How winning an award could find you new readers, & a list of awards for indie authors


I woke up to a lovely surprise a couple of weeks ago…


An email telling me that 30 Day Books was nominated and awarded a ‘Best Website for Independent Authors’ award. That put a big grin on my face (squeal!!!)


The award honors sites that “offers free information and resources of relevance and value to independent authors” which is always my goal with every blogpost and newsletter I put out.


We join a handful of wonderful sites, and I am totally delighted and thrilled by the recognition.


This got me thinking about how awards can be used in every field to recognize the cream of the milk bottle. Not only is it a nice feeling to win an award, it’s also an acknowledgement from a prestigious person or organization and, as such, it’s a very nice piece of third-party validation, which can certainly help your book to stand out in an ocean of books, and help drive book sales.


But not all awards come equal, and there are, unfortunately, some real scams out there. I’ve seen awards running anything up to $300 just to enter (!) and it’s sometimes hard to tell the real from the fakes.


As with any investment, be sure to research an award very carefully before sending off any money. Read entry guidelines thoroughly to check that you and your book are eligible,  be sure to enter the right category based on their definition, and look at the list of past winners for any clues.


And please, for the love of gollygoshness, don’t enter any contest that relies on votes from the public to choose a winner. In my humble opinion this strategy is simply a popularity contest; a way for the award-giver to get more traffic to their site. The actual value of the award is useless since it does not award the quality of the book or writing, but how many friends and family the author could get to vote on his or her book.


Luckily the ladies at WiseInk have done some of the hard work for us, and curated a great list of ‘The Top 10 Awards Indie Authors Should Not Ignore’. They were kind enough to allow me to reprint it below.


1. IPPY Award

2. National Indie Excellence Award

3. Foreword Magazine Award

4. Ben Franklin Award

5. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award

6. Mom’s Choice Award (for indie children’s books authors)

7. Reader Views Award

8. The Nautilus Book Award

9. The Next Generation Indie Book Award

10. Axiom Business Book Award


Again, do your research, choose your submission destinations wisely, and get those dates in your diary so you don’t miss any deadlines!

Any awards to add? What has been your experience with book awards and contests?


Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.


  • Dara @wiseink

    Thanks so much Laura for mentioning Wise Ink! Lovely post!

  • Christine Myers

    Congratulations, this award is well-deserved!

  • 30 Day Books

    Thank you so much, Christine!

  • 30 Day Books

    Np Dara, you did all the hard work. Fab list :)

  • Daree

    Thanks for the list. Joel Friedlander has a similar post that I used a few months back and I got a mention in the top picks for my category (YA). It feels great, indeed!

  • 30 Day Books

    Wonderful – congrats, Daree!

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