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National Indie Excellence Book Awards

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Sherrie Cronin

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Amazon's Create Space sends a new author a list of awards to pursue and the National Indie Excellence Book Awards is included. I eager checked out the site and its many categories, thinking this might be a fine avenue for publicity and even recognition. Then I discover that each category you submit in costs $69.

Is it customary to charge an author to enter a contest? Do anyone know if this is legitimate, even maybe pretigious, or just one more way to get money from me?
 

shadowwalker

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Can't speak to this one in particular, but fees for legitimate/prestigious contests is not unusual. The Pulitzer is one example.
 

Sherrie Cronin

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Can't speak to this one in particular, but fees for legitimate/prestigious contests is not unusual. The Pulitzer is one example.

Thanks Shadowwalker -- I did not know that. However, I did go to their website just now and discovered that it costs only $50 to try for a Pulitzer Prize and $69 to try for this one. None-the-less you make a good point and it could be very legitimate. I guess I have gotten so much advertising from folks trying to get me to invest money to promote my book that I am now wary. Hopefully someone here can speak about this particular contest, or better yet I will hear from someone who participated.

Appreciate your help!
 

shadowwalker

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You also need to look at the prize compared to the fee (among other things). The contests I have looked at typically run $15-25 per entry, with the typical prize being $1500-3000 plus publication.
 

victoriastrauss

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There are a bunch of high entry fee awards like this, and their main purpose is to make money for the awards sponsor. Typical characteristics: an entry fee of $60 or more, scores or even hundreds of award categories (NIEA has over 100) to maximize entries, prizes that don't cut into the sponsor's profits (the NIEA prizes are all donated; other faux awards give you things like a listing on the sponsor's website or a squib in its newsltter), and the "opportunity" to buy more merchandise, such as stickers you can put on your books. The judges are rarely named (in some cases because there are none), and the awards carry no real-world prestige. They target small press and self-published authors, who are especially hungry for validation and exposure.

There are better uses for your money.

- Victoria
 

Sherrie Cronin

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There are a bunch of high entry fee awards like this, and their main purpose is to make money for the awards sponsor. Typical characteristics: an entry fee of $60 or more, scores or even hundreds of award categories (NIEA has over 100) to maximize entries, prizes that don't cut into the sponsor's profits (the NIEA prizes are all donated; other faux awards give you things like a listing on the sponsor's website or a squib in its newsltter), and the "opportunity" to buy more merchandise, such as stickers you can put on your books. The judges are rarely named (in some cases because there are none), and the awards carry no real-world prestige. They target small press and self-published authors, who are especially hungry for validation and exposure.

There are better uses for your money.

- Victoria

Thanks Ms Writer Beware Goddess :) looks like you have a blog on the subject and I will check it out. Can you point me anywhere for information on legitimate book contests for self published writers?
 

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I agree about Poets & Writers--it's a good resource--but I'd still suggest doing some independent research on the contests before submitting to them--and be sure to read the guidelines carefully, because unpleasant stuff (such as rights assignments) may be lurking there.

I also would suggest asking yourself a) why you're entering, and b) if it's worth bothering. Few contests have the prestige to give you a sales or publicity boost, or to be a good addition to your writing resume. Do you really want to expend the money and research time? Would there be a better use of your marketing dollar?

- Victoria
 

Sherrie Cronin

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I also would suggest asking yourself a) why you're entering, and b) if it's worth bothering. Few contests have the prestige to give you a sales or publicity boost, or to be a good addition to your writing resume. Do you really want to expend the money and research time? Would there be a better use of your marketing dollar?

- Victoria

I will read everything carefully, and thanks for the tip. You are of course correct in assuming that my purpose is to have some people read my stuff, like it, and seek out more. With a very limited budget this seemed a reasonable option. I've already tried bits of advertising on various web sites and am working at my own blog and at showing up on others, but none of these has yielded much yet in the way of sales. Frankly I'm not a aware of any other sorts of options for me. If you had something in mind that would be a better use of limited marketing money, I'd be extremely grateful if you would at least point me in that direction. :)
 

shadowwalker

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Do not look at contests as a method of advertising. It's definitely not cost effective, since your name only gets mentioned if you win, and most of these contests are very competitive.
 

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