More on Book Contests

Imagining ...
Imagining …

A few blogs back, I posted that I’d started thinking about entering The Case for Killing in book contests. I then discussed Canadian book awards for which self-pub thrillers are eligible.

This post is about international book contests in which a Canadian self-pub thriller can participate. Most are based in the United States and United Kingdom.

I imagined that this post would list four or five established, well-regarded international contests. I didn’t want more because they would take too much of my time to participate in and because the costs would run too high. But I’ve ended up with only two firm choices – and some confusion.

My starting point was the list of awards for crime fiction at The Case for Killing wasn’t eligible for many contests in that list. Some had a residency requirement I didn’t meet; some exclude self-published books (e.g. the Edgars); and others are for a contest associated with a conference I’m not attending.

However, two contests for which Canadian self-published thrillers are eligible and which I’d heard of from other authors are the EPIC eBook Competition (by the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) and The Hammett Prize (by the International Association of Crime Writers/North American Branch). EPIC has a $35 fee and The Hammett has no fee. I think they have profile, perhaps enough to affect sales, and they’re affordable, so I’ll enter both.

Then I went to the list in the article “Book Awards for Self-Published Authors” at The Book Designer (a terrific resource if you don’t know it). Not all contests in this list are for thrillers. Then there are contests that cover many different categories but have significant entry fees. When you add postal costs to submit paperback copies of your book, which many contests require, the costs become significant.

That’s where I became confused. How do you judge the contests with higher entry fees? This article by Janice Hardy is useful. And from it, participating in next year’s Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards looks interesting.

However, as a newbie author, I feel I need to talk to more authors, publishers and agents to decide which contests have the profile that would interest me.

I’ll report back soon. But in the meantime, please share your experiences, especially about contests that helped book sales. Many thanks!

Copyright © Peter Fritze 2014

Buy The Case for Killing here (Canada) or here (U.S.).

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