Sunday, December 4, 2011

Awards Are Free Publicity Gold

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson,
author of the multi award-winning book,
The Frugal Book Promoter, now in its second edition


 
It is award season once again. It's exciting to see many of my author friends' books win, place, or show. I hope they remember that I told them their book doesn't have to be a top winner for the news to be newsworthy in my first book in the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers.

Media editors see awards as anything from a sure-fire feature story to a filler. But I fear that many authors still don't utilize their awards to their fullest potential. A list of things authors should do with their awards appeared in the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter and, because it's so important, appears in the second edition now in release.

Add your new honor to the Awards page of your media kit. If it’s your first award, center it on a page of its own. Oh! And celebrate!

  • Write your media release announcing this coup. (See Chapter Eleven of the second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter to learn to build a targeted media list and Chapter Twelve to learn to write a professional media release.)
  • Post your news on media release distribution sites. Find a list of these sites at www.howtodoitfrugally.com/mediareleasedisseminators1.htm .
  • Notify your professional organizations.
  • Notify bookstores where you hope to have a signing and those where you have had a signing.
  • Notify your college and high school. Some have press offices. Most publish magazines for alumni and their current students.
  • Add this information to the signature feature (see Chapter Twenty) of your e-mail program.
  • Add this honor to the biography template you use in future media releases—the part that gives an editor background information on you.
  • Use this information when you pitch TV or radio producers, editors of newsletters and newspapers. and bloggers. It sets you apart from others and defines you as an expert.
  • If your book wins an award, order embossed gold labels from a company like http://labels-usa.com/embossed-labels.htm. You or your distributor can apply them to your books’ covers. If you win an important award, ask your publisher to redesign your bookcover or dustcover to feature it a la the Caldecott medal given for beautifully illustrated children’s books. If you don’t know this medal, visit your local bookstore and ask to see books given this award. It’s one of the most famous and most beautifully designed.
  • If your book is published as an e-book only, ask for the contest's official badge or banner to use. If they don't have one, make one of your own using http://bannerfans.com/banner_maker.php.
  • Be sure your award is front and center on your blog, your Web site, your Twitter wallpaper, and your social network pages.
  • Your award should be evident on everything from your business card to your checks and invoices. I use the footer of my stationery to tout my major awards.
  • Don't forget to put your award in your e-mail signature.
  • Frame your award certificate and hang it in your office to impress visitors and to inspire yourself to soar even higher!

~This is just a blog-size excerpt from a complete chapter on awards in The Frugal Book Promoter (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) , including information on how to improve your chances of getting one. Carolyn brings her experience as a journalist, publicist, retailer and author of her own books to the how-to books she writes for authors. Georgia is helping her celebrate the release of the 2nd edition of this USA Book News and Irwin award-winning book. Learn more about the whole series at www.howtodoitfrugally.com.  


7 comments:

  1. Good advice, Carolyn. We so often forget to pump our work that way.

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  2. Carolyn, thanks for the great advice.

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  3. Wow! This information is exactly what I need right now to take advantage of my new awards. (The Litersry Classic Seal of Approval for Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep and Trouble on Earth Day)

    Thank you Carolyn!!

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  4. Great advice...now to win an award!

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  5. A great reminder to pump up our work, I need to consider contests and maybe be in the running for an award someday.

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  6. Carolyn, Great information and links. I recently submitted Walking Through Walls to a few award contests. Have to wait until mid to end of next year for status though.

    I'll be submitted Day's End Lullaby also, but it was published in 2008, so time lapsed for a number of awards.

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

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