Winning a book award for your title would be amazing, right? Of course it does! Book sales and awards are what validates you as a children’s book author, right? Its “proof” that your work and investment in your writing is not a waste of time. But, which book awards do you chase and how do you win them?

Just Say No

There’s surprisingly quite a few book awards our there. The nomination process can vary. Its common to expect to pay an entry fee. So let’s start with this piece of advice… never pay an entry fee to submit your book to for an award that contacts you first telling you that you should submit your title. Why? Simply put, if they contacted you first they probably are in a “sales effort” mode to increase the number of application fees they have collected. After all, for many book awards – it’s a business and there are people and advertising to pay for.

Finding The Awards

If you are going to pay to submit your book for an award, definitely research the award before submitting. If the purpose of winning the award is (as it should be) to add credibility and increase sales of your title then you want to choose an award that is respected and recognized by both booksellers and consumers. One that has been around a long time is IPPY Award. (23 years and still running). Cost to enter is $75-$95 depending upon how early you enter. And the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards are very well recognized so check them out, too, at They charge $95 to submit a title. You can find some additional book award sources here:

Don’t Just Take A Chance

Before you submit your book you need to really think about it. Research the awards you are considering and their book criteria. I am sure that you know to carefully choose the category for your book. But before all of that you need to make certain that your book is top notch. Competition is fierce and you are wasting your money if you don’t have a truly remarkable story and memorable illustrations.

Making Every Book Award Worthy

If you’re serious about winning, then you need to be extra serious about your books. That means investing in them, marketing them, loving on them with every fiber of who you are. Before your book even goes to print is when you have to determine that you want to submit it for an award. Then you have to work extra hard to make sure it is perfection in every way.

Considering Award Criteria

Now, criteria for book awards can be a great little check list to refer to when creating your book. We do recommend considering their list of requirements when creating. But, don’t let it get you turned around in circles to where your book meets all the award criteria but none of your personal goals for content. Your original intention was share your message with the world so make sure your message is not lost. There are different book awards and they all have their own criteria so you can find one to submit to without compromising your story.

Starting Smaller

It might help to go after a smaller award first. There are lots of independent book awards in the industry as well. And yes, we are an independent publisher so our books do qualify for these awards. If you are one of our authors, talk to us about book awards. We often already have some thoughts about your title and how we’d approach awards with regard to it.

No Thank You

And lastly, there’s more books that never get an award than there are ones who have. Its not the end of the world to be an author who’s book was not submitted for an award. Chasing the awards is not the goal of every author so its okay to just say “no thank you”.

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