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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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How to Create a Pen Name

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 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