To Seek an Award or Not by Heather Haven

Most writers are pretty opinionated on the subject of soliciting awards. Some believe that entering a contest, often paying a fee, is buying the award. I personally, don’t believe that is true. Hundreds of books are often entered into a contest. Sometimes larger contests have thousands of entrants. Many from all over the world. If your book can win out over those odds, I say good for you.

For some authors, being nominated by their peers is the only way to go. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. The nomination of a book by members of an organization or those attending a conference is lovely. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it is, as I say, lovely. Sometimes the public nominates a particular book. In a way, it’s a popularity contest, but so what? If you have fans, if you have a following, and they want to acknowledge your book, that’s wonderful.

I have garnered a few awards over the years and I think they all add to the mix. For me, it’s a form of publicity and advertising.. Between good reviews and awards, I believe it helps a reader who may not be familiar with my work, to be willing to take a chance on buying one of my books. That’s all in all. Buy my book and read it.

If i am going to enter a contest, I try to be very circumspect. I like to know, first off, that it has merit. I take a little time, look through the credentials and past winners. Often awards are not a money making proposition for those running the contest. They have to hire readers and/or judges to read all the entries. They have to have some kind of technical or data driven system in place to handle the entries. It all takes time and money.

I recently won another award. I am deeply honored. The Drop-Dead Temple of Doom was the 2021 BIBA® Mystery/Cozy Mystery Winner! I get lots of publicity, stickers to put on my books, and received a beautiful crystal award. They even spelled my name right. I just love it.