Showing posts with label awards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label awards. Show all posts

Needing a Little Validation?

When you’re a writer, nothing beats the feeling of being valued for your writing. When you get that first 5 star review with glowing words about your book, you feel a sense of accomplishment. When a reader reaches out to you to let you know that your book meant something to them, wow, that’s what we live for, right? One of the crowning endorsements is winning an award. When we win an award by people who judge writing for a living, we know our work stacks up against other excellent writers. It truly brings you a sense of value and worth.

Well, that has been my recent experience. I wasn’t the writer who had won things for my writing when I was a teen or had ever been pointed out in college as having written an excellent essay. Until this year, I was still feeling on shaky ground as to whether I could “do” this writing thing.  People said they liked my work and I did have 5 star reviews but still, I wasn’t sure. I decided to enter a contest. It was almost on a whim. I saw an ad to enter and had debated about it for a while and then one day, I just took the leap.

I entered two of my books in several different categories that I thought they best fit into and then I waited. It was 5 months before they were going to announce the winners. I wrote it on my calendar and said a silent prayer. When that day came, there was no email in my inbox. I was disheartened but I thought I would go check out the winners. I went to the website and started scrolling through the list. There was my book in 2nd place! Later, I read that they didn’t send out emails. I wish I had read that detail earlier.

Anyway, nothing beats the feeling of seeing my book on the winning list. I was elated! I felt the most validated I had ever felt as a writer. It’s like in Pinocchio when he says, “I’m a real boy.” That’s how I felt, “I’m a real author.” Up until then, I had felt like I was just pretending at this writing thing. The cool thing is they had an Awards Ceremony and placed medals around your neck up on stage. That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Well, I hope not, but it was truly magical. I have never been so proud and felt so accomplished in my whole life.

So, I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying this to encourage you to enter contests. You might have felt like me, afraid to put your work out there. But, as a writer, your writing is being judged every day by your readers. Some contests even provide feedback. That would be invaluable too. Even if you don’t win, you get information to help you improve your writing so possibly you can win next time. So, enter contests and maybe you’ll be writing in to tell me about it too. I’ll be jumping up and down with you to celebrate!

Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 4 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, and Little Birdie). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest. To download a free ebook, visit Wanda Luthman’s website at

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 .
  • 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 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
  • 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 ( , 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  

Order Your Books for Holiday Giving Now--Especially for Those Who Deserve Your Thanks

I thought VBT subscribers and visitors might want a reminder that books! Yep, books! Make great holiday gifts. This is one that multi award-winning author Mary Green recommends. Gift yourself or the author in your life who has helped spread word of mouth. Amazon promised delivery by December 25th.

The Frugal Book Promoter
Second edition, expanded and updated
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
416 pages
ISBN: 9781463743291
Available in paperback or for Kindle
Also available as an e-book at

Author's Web site:

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you wanted to know about book promoting and much
much more., September 25, 2011
Reviewed by
originally for Amazon

This review is from: The Frugal Book Promoter: Second Edition: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher. (Paperback)
When I saw the Table of Contents for this promoting bible, I was hooked. There was a chapter on everything I wanted or needed to know. I have written three "How To" books and have had a number of reviews and awards, but I am looking to go to the next level with some fresh new ideas. In other words, I had reached a plateau and did not want to repeat the same old methods.

When I first started reading the book I immediately liked the tone. It was as though the author was in my living room saying: Mary, why don't you try this and maybe you don't want to do this." Her books, like mine, are based on her personal experience. She has done book fairs; she has taught classes and consulted with authors; she has written award-winning books. She is an expert. That is what makes the book so powerful. I have read books that make me feel guilty if I haven't done ten things for my book that day.

Yesterday, I exhibited at a book festival and most of the authors were complaining that they had few sales. I looked up the topic in my new book. The author says "Book festivals are for readers." I knew intuitively that she was right. She goes on to say that these are really networking opportunities for the writers and not that many books are sold. That shift made me feel encouraged rather than discouraged at the book festival's results. Even though I did not sell tons of books, I did meet a lot of people: readers, writers and bookstore owners. I got a few tips and gave a few tips. I reconnected with people I had seen at previous events and got some recommendations for the best venues for future events. The author was spot on.

I also checked the chapter on book awards. I have won a total of 28 book awards for my three books and thought I knew all there was to know about awards and have spoken on the subject. However, after reading that section on book awards, I realized that I was not doing enough publicizing after I won the book awards and I am going to remedy that situation. Another tip I picked up. I am now going to say Mary Greenwood, multi-award winning author, instead of award-winning author.

Of course, I wished I had seen this book when my first book came out, but I can see that this book is useful for all authors, those working on their first book and authors who already have published several books and need some new ideas. I know I will go back and reread a chapter when I am starting a new task such as a press release or am thinking about doing a new blog or sprucing up my website.

I am just starting on my new book about "How to Negotiate With Your Dog" (hint: you don't.) I am going to use The Frugal Book Promoter Second Edition, the whole way. I can't wait to get started!
~Reviewer Green is author of How to Interview Like A Pro: Forty-Three Rules for Getting Your Next Job

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