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18 Literary Agents Reveal “How to Land a Book Deal”

Literary Agents Spill The Beans

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Whether you’re a new author or have been on the New York Times Bestseller List for years, literary agents are likely top of mind. After all, these professionals may be just what you need to get published or take your career to the next level. A quality agent can review your manuscript and help you land a lucrative book deal.

Since literary agents are so integral to success, I came up with this revealing compilation of interviews with literary agents. Tune in and prepare to be inspired! Sometimes all that it takes is a little insight into the process that can help you gain a competitive edge and succeed in your writing career.

1. Jeff Herman

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0F4vvTWG74)

Jeff Herman is a well-respected agent and the author of “Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents.” He entered book publishing in his mid 20s when he didn’t have much experience. Since he had to figure out a lot on his own, he wrote this book to steer new authors in the right direction. In my opinion, investing in this book is a must, no matter where you are in your career. Once you read it, you’ll find it well worth the money.

Jeff Herman

2. Brooks Sherman

(https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2116395441773699)

Brooks Sherman shares what he looks for in a query letter. He explains that the most effective letters focus on plot and character rather than themes or messages. In addition, he likes to learn about a writer’s educational background as well as details about any past publications and writer’s workshops they’ve participated in.

Brooks Sherman

3. Mollie Glick

(https://sobookingcool.com/2018/09/12/interview-with-literary-agent-mollie-glick/)

Mollie Glick states that she loves her job as a literacy agent because it challenges her to figure out how to push messages that are worth sharing into the world. She often reaches out to authors who have accomplished something that is incredibly inspirational or post something that sparks an interesting conversation.

Mollie Glick

4. Sallyanne Sweeney

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEoU5xA6HeY)

Sallyanne Sweeney explains that she enjoys working with writers on manuscripts that they might have been working on for years. She loves to see the transformation from an initial idea to a finished book and being involved in every aspect of the publishing process.

Sallyanne Sweeney

5. Howard Yoon

(https://www.rossyoon.com/howard-yoon)

Howard Yoon explains that the process of working with an author is a lot like dating. During the first couple of meetings, you’re not sure if things are going to work out. When it actually does work, everything clicks. Yoon chooses books he believes have a valuable contribution to the world.

Howard Yoon

6. Mark Gottlieb

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sQGSPrdaA8)

Mark Gottlieb talks about how authors can go about finding agents. He says that authors should always aim high and think highly of themselves. Gottlieb recommends Publishers Marketplace, which ranks publishers by number of books deals and lets you filter your search by genre.

Mark Gottlieb

7. Alyssa Jennette

(https://www.facebook.com/cardinalrulepress/videos/1158824181170762)

Alyssa Jennette talks about what authors should do before seeking an agent. She suggests they send their work to a critique group, an editor, or another professional so they can look it over and provide feedback before it gets in front of an agent. This way it’ll be as ready for publishing as possible.

Alyssa Jennette

8. Jessica Reino

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM-Y8xucJsE)

Jessica Reino reinforces the fact that every author is unique so it’s important to write what you want to write and edit your work the way you see fit. She also discusses Twitter and other social media platforms, which she highly recommends to nonfiction authors. Reino notes that if you’re going to create social media outlets, only do so if you’re going to actively use them.

Jessica Reino

9. Eva Scalzo

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL0vYbcgohY)

Eva Scalzo encourages her authors to tell her which editors and publishers they’d like to work with as many have specific preferences. She advises them on what they need to know about these professionals and organizations and helps them come up with a backup plan.

Eva Scalzo

10. Katie Greenstreet

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rr6d0X2P7k)

Katie Greenstreet explains that she looks for a very unique voice in the first chapter. She loves quirky narrators and will always be drawn to something that she hasn’t seen before. Greenstreet also wants to know that an author truly understands the big picture of their work and conveys it clearly in their synopsis.

Katie Greenstreet

11. Jim McCarthy

(http://www.middlegradeninja.com/2020/08/middle-grade-ninja-episode-88-literary.html)

Jim McCarthy explains that there are plenty of great books, but he can’t represent them for the sole reason that he doesn’t have the editorial vision for them. He reinforces the fact that authors should find agents that are worthy of them.

Jim McCarthy

12. Stephen Barbara

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2ymzI9EcLk)

Stephen Barbara reveals that his role as an agent is a combination of support, advocacy, and a little bit of therapy. He also explains that he likes query letters that prove writers have done their research and know who he is and what he’s done in the past.

Stephen Barbara

13. Broo Doherty

(https://vimeo.com/511534956)

Broo Doherty discusses general questions about literary agents and gives insight about what it’s like to be an agent. She also dives deep into what she’s looking for in new clients and how she manages her existing client base.

Broo Doherty

14. Ted Weinstein

(https://vimeo.com/18828443)

Ted Weinstein states that the keys to success for any author come down to two things: marketability and personal passion. He also encourages authors to do their research when looking for agents and recommends a few great books for them to read.

Ted Weinstein

15. Davinia Andrew-Lynch

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kRN33R_Y68)

Davinia Andrew-Lynch goes over the typical day of a literary agent. She explains that every day is different. Some days are packed with meetings while others are filled with editing manuscripts. There are also days reserved for admin work like sorting through contracts and consulting with designers about covers.

Davinia Andrew-Lynch

16. Donald Maass

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BhFf27agew)

Renowned agent Donald Maass founded the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 1980. His agency sells more than 150 novels to major publishers on a national and global level. He states that he tries to articulate why a certain plot or character isn’t working to truly help authors.

Donald Maass

17. Andrea Somberg

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axgOKH-2p8o)

Andrea Somberg has been a literary agent for over 15 years and represents several New York Times bestselling authors. In this hour-long interview, she discusses a number of topics, including what draws her to queries, what types of authors succeed, and how new authors can grow their careers.

Andrea Somberg

18. Chip MacGregor

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PeuQOd5bIg)

Chip MacGregor has represented many big-time authors including Brennan Manning, Vincent Zandri, Rachel Hauck, Mindy Clark, Irene Hannon, Bonnie Gray, and Michelle McKinney. In this interview, he talks about the changing world of publishing, primarily in the Christian market.

Chip MacGregor

The Bottom Line: Watch these literary agent interviews. Take notes. Even if they don’t represent your genre, they can offer your insight into the process of “Getting A BOOK DEAL.”

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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


The Editor’s Role in Successful Book Publishing

Hiring an editor

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

As a book publicist, I have a unique perspective in the publishing process and see the many roles that contribute to the success of a book. Some books are masterpieces ready to be promoted while others have issues that slow down the process and kill a project’s momentum.  Because I work so closely with the final product, I have a good understanding of what can make or break a book.

Besides book marketing, one of the most important things you can do as an author is to make sure an editor is a member of your team.

Authors and editors are two very different jobs. Both of these roles are equally important to book creation. However, when an author is their own editor, the lines that distinguish the two jobs can easily get blurred, and the quality of work ultimately suffers. Nothing quite compares to a book that has been properly edited with a fine-tooth comb. A polished manuscript creates potential for a much better book marketing experience overall.

The Editor’s Role on a Book Publishing Team

“Nothing detracts from good writing like bad editing,” says Debra Englander, an experienced non-fiction editor and writer. “Submit your best work. Have it copy-edited and proofread by a professional. Don’t ruin your reputation because of preventable mistakes.”  Englander served as editorial director at John Wiley Publishing for nearly 17 years and was on the receiving end of thousands of pitches from agents and authors. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals and editing manuscripts.

In an interview with author Jane Thurnell-Read discussing how to get a book published, Englander stressed the importance of the division of labor within a book. An editor provides the objectivity that one lacks when reviewing their own work. Their job isn’t to change the meaning of a book, but rather to make it better. Englander said authors can’t always tell what a scene is lacking, or if it’s clear enough to someone who’s unfamiliar with the subject matter.  After all, perception is just as important as intention in the world of book publishing.

Ensure Your Book is Publisher-Ready

An editor can clean up the original content and make awkward sentence structure and grammatical errors much less likely. These details can throw off the flow of a book and create obstacles for the reader’s comprehension. Those types of unfavorable features will likely be noticed early on in a publishing attempt and could very well result in rejection.

With over 25 years of editorial experience, Tiffany Yates Martin understands how to make the publishing process better for everyone involved. “Reputable, competent editors will save authors immense amounts of time and agony in deepening, developing, and polishing their stories, and can often give authors a leg up in attracting the attention of agents and editors, and make their stories more salable.”

Her extensive work with publishing houses such as New York Times and Writer’s Digest, has left her with the belief that editing is the most important part of the writing process. “Editing and revision are the real work of writing—and often where the story is fully found and developed and the magic happens…Because most authors were never taught this fact—nor how to edit and revise—many get disheartened when their first draft isn’t publisher-ready, or when the revision process may be more demanding or difficult than they expected. That’s not a reflection of your talent or skill but a completely normal part of the process for nearly all authors, at all levels of experience and skill,” explains Martin.

Before your book is introduced to a publisher, it needs to go through a rigorous editing process. Although being your own editor may sound enticing, no author is above hiring an editor. As Tiffany Yates Martin says, “Even editors need editors.”

Good Editing Leads to Successful Book Marketing

Aspiring authors sometimes fear that an editor will make their work less authentic, but I’ve found the opposite to be true. Hiring an editor is like hiring a personal trainer; it’s still you just faster, tighter and trimmer. The work can still get done without one, but it’s a much more tedious process. Because of its time-consuming nature, refined writing needs multiple sets of eyes to ensure that everything on paper is intentional.

There is no shame in working with multiple people to ensure the highest quality of work. In fact, it’s highly encouraged. Publisher’s Weekly points out that grammatical errors are far too common to cut out entirely, but an effort to minimize them must be made. “The writer’s primary task is to create work that is as compelling and error-free as possible. A great book cover, a marketing plan, and a cool author website are all important,” they say, “but if an author hasn’t spent the time and money for a solid editing job, it’s all just wasted effort.” Good book marketing and publicity can only do so much; the true quality of the book is essential to its success.

The Bottom Line: Authors, give yourself the best shot at success; hire an editor. Together, you can create the absolute best version of your work.

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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


40 Top Book Awards for Authors in 2023

Top Book Awards for Authors Compiled by Scott Lorenz

ENTER BOOK AWARD CONTESTS AND BECOME AN AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR in 2023!

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 helped take my book Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book to the next level. It’s earned nine awards including the Independent Author Network, Pencraft Book Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, and Literary Titan Book Award, just to name a few. My book also landed a spot in the Must-Read category for authors of all experiences and publishers of all sizes. I used a new service called Book Award Pro to take the drudgery out of keeping tabs of all the award entries. Check them out at: https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro

There’s no denying that awards 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 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/

2. 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/

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

4. 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/

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

6. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award – https://www.bookweb.org/indiebound/nextlist/view

7. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. https://nautilusbookawards.com/

8. 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 31, 2021. https://www.indieexcellence.com/

9. 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. https://www.axiomawards.com/66/how-to-enter

10. 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/2021bestbookawards.html

11. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers. https://www.readerviews.com/literaryawards/

12. 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, 2021. https://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-book-awards

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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. https://www.ruberybookaward.com/

16. 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. https://www.hofferaward.com/

17. 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. https://indiebookawards.com/enteryourbook.php

18. 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/

19. 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

20. 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. https://scotiabankgillerprize.ca/

21. 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/

22. 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. https://shelfmediagroup.com/competitions/

23. 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. https://www.chantireviews.com/  Several of their winners have received major publishing deals (6 figures) and two have had their works optioned for film.

24. 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) must inspire, inform, teach or entertain, and adhere to rigorous standards of excellence. https://www.dragonflybookawards.com/

25. 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. https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/book-of-the-year.html

26. 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. https://chq.org/schedule/resident-programs/literary-arts/chautauqua-prize/

27. 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/

28. 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://bookexcellenceawards.com/

29. The Page Turner Awards – Their prizes promise the winning authors career-changing opportunities. Fiction authors could win a publishing deal or win an audiobook production, non-fiction authors could win a writing mentorship with a business mentoring expert or get their non-fiction manuscript seen by publishers who are actively looking for work to publish. https://pageturnerawards.com/

30. The Douglas Dillon Book Award is an award presented by the American Academy of Diplomacy designed to celebrate distinguished writing about US diplomatic efforts and achievements. The award comes with a $5,000 cash prize and an invitation to the awards ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the US Department of State. https://www.academyofdiplomacy.org/award/douglas-dillon-book-award/

31. Next Generation Indie Book Awards – The largest international awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. https://indiebookawards.com/

32. The 2023 International Book Awards – Over their 14-year history, thousands of self-published and indie authors have leveraged the promotional power of their International Book Award to increase online recognition, enhance their title’s credibility, and garner more attention in the crowded book buying marketplace. http://www.internationalbookawards.com/2023callforentries.html

33. NAIWE’s 1st Annual Book Awards 2023 – If you have written a book that was published in the last five years, you are eligible to enter it in the NAIWE 1st Annual Book Awards 2023. https://naiwe.com/book-awards/

34. 20th Annual “Best Book” Awards – Over their 20-year history, thousands of self-published and indie authors have leveraged the promotional power of their Best Book Award to increase online recognition, enhance their title’s credibility, and garner more attention in the crowded book buying marketplace. http://www.americanbookfest.com/2023bestbookawards.html

35. Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction – The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. The shortlisted authors and eventual winners reflect the expert judgment and insight of the seven-member selection committee of library professionals who work closely with adult readers. These are the ALA’s first single-book awards for adult trade fiction and nonfiction. https://rusaupdate.org/awards/carnegie/

36. Sophie Brody Medal – The Sophie Brody Medal was first awarded in 2006 and includes a medal for the winner. It is funded by Sophie and Arthur Brody Foundation, and is given to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. Works for adults published in the United States in the preceding year will be eligible for the award. https://rusaupdate.org/awards/sophie-brody-medal/

37. Dartmouth Medal – Established in 1974, this medal honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, including, but not limited to: writing, compiling, editing, or publishing books or electronic information. The award is given to works that have been published or made available for the first time during the calendar year preceding the presentation of the award. https://rusaupdate.org/awards/dartmouth-medal/

38. National Book Awards – Established in 1950, the National Book Awards are American literary prizes administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of writers such as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Alice Walker, E. Annie Proulx, Jesmyn Ward, and Ta-Nehisi Coates have all won National Book Awards. Although other categories have been recognized in the past, the Awards currently honor the best Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature, published each year. – https://www.nationalbook.org/national-book-awards/

39. The Booker Prize 2023 – Novelist Esi Edugyan, twice-shortlisted for the Booker Prize, will chair the panel and will be joined by Adjoa Andoh, actor, writer and director; Mary Jean Chan, poet, lecturer, editor and critic; James Shapiro, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and author specialising in Shakespeare; and Robert Webb, actor and writer. https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/prize-years/2023

40. IPPA Best Book Award – The IPPA Best Book Award is awarded biennially at the Association’s International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP). The award is given to a single- or co-authored monograph that makes an original and significant theoretical, methodological, and/or empirical contribution to the field of Public Policy and/or Public Administration. https://www.ippapublicpolicy.org/award/best-book-award/16

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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


Authors: How to Use Kickstarter to FUND Your Book Marketing

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.

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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


Authors: Want Publishing Help? Get a Book Shepherd!

Authors: Want Publishing Help? Get a Book Shepherd!

You can keep ‘Paying Tuition’ in the form of mistakes, or you can hire a Book Shepherd who’ll save you, time money and even perhaps your sanity!

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

At some point in the writing and publishing process most authors find themselves exasperated with all of the things that need to be done. This is one reason I recommend authors look into hiring a book shepherd. A book shepherd (aka book coach) is someone whose expertise in books and publishing will help you through the entire book-crafting and selling process. Services include help with ghostwriting, editing, cover design, printing, distribution, marketing, seeking an agent, even dealing with Amazon! A book shepherd will assist you with your book from start to finish.

Sadly, I see authors make mistakes that a good book shepherd would have caught and changed. With all there is to know about the book publishing process, the constant flow of changes makes it extremely difficult to keep up with it all.  The guidance of someone experienced would be your greatest insurance policy to ensure your book is a success. It’s like hiring a guide to give you a tour of a foreign land. Would you rather read a guidebook and do it yourself or hire a personal guide with special knowledge to show you?

Debra Englander

Debra Englander

Consider yourself fortunate if you can afford a book shepherd because it is well worth the money spent.

“Nothing detracts from good writing like bad editing,” says Debra Englander an experienced non-fiction editor and writer. “Submit your best work. Have it copy edited and proofread by a professional. Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent or publisher because of mistakes.” Debra Englander has extensive editorial experience including reporting for Money, managing the Fortune Book Club and serving as editorial director at John Wiley for nearly 17 years.

She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals, editing manuscripts and content creation for online and print projects. I’ve known Debby for many years and she’s at the top of my list. Email her at: [email protected] and find out more at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander.

Marla Markman

Marla Markman

Marla Markman is an award-winning editor with over 30 years of experience creating and managing books. Marla is the owner of Markman Editorial Services, which provides publishing project management, guiding authors every step of the way with expert advice on everything from ghostwriting and outline development to editing, book design, printing, e-book conversion and audiobook production, to website development, listing the final product on Amazon, and more. Many of her client’s books have been Amazon bestsellers, adapted as university textbooks, featured in the Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, and won prestigious indie publishing awards, like the Ben Franklin Awards.

“Self-publishing can be an overwhelming and confusing experience for the uninitiated,” says Marla. “I enjoy guiding authors through the self-publishing process.”  Marla developed and honed her expertise as managing editor of Entrepreneur magazine, one of the nation’s leading small-business publications. She launched its book division, where she acquired, developed, and edited numerous top-selling book series, including Start Your Own Business, which continues to be Entrepreneur’s No. 1 bestseller. Reach her at: https://www.marlamarkman.com/.

Mike Ball, an Erma Bombeck Award-winning author and syndicated columnist offers unique assistance to new authors from his position on the front lines of the publishing wars. “Writing, editing and publishing a book can be complicated, time-consuming and downright confusing,” says Ball. “I just helped out an author who got completely flummoxed by the forms Amazon threw at him. I understand it can be a daunting task for anyone. That’s why I am happy to assist authors in ghostwriting, editing and publishing.” Find Mike at https://www.mikeballonline.com/.

“One of the biggest challenges in writing, publishing and marketing a book is to know what to do, when to do it and how to do each step,” says Beth Barany, a book shepherd, creative business consultant for authors and publishers, and an award-winning novelist. Beth says that authors come to her because they need customized support for wherever they may be in the process. They may need brainstorming sessions to overcome writer’s block when starting a novel, help figuring out how to publish their nonfiction book, general support, or to gain ease while social media-marketing their book. A big advocate for self-publishing, Beth works with her authors to help them write, publish and market their book through the channels that make the most sense for their overall goals, timing and budget. Traditional publishing is included, of course.  To learn more about Beth Barany and to sign up for a complimentary 30-minute session, go to https://www.bethbarany.com/.

Book Shepherd Gabriella Gafni, J.D. has composed countless texts for individuals from every walk of life and from every part of the globe. “With each project I undertake I ensure the narrative flows with meaning, vitality and purpose. Authors often remark that I have the ability to ‘get into their minds’ and manifest their messages in their respective voices,” says Gafni. “From first draft through publication, authors enjoy a collaborative experience destined to result in a pristine product, reflective of the author’s intent and purpose.”  For more information about Gabriella Gafni, visit https://www.gmghostwriting.com/.

Thomas Miller, Ghostwriter, Podcaster and Book Shepherd

Thomas Miller, Ghostwriter, Podcaster and Book Shepherd

Thomas Miller not only helps authors through all of the shepherding steps we’re discussing here, but he’s also an expert audiobook narrator and producer. “Your book should generate multiple revenue streams beside just hardback, paperback and Kindle/Nook sales,” says Miller. “The audiobook market is growing faster than the conventional book market. If you publish, you should also produce an audiobook.”

Miller believes that some authors could create a seminar or workshop so that their book leads to online courses and coaching services. Thomas Miller can help advise authors on all of these revenue streams and can either narrate or guide them on an audiobook.

He also offers ghostwriting services at an affordable price. I’ve known and worked directly with him several years now and he’s top-shelf in my book. Contact Thomas Miller at https://www.ghostwriterr.com/.

Marie White Publisher Book Shepherd

Marie White, Author, Book Shepherd and Publisher

For some authors an Author Assistant may be the way to go.  Maria Connor is the author of Do Less, Write More: The Author’s Guide to Finding, Hiring and Keeping an Excellent Author Assistant. She is the founder/owner of My Author Concierge, which provides administrative, editorial, marketing and technical support services for authors. She has worked with more than 50 authors across multiple genres. For more information, visit http://www.myauthorconcierge.com/.

“I meet a lot of authors who have books they are not happy with,” says Marie White owner of Zamiz Press. “From covers they don’t like to missing versions of the book, such as audio or ebook, to no ‘look inside’ feature online. They are frustrated and alone in the process.” If need be, White helps authors get their book back from a publisher and then republishes the book as they always envisioned it. “Most authors still retain the rights to their book, even after it’s published. I help them understand the publishing process and feel confident.” Reach Maria at:  www.ZamizPress.com.

Known as “Book Whisperer” Michael Ray King can help authors get to the finish line. With 10 published books, five Royal Palm Literary Awards for writing, over 20 manuscripts written and helping over 100 new authors get their manuscripts written, Michael can help you with most writing and publishing needs.  https://michaelrayking.com

Rik Feeny Florida Writers Assn Book Coach Magnetic Speak

Rik Feeney – Book Coach

Rik Feeney is a Book Coach and Publishing Consultant.

He speaks at writer’s conferences and seminars and is the leader of the Orlando Florida Writer’s Association group. Rik’s passion is helping authors effectively and successfully publish their books. Contact Rik for a free consultation. http://www.rikfeeney.com/

The Bottom Line: Whether you call it a book shepherd or book coach, these book publishing experts will help save you time, money and perhaps even your sanity!

Be sure to check out a list of book shepherds below which was originally created by the late Dan Poynter and now recently updated and expanded upon by Westwind Book Marketing.

Zip Code/Country, Name, Email, Website
06001 Brian Jud [email protected]; https://www.bookmarketingworks.com/
68137 Lisa Pelto [email protected]; https://www.conciergemarketing.com/
80015 Judith Briles, PhD [email protected]; https://thebookshepherd.com/
89509 Jacqueline Simonds [email protected]; https://beaglebay.com/duinogear/
90212 Joseph Coleman [email protected]; https://www.bookshep.com/
92111 Lindee Rochelle [email protected] https://www.penchantforpenning.com/
92653 Sharon Goldinger [email protected]; www.detailsplease.com/peoplespeak
94304 John Eggen [email protected]; https://missionmarketingmentors.com/
94801 Peter Beren [email protected]; https://peterberen.com/
95437 Cynthia Frank [email protected]; https://www.cypresshouse.com/
95476 Simon Warwick-Smith [email protected]; https://warwickassociates.net/
22206 Gabriella Gafni — [email protected]; https://www.gmghostwriting.com/
81611 Thomas Miller [email protected]; https://www.ghostwriterr.com/

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 https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!