Friday, October 14, 2016

Does an Award Make a Difference? By Paty Jager

I attended the InD'Scribe conference and RONE award ceremonies this past weekend.

The conference wasn't what I had expected. I spent more money than I should have on promotion at the conference. I enjoyed two of the workshops I went to- one on audiobook narration by Ann M. Richardson and one on how they do cover model photo shoots. I had face-to-face time with a couple of authors I'd met online.

As I sit here happy with the Runner Up status in the mystery contest for the RONE, I have several more contest entry forms showing up in my inbox. I like the contest, always have since I started writing. Back before I was published they were my validation that I could write a book people would enjoy. Now as a self-published author, getting even a runner up award shows that I can write a good mystery.

My biggest goal with a contest is to get my mystery books included in the big mystery contests. But they are hard to even enter. They require a book published by a publisher that fits their criteria, not self-published. That is one of my goals. To be entered in the Agatha Awards, Anthony Awards, Derringer Awards, and the Edgar Allan Poe Awards.

Many people/authors have told me awards don't sell books. Which I'm pretty sure is true. I won the RomCon award for Romantic Suspense in 2013, yet the Isabella Mumphrey books sell the least of all my books. But I don't enter contests to sell books, I enter them to validate my writing. If I made a best-selling list then I'd truly be validated, so I guess until then, I'll enter a contest here and there just to prove to myself my writing does stand out.

As a reader, does it make a difference to you if a book has received an award?

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