakerLeads.com, a guide to finding and connecting with events and those who book them.

SPEAKERHUB  https://speakerhub.com/
Believes in the power of live presentations and personal connections, which is why they created SpeakerHub. They are not a speaker agency but the fastest-growing community of professional, independent, or amateur public speakers and trainers who’d like to be found by companies, event organizers and schools. They welcome anyone with expertise in any field who is open to speaking at conferences, events or schools as a paid or pro bono presenter.

The Bottom Line:  Want to become a sought-after speaker? Then get cracking on this list and tell the world what you talk about and line up some speaking gigs. DO IT TODAY.

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 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Authors – Want to Create a Pen Name? Here’s How to Do It

Having a difficult time selecting a pen name? Try these random name generators. You may get some inspiration from some of these and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

By: Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

A rich tradition has existed for hundreds of years for fiction writers to use pen names. You may be surprised to learn that some authors have more than 10 pen names. Here’s why pen names have been and continue to be widely used: Many authors believe that their name can affect how their audience sees them and even affect their book sales.

One of the most famous pen names, of course, was Samuel Clemens who wrote under the name Mark Twain. Another well-known one is Lewis Carroll, which was used by Alice in Wonderland’s author, Charles Dodgdon. He gained a considerable reputation as a mathematician and didn’t want to create confusion by writing fiction under his real name.

Nora Roberts, is a pen name used by Eleanor Marie Roberts. Nora Roberts’ name has regularly appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List since 1999. Since her first best seller in 1991, Nora’s books have spent 1,045 weeks on the Best Seller List. Believe it or not, that’s equivalent to 20 consecutive years of weekly bestsellers.

In 1992, Putnam Publishers asked Nora Roberts to come up with a second pen name because they could not keep up with the prolific writer’s romance novels let alone the new genre of romance suspense novels she wanted to write. So she took the initials J.D. from sons Jason and Dan and shortened Roberts to Robb. She also has written under the pen names Jill March and Sara Hardesty.

Whether you call it a pen name, pseudonym, non de plume, alias or AKA, you are creating a new persona that’ll need care and feeding!  Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

One of my book marketing clients served as a Navy Seal in the Iraq War and then returned to write a book about his war experiences.  To protect his personal safety and maintain security for his family, my client wrote under the pen name Chuck Bravedy.  The author was concerned that extremists living in America would be offended and angered by his controversial book and come after him or his family.

The fact that Bravedy’s name was “not in the phone book” raised some attention from the Pentagon who called me to inquire about Chuck Bravedy because they did not have his name in their files. The Pentagon was concerned because they want to keep phonies from impersonating military officials.

Since the publishers of JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, were unsure if the preteen boys that she was targeting would accept wizard stories that were written by a woman, they encouraged her to use her initials instead of her real name, which is Joanne Rowling. The “K’ in JK came from her grandmother’s name Kathleen and she’s been known as JK Rowling ever since.

Known as one of the most famous comic book writers in the world, Stan Lee’s real name is Stanley Martin Lieber. He initially decided to publish under Stan Lee because he thought he would eventually transition to more serious work and wanted to use his real name when and if that time came. Once he realized that he was destined to stay a comic book writer, he legally changed his name to Stan Lee.

If you’ve ever read the popular children’s series, A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions, you probably know that the author is Lemony Snicket. Believe it or not, his real name is Daniel Handler. He decided to go with Lemony Snicket because he wanted to anonymously contact right-wing organizations. Handler first came up with the Lemony Snicket pen name while doing research for his first novel, The Basic Eight. He needed to contact right-wing organizations for the book, but he didn’t want to give them his real name. So he called himself “Lemony Snicket,” and the moniker stuck.

One client I represented, who asked my advice about using a pen name, was a former CIA operative. He was concerned about the impact a pen name would have on promoting his book. He wondered whether radio and TV interviewers would be willing to use the pen name during an interview or would insist on using his birth name.

Some CIA friends of my client also had published books and used their real names without problems. To cover his bases while he decided, the former CIA officer went ahead and registered web domains under his real name and under his pen name. After talking with him about the options, my client decided to use his real name.

I also have represented authors who used a pen name because they had a past they were not proud of and wanted to protect their family members and loved ones from public embarrassment.

From a marketing standpoint if your real-life identify is associated with a business and you want the book to promote your business or vice versa, then a pen name should not be used. But if you have success, and don’t want that success threatened by pursuing an avocation of writing, then a pen name would be in order. Pen names may create marketing challenges, most of which can be overcome, and so the marketing implications need to be examined before publishing.

Reasons for using a pen name include

  • To avoid embarrassment
  • For personal safety or security
  • If you write under more than one genre
  • If your name is hard to pronounce or spell
  • If your name is not marketable
  • If your name conflicts with the name of another author
  • To hide gender (a male writing in the predominantly female genre)
  • To avoid confusing readers if you are well known in another field

If you want to hide from the public and from people you work with or worked with, etc., then a pen name is fine. But, if it’s not important, why bother? So, my vote is to use your own name. Here are just a few points to ponder.

  • Use real name if you are not trying to hide from anyone.
  • Use a real name to brand your name for speaking gigs or consulting assignments
  • Use real name if you are planning to write a series of books
  • Use real name so acquaintances can better locate your published works
  • A real name builds trust and confidence amongst readers
  • It’s far easier to brand a real name than a pen name
  • Expertise is validated by an individual’s real-life experience
  • Long-term loyalty with readers is easier to build with a real name

Here’s some interesting information I’ve obtained from librarians and employees at book stores. Is there a popular author whose work is similar to yours?  Why not select a pen name beginning with the same letter as that author’s name? Since most books are filed by genre and then the author’s last name, selecting a pen name with the same letter puts you in close proximity to their books.

Someone searching for that author could ‘stumble’ upon your book and decide to take a look. Radio stations have done it for years by selecting their location on the ‘dial’ nearby other highly rated stations so they could benefit from the proximity of that popular station. Crafty? Perhaps but do you want to sell books or not?

Having a difficult time selecting a pen name? Try these random name generators. You may get some inspiration from some of these and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

  1. http://generator.chucklehound.com
  2. https://anadea.info/tools/online-business-name-generator
  3. https://www.dotomator.com/
  4. http://www.naming.net/
  5. https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator
  6. https://namestation.com/
  7. https://namesmith.io/
  8. https://www.namemesh.com
  9. https://businessnamegenerator.com/
  10. https://www.netsubstance.com/

The Bottom Line: If you want to brand your name for speaking gigs or for consulting engagements then use your own name. If you plan to write in multiple genres or are concerned about safety and privacy then get a pen name.

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

Book Publicity Who Needs It? 127 Reasons to Go Get It!

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Book publicity can change an author’s life. Don’t put off the most important part of publishing a book. Book marketing costs money but obscurity costs more!

Authors will often wonder what book publicity is all about and ask me about the benefits of marketing their book. Here’s a list of 127 reasons authors should seek out book publicity.

  1. An agent will ‘discover’ your book and offer to represent you.
  2. Publicity is Free. Advertising costs money.
  3. Your book marketing will spark ideas for new offerings.
  4. You’ll get good (WOM) word of mouth advertising.
  5. You’ll become the go-to author the media seeks out.
  6. You’ll get new business because of all the publicity.
  7. You’ll create positive energy generating more good book ideas while book marketing
  8. Book publicity success will lead to loyal employees.
  9. You’ll be a more driven, optimistic, and secure author.
  10. Other authors will be blown away by your book publicity.
  11. Book publicity will pay off because you’ll be able to work less.
  12. Your book will inspire you to create another product or service.
  13. Well-known TV shows will reach out to you because they’ve ‘heard of you.’
  14. Readers will become loyal to you and demand you write more!
  15. Demand for your services allow you to raise your prices.
  16. Third party media endorsements will result in new business, speaking engagements.
  17. Media stories about you will help your website show up first on internet searches.
  18. Celebrities will be reaching out to you to learn more about your book.
  19. Those who previously never paid attention to your book want to be your friend.
  20. Random strangers come up to you and remember you as an author they saw on TV.
  21. Your Amazon.com orders will skyrocket.
  22. Your book publicity will help you create a name for yourself in politics.
  23. New found ‘fans’ will ask you for your autograph.
  24. Your book promotion will turn into sales.
  25. The online ads for your books will lead to sales and consulting deals.
  26. You’ll get more inquiries for your business or practice.
  27. Your book marketing will spread across the Internet
  28. Your employees will be proud of working with you.
  29. Legislation that you initiate or inspire gets enacted.
  30. When the economy gets tough, your book will keep you thriving.
  31. You’ll be invited to prestigious events
  32. Customers will gladly buy your book.
  33. Book buyers will ask for your book in stores.
  34. You can charge a higher price for your books
  35. Since people are pre-sold about you and your book they’re predisposed to work with you.
  36. Book publicity is more credible and therefore more believable than a paid ad.
  37. Media outlets will reach out and offer your book more free publicity.
  38. You may have the opportunity to write a syndicated column about your book
  39. You may get paid keynote speaking engagements.
  40. Book deals will come to you.
  41. Your book will be purchased by a major company for promotional purposes
  42. Your compensation as an author will grow over time.
  43. Book publicity will help you become well-known in your specialty.
  44. You’ll get your own TV or Radio show.
  45. Those who were skeptical about your book now own it.
  46. Big-name media outlets will feature your book.
  47. You’ll make $$$ speaking about your book.
  48. Your book publicity will help you brand yourself.
  49. Major magazines will feature you and your book on their front covers.
  50. Your book will become so popular that it’ll be time for you to host a radio show.
  51. Framed articles about you and your book will decorate your office
  52. Articles about you and your book will get shared all over Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc.
  53. Well-known personalities will endorse YOU!
  54. Your book promotion will pay off because you’ll buy your dream home.
  55. Your writing techniques will be taught at schools globally.
  56. Your book will create a business big enough to franchise.
  57. People will be inspired and positively impacted by your book.
  58. Significant mistakes will be prevented thanks to your work as an author.
  59. Issues you discuss during your book publicity will be taken seriously.
  60. Those who appreciate you and your book want to be in your company.
  61. Lots of money will come your way when you act as a celebrity endorser.
  62. You’ll make money when ideas from you book are licensed.
  63. Book groupies will follow all of your public appearances.
  64. You’ll be flooded with bulk book orders by organizations who love what your book.
  65. Your message becomes part of the lexicon of the language.
  66. Major stores will want to sell your book to their customers.
  67. You’ll get discounts from those who are interested in a business opportunity.
  68. Promoting your books to international markets will be possible.
  69. Your book promotion will motivate others to pursue their dreams.
  70. The cause outlined in your book will receive grant money from foundations
  71. Your family will admire your achievements and be inspired by your success
  72. Your children will be inspired by your success.
  73. Your closest friends will proudly brag about your book
  74. Book promotion will be more fun than you think!
  75. Once your book publicity efforts pay off, you’ll enjoy greater self-esteem.
  76. Your book publicity success will inspire you to take better care of yourself
  77. Others will view you as an author and expert.
  78. You’ll have an edge over your competitors
  79. Your customers will see your book solidifying a positive image.
  80. Investing opportunities will come to you from venture capital companies.
  81. Your success as an author will attract experts to help you.
  82. People will take your advice to heart.
  83. Your love life will improve as a result of the fame your book publicity has brought you.
  84. Your name will be in the databases of TV & Radio producers and journalists.
  85. Your book publicity will earn you various awards and nominations.
  86. Your legacy will be as a successful author.
  87. Other authors will covet your level of success.
  88. Your book will be at the front and center at indie and big box bookstores.
  89. A commencement speech at your alma mater will be offered to you.
  90. Those who once looked down upon you as an author will now see you everywhere.
  91. Other people will become passionate about the cause your book revolves around.
  92. The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The New York Times name your book a BESTSELLER.
  93. You’ll make more memories with your loved ones.
  94. You’ll be a media darling and will be recommended as a “Great Interview.”
  95. Your book publicity will connect you to people you would’ve never crossed paths with.
  96. Your success as an author will give you more faith in yourself.
  97. Your book publicity will lead you to earn an honorary doctorate degree.
  98. Your debts will disappear thanks to the great results of your book marketing.
  99. You’ll be outlived by the legacy you leave as one of the greatest authors.
  100. You’ll get a ‘command’ performance by the President of The United States.
  101. An early and wealthy retirement will be your option.
  102. Words you invent for your book become household terms.
  103. Your success as an author will allow you to achieve even more than you ever thought.
  104. Your book could be turned into a movie.
  105. You could get a deal to collaborate on a new book with a well-known author.
  106. Your book will win awards at major book festivals.
  107. You’ll be asked to sit on a panel of expert authors at writer’s conferences.
  108. Your book will be required reading at universities worldwide.
  109. People will buy your book to send to their Congressman.
  110. A book award will be named after you and your book.
  111. Your book will attract a global audience.
  112. Young children will look up to your success as an author.
  113. Aspiring authors will consider you their role model.
  114. Traveling the world and marketing a book will become your reality.
  115. Millions of people will follow you on Twitter.
  116. Cruise ships will be calling you talk about your book.
  117. The dream life of fame and fortune will now be yours.
  118. Once you’re famous and don’t need it, Banks will want to loan you money.
  119. A TV producer will want to collaborate on a new series on your book.
  120. Your side of the story will be told to the public thus helping your lawsuit.
  121. The U.S. Senate will ask you to testify about issues in your book.
  122. New laws will be passed as a result of your book.
  123. Book publicity is like a drug, the more you get the more you’ll want.
  124. Your book publicist will work for free… (Ok that’s not happening!)
  125. Marketing a book will become second nature to you.
  126. You’ll accomplish what you’ve always wanted to do i.e. make money & get a movie deal.
  127. The more book publicity you get the more publicity YOU’LL GET!

The Bottom Line:  Book publicity can change an author’s life. Don’t put off the most important part of publishing a book. Book marketing costs money but obscurity costs more!

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

Authors: How to Use Kickstarter to FUND Your Book Marketing


By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Hundreds and even thousands of years ago, it was essential for creative folks to recruit sponsors to help fund their masterpieces so they could succeed. Things haven’t changed as sponsorships are still important for creative people, including writers. Writers continue to recruit sponsors and patrons to promote their books and help them earn a spot on the best-seller list without clearing all of their savings.

Kickstarter is an invaluable resource for authors who would like to raise some money for their books. It is a website that gives authors, musicians, app developers, inventors and others the opportunity to recruit people to support their creative project.

https://ctt.ac/3I7ez

Kickstarter is a for-profit company that was created to support creative projects (for a 5% fee against the funds collected) because they believe creative projects make for a better world. Since its inception in 2009, there have been 165,189 successfully funded projects for more than 5 billion dollars! Although the majority of projects raise less than $10,000, an increasing number have reached six, seven, and even eight figures.

Here’s how Kickstarter works: Project creators join Kickstarter and set a funding goal and deadline. If people like their project, they donate money to support it.  An author can use the money for publishing or distribution costs, to upgrade to a better distributor, or to pay for the costs of the book publicist hired to give your book the push it needs.

Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing policy that states you must reach your goal before receiving any money. However, don’t let this scare you because even if you don’t receive a penny, you can get your book in front of more readers and obviously, that’s never a bad thing.

I’m going to be frank here: The reality is that while many authors have benefited from Kickstarter, a lot of the campaigns flat out failed, especially when the creative person tried to run their own campaign without first researching what works or asking for professional assistance.

Fortunately, Kickstarter recently launched a conference called “The Next Page: Creating the Future of Publishing”  to help authors interested in reaping the benefits of Kickstarter. It spent four panels giving those in publishing the chance to discuss topics such as economic sustainability and cultivating community. It took place on May 11th, 2019 but you can watch it online here.

“Book publishing isn’t a huge portion of Kickstarter’s revenue — the “Publishing” and “Journalism” categories together account for just 9% of their successfully funded projects and 4% of the total money pledged. But, the industry’s “outsize cultural impact” makes it critically important to the Brooklyn-based public-benefit corporation,” explained Adam Rowe, a Forbes contributor who discussed the conference in a recent Forbes article.

As a book publicist, I have been involved on both sides of a Kickstarter campaign and have witnessed how authors have used the platform to attain the funds needed to publish and promote a book. Let’s take a closer look at some 2019 Kickstarter author success stories.

Author Jen Marr of Washington DC used Kickstarter for her book, “Paws to Comfort”, a book designed for anyone who has ever felt awkward when reaching out to someone who is struggling. It empowers readers with simple tools and inspirational stories that can help them break through the awkward zone and become better comforters.

As of June 2019, her campaign has received the support of 221 backers who pledged $33,819. The money raised will go toward manuscript to book, book production and delivery, and launch and promotion.

Art Brooks of Providence, RI is another example of an author who used Kickstarter to their advantage. His Kickstarter campaign is designed to support the “Star Wars The Vintage Collection Archive Edition”, a comprehensive historical manuscript and detailed visual archive of The Vintage Collection, one of Hasbro’s most popular lines of Star Wars action figures.

At the time of this writing the campaign had 1,058 backers who pledged $133,887. Brooks offered various perks to backers who pledge a certain amount. For example, anyone who pledged $100 or more will receive one printed copy of The Vintage Collection Archive Edition book and one limited edition 24×36-inch The Vintage Collection compendium poster.

Believe it or not, there’s also a Kickstarter campaign for 9-year old author MaKayla Rose Hubbs from Mantua, NJ. She wrote the book “Why Bedtime Sucks: The Opposite of a Bedtime Story.” The book begins with her witty objection to the various reasons she’s been told it’s important for her to get a good night’s rest. Her campaign had 124 backers who pledged $9,588. Anyone who pledged $10 or more will received an e-book as well as a downloadable coloring page.

These authors didn’t just get lucky and raise money for their books with minimal effort. Many of them were strategic in how they designed their Kickstarter campaigns and came up with incentives for pledgers. In order to attract pledges as an author, you can offer the following:

  • Digital copies of your entire works if you have written three or more books
  • Autographed, limited edition copies
  • Free editing and critique of a donor’s draft writing
  • A free review of a donor’s published book
  • Your illustrator to draw an image of the donor to place in your book
  • An in-person meeting with the author for a formal English tea
  • Mention of the donor’s business with a testimonial given by a character in the book
  • A gourmet meal prepared by the author of a cookbook at the donor’s home
  • A free hot air balloon ride for two with this article’s author, book publicist Scott Lorenz, to any Michigan resident donating $1,500 or more to one of his clients

If one of my clients decides to pursue a Kickstarter campaign, I’ll help them design an appealing message, create a great video, and promote their campaign outside of the Kickstarter platform.
 
Other Crowdfunding Options
 
Indiegogo: A crowdfunding website founded in 2008. One compelling feature, if you don’t reach your goal you can still keep the funds pledged.

Ulule: This is the only international crowdfunding platform where the majority of projects get funded. It strives to empower creators and entrepreneurs.

The Bottom Line: If you’re an author looking for funding then check out how Kickstarter can pay for your book publishing and promotion.

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