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Top Book Awards Authors Should PursueDo book awards matter? Absolutely YES! In fact, just recently one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which then led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. Deals are in the offing. This author, needless to say, is happy he decided to enter.

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity to reach out to the media, booksellers and agents. 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 book store. 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 22 book awards worthy of your consideration.

Enter to win The 2011 Independent Book Publisher Awards between January 1 and March 15 at secure.independentpublisher.com.

Entering the Book of the Year Awards should definitely be on your end-of-the-year to-do list. Check it out at bookoftheyearawards.com.

Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards and enter by December 1 at bookcritics.org.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world’s most important literary award. Enter to win by July 1 themanbookerprize.com.

The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. Enter before December 31 at ala.org.

Enter to win the Caldecott Medal before December 31 for your Children’s picture book at ala.org.

IACP Cookbook Awards deadline is October 29. Check out how to enter at iacp.com.

Hugo Award deadline is March 26, check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details at thehugoawards.org

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 your alma mater!) nobelprize.org

The Edgar Allan Poe Award for books submission deadline is August 15. See how to submit your book at mysterywriters.org.

FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year submission deadline is June 30 at eiseverywhere.com.

Enter to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction before February 2 at pulitzer.org

The National Book Award deadline is June 15. Learn how to submit your book at nationalbook.org

Submit your work by October 31 to win the Stonewall Book Award. Click for details at ala.org.

The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for fiction is June 30. Check it out at autumnhouse.org.

Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award deadline is December 17. Click here for more details.

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction deadline is October 31. Check out how to enter at pw.org.

Get your book nominated for a Quill Award at thequills.org.

Voting for the Indies Choice Book Awards ends March 31 Enter at bookweb.org.

Get your cook recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award at barnesandnobleinc.com.

The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. The deadline is February 25 at nautilusbookawards.com.

Enter your ebook to win Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards by June 30 at awardsforebooks.com.

With book trailers being an important part of all book marketing strategies be sure to enter your book trailer in the Moby Awards. They are looking for the best…and worst book trailers. Deadline in April. Enter at mobyawards.com.

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. Just do it. diyconvention.com.

The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. April deadline. indieexcellence.com.

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. They have a year-end deadline axiomawards.com.

ForeWord Reviews sponsors the Book of the Year Awards. It’s open to all independently- and self-published books released that year. There are sixty categories, and in each category a gold, silver, and bronze winner. The deadline to enter is January. Check out: forewordreviews.com.

Need another reason to enter? Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review says, “The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I’ve seen this happen with librarians — when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn’t have an award to its credit. I’m confident that this same phenomena works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well.”

The bottom line, book awards do matter. Enter a few and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.