Some people say contests are a tremendous marketing tool, some say

they’re a waste of time … we’re going to explore the pros and cons of contests … let me ask

you, Thomas …

Talking Points:

  • Pros if you’re unpublished
  • Feedback
  • Learning how to handle negative feedback/critique
  • Many editors and agents take notice if you place in a contest
  • Possible inclusion in a magazine
  • See how you compare to other authors in your genre
  • Deadlines

Pros if you’re published:

  • If it’s a prestigious award, it can gain you new readers
  • It gives you more clout with editors and agents and interviewers
    • Example, the RT Book Reviews inspirational book of the year
    • The Christy Award
  • Tax deductible biz expense—it’s a marketing tool
  • Excuse for a advertising boost.
  • Recognition from your peers.
  • Sticker for book cover.

Cons if you’re unpublished

  • Feedback
  • Cost $25 ­ $50
  • Choosing the right contest
    • Check out the judges as much as you can
    • Who has won in the past?
    • Who is sponsoring the contest? What are their credentials?
    • Susan May Warren’s contest Frasier Awards
  • Scam contests
  • You’re not ready
  • You focus on the first three chapters or first 15 pages
  • Everything takes time

Cons if you’re published

  • Cost $25 ­ $50, plus the cost of books and shipping
  • You don’t know why you’re entering a contest
  • Awards don’t impress that many readers
  • Everything takes time
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