~ Book Awards ~
This week my romantic suspense Close to the Skin is in a competition to win a Rone Award from InD’Tale Magazine– a beautiful and well-known e-magazine dedicated to romance writing.
This award is one in which readers vote for their favorite book or author. This process is similar to a number of Reader Award contests for published books such as Reader’s Favorites. The judges are readers and librarians and booksellers. I have entered several in the past, but as of yet have not won one.
Then, of course, there is the queen of awards – the RITA . This award is given for published books by Romance Writers of America. This contest is judged by fellow published romance writers. Corinna Lawson has written numerous blog posts about the award, and the books that have won.
Writing Contests & Awards
There are also smaller contests one can enter. I have won several contests offered by RWA Romance Writing Chapters. These contests are judged in the first round by fellow romance writers, and in the second round, by agents and editors in the romance field. My feeling is that this type of contest offers more to the writer who wants to improve their writing as you usually do get very useful feedback, even if you don’t win.
Close to the Skin won first place in the 2016 Pages from the Heart Award. I am very appreciative of that honor.
The third type of accolade a book can earn is to be a bestseller. There are all types of best sellers. Being on the NY Times list is, of course, the end goal for many writers. But there are also the USA Today listings and the rankings on Amazon. Authors usually put this achievement not only on the cover of the book that earned the ranking, but also on every book they write.
So how effective is winning an award for a writer?
Research reported in the Guardian on prestigious literary awards shows that reader ratings go down after a book wins a prize. Perhaps, people who might not ordinarily choose that type of book read a book because of the hype and then are disappointed and write bad reviews.
One thing that is true is that winning an award definitely gets a book more attention whether good or bad. Here is a list of award-winning books as listed on Goodreads. I bet you will find some you have read.
Being influenced by an award
I know that while I am very open in my reading choices, seeing award or bestseller on a book cover makes me feel more confident I will like the book. nevertheless, I also read the opening pages before I buy. Not every award-winning book or bestseller is my cup of excitement.
Then again, as a writer, there is great pleasure in being selected for an award. I certainly wouldn’t turn one down nor would I be upset for my book to be a bestseller, even for a just a day.
Hint: I’d appreciate your vote for that Rone Award. Vote here. Voting goes from April 23 to April 29th 2018. I’ll let you know how I do!