You Can Negotiate Anything, Anywhere, Anytime

Friday, June 6, 2014

How Book Awards Can Help Your Marketing Effort: The Good, Bad and the Ugly.

When applying for book awards, you need to use some common sense and caution.

Getting awards is fun (the Good), but you don't want your money to be wasted (the Bad) or even be scammed (the Ugly.)

Here are some things to look at when deciding whether to enter an award contest.

1. What is the cost?

Some think that any cost is too much and won't enter an awards contest that costs anything. My view is that $50 is a good price point. If you do win, where can you get that kind of publicity for $50? In addition, there are some administrative costs to running an awards event and that seems reasonable to me. I won't apply for a contest that costs $150 or more. You have to wonder where that money is going.

2. How often is the book award contest conducted?

If more than once a year, I am a little suspicious. Also if I don't win one year, I am not going to try again. I already have an idea what they think of my book and I don't have to pay more money to find out for sure. If anything, there is more competition the next year.

3. If an award asks for personal information like passport number or drivers license number, run for the hills!

If you read the instructions and see that you have to give personal information, you may be setting yourself up for a scam. Usually you have a choice on how to pay. I like to write a check even though it takes longer to get there. I also like to pay with PayPal. If you are requested to pay before you get instructions, then you know you are being scammed.

4. What is the prize? Don't give away your rights.

If the prize is a publishing contract, be sure to read the rules very carefully. You don't want to give away the rights to your book. Is this really a contest or a way for publisher to get you to pay a fee a book contract or a way to get you to pay a big fee for editing.

5. What is the prize? Be wary of winning an entry in an anthology

There may be legitimate anthologies for poetry or a specific topic, of course. However, if your prize is the opportunity to be in an anthology and you get the right to sell copies of that anthology, you may want to rethink that. Who is going to read this anthology except for the authors?

6. What is the prize? A trophy but you must pay for it.

Now if you are charged $5 or $10 to get a medal, that is reasonable, but if you have to pay $100 or more for a trophy, that seems excessive. You have to ask yourself, who is making the money?

7. What is the prize? Money, judges' comments, website listings, stickers, trip to award ceremonies, book festivals and press releases.

I like book awards because of the Public Relations for my books. The book awards may send an email or press release that can be shared to your friends and contacts. Money is nice, but usually that is only for the grand prize winner. Judges' comments can be useful, but sometimes they can also be annoying. Lately a judge criticized my book on interviewing because it didn't have anything on resumes. Well there are plenty of books on resumes, but mine is about interviewing! It is usually too late to make any changes anyway so I don't ask for judges' comments anymore.

Often the book award will list your book on its website. If you get that opportunity, be sure to do that. Often there will be a link to Amazon or Barnes and Noble to buy your book so that can be another revenue stream. Others will give you stickers or charge a small fee for them. My experience with stickers is that they fall off and can look unseemly. I don't put them on my books anymore, but it is nice to take a photo of the sticker for your website or blog. Often the grand prize winner will get a trip to the awards or a weekend at a writers retreat. This is nice but remember only one person gets this. You will have a better chance getting a prize in your category.

8. Who are the judges?

Read the fine print and see who the judges are. When the books are part of a reviewers' book awards, such as Readers Views and Readers Favorites, the books will be reviewed as well as judged. Be careful if the rules say the judges will read only a certain percentage of the book. We all know it may not take long to tell whether a book is award material, but you want your book to be read.

9. Who are the sponsors and how long has the award existed?

The book awards are usually sponsored by publishers, publisher organizations, reviewers, and book festivals. The Eric Hoffer Book Awards were previously called Writers Notes and a few years ago got permission from the Eric Hoffer Estate to use his name. The Writers Digest has been around for 20 years and the IPPY Awards for 16 years. Just because an award is new does not mean I won't enter it since it is also a way to get on the ground floor for something new. If I like the concept, I will go ahead and enter.

Book Awards have really helped me in my marketing effort. If you follow some of the guidelines above, you will be entering book contests like a pro!

See my previous post for some more tips on book awards.

Mary Greenwood, Author of How to Interview Like a Pro, winner of 13 book awards; How to Mediate Like a Pro, winner of 13 book awards; and How to Negotiate Like a Pro, winner of 10 book awards.

Book Awards: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Once You Win a Book Award, be sure to get as much mileage out of it as you can.

     Winner of 13 book awards

1. Put award-winning book or award-winning author interchangeably with the name of your book or your name as the author. If you have won more than one award, use “multi-award winning.”

2. Go through everything you write and change it to award-winning. This can include your profile on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Look at your blog and Website. If you have previously written ezines or other articles, update them with your new awards. 

3. Use Google Alerts with the name of your book to see how much PR you are really getting. This will help you decide where to put your continued efforts. I like to google some key phrases periodically to see what Google alerts may have missed.

4. Write a detailed Press Release every time you win an award. I like to tell the history of the award and even list the other winners in my category. I may even write some nice things about the other winning books in my category. Then I write an email to those other writers with a copy of the link along with my congratulations. Sometimes these other winners will reciprocate by putting something about me on their blog or website.

5. Send copies of the Press Releases to anyone who might be interested in publishing the information. For example, send to your current newspaper and other newspapers such as your home newspaper or a newspaper where you previously lived. Send to your alumni associations, your employer and your professional organizations such as the local bar association or Rotary. Send to your local writers’ group newsletter. 

5. Put book award information on your signature on your email account so that everyone who receives an email from you will see this information. This is sent automatically and often, I will get a response like, “ I did not know you were an author,” or “My daughter is looking for a job and could use this book on interviewing.” If it is not relevant to your email, you canalways delete the signature before sending. 

6. Write blurbs or tips with "award-winning author" that people will want to share with others on Facebook or retweet. That will help your information go viral. 

7. Send the information frequently. You don’t want to be obnoxious, but sending something only once may leave out people who don’t check Facebook or Twitter on a regular basis. Some things do bear repeating. You can always tweak the post so it is a little different from earlier ones. 

Winner of 13 book awards

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy Father's Day Dad. Repost of Jackisms

Happy Father's Day
As Father's Day approaches, I like to repost my list of Jackisms, which my sister Sara and I have compiled. There are probably more. I wake up thinking of new ones, but often forget to write them down. They are mostly sayings of optimism and humor, which often get me through any bad day. I miss you, Dad!

JACK GREENWOOD’s Jackisms 1915-2009
A Gentleman and A Scholar

1. If you stick with me, you will be wearing diamonds.
2. Keep your snorkel up
3. Keep your chin up
4. Better than a sharp stick in the eye
5. Oppydildock
6. Bellyup (like a fish)
7. Don't take any wooden nickels
8. Let it roll off your back.
9. Roll with the punches.
10. As I live and breathe.
11. You are a sight for sore eyes.
12. Go get 'em tiger.
13. Connecticut is God's country
14. Connecticut is the banana belt of New England
15. The chief
16. Never get into a pissing contest with a skunk.
17. Put your best foot forward.
18. Always dress your best.
19. Go pound sand
20. Knock them dead
21. You can always tell a Greenwood, but you can't tell him much.(on pens at 90th birthday party)
22. What have you done for your country today?
23. Hold the fort.
24. Rigamarole
25. Discombobulated
26. Don't forget your mittens. (from The Man in the Grey Fannel Suit with Gregory Peck and referred to when Marnie rented the porch to live)
27. Good on you.
28. Everyone is a critic
29. Give me high test (coffee)
30. That will grow hair on your chest
31. That will stick to your ribs
32. That is good for what ails you.
33. Have a hot toddy.
34. Pipe down
35. Hold the phone (stop)
36. Hold your horses
37. He's a peach of a guy
38. Trust in the lord
39. You don’t know how to eat.

Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of 10 book awards,  How to Interview Like a Pro, winner of 13 book awards, and How to Mediate Like a Pro, winner of 13 book awards. Visit: www.MaryGreenwood.org