Posted on 06/11/2018 at 12:00 PM by Guest Author

Today's guest post comes from Edward Trayer, organizer of The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, on the power of awards.

Book awards: A tool in your toolbox

I just got a message from an author who won the bronze in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards asking whether this will help her to sell her book. Well, here’s the thing. It will, if you see the medal as a tool in your marketing toolbox.

For example, when I won the UK People’s Book Prize, I put it on my author page and I put it on the front cover of all of my books. This helped a little. 

But it helped BIG TIME when I was trying to twist the arms of schools to allow me to visit them and present my literacy workshops to the students there. 

In the past, when I sent a message to schools offering to do my workshops, I’d get a response of approximately 1%.

But when I put “Winner of The UK People’s Book Prize” in the box at the top of the message, I got a response of approximately 12%.

You see, 99% of readers have no clue how good or bad a literary award is. They simply see “Award-Winning Book,” and they think, “Oh, it must be good.”

In my case, the teachers in the schools see “UK People’s Book Prize Winner” and think, “Oh, he must be good,” and they book me up for a visit.

So, to sum it up, then: Yes, being a finalist or winning a medal in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards can help you to sell your books, but only if you have a marketing strategy whereby you utilize the win to further that marketing strategy. 

Let me put it this way. After winning the award, I now sell an average of seventy-five books at every school I visit. Before I won the award, I sold an average of forty-five books. 

The difference: I had a marketing strategy, and every poster I now send the schools says “Winner of the UK People’s Book Prize” in bold, red letters at the top. 

And the letter the schools send to parents to tell them a children’s author is visiting and they can buy a signed book – well, I bet you can guess what it says in big, bold letters at the top.

See winning an award as a tool in your toolbox. But if you don’t take the tool out, it’s not going to do you any good.

About the author

Edward Trayer, under the pen name Billy Bob Buttons, is the author of thirteen children’s books including the UK People’s Book Prize winner I Think I Murdered Miss. He is also the organizer of The Wishing Shelf Book Awards.

You can read more about him here.

Categories: Behind the scenes

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