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Taking Advantage of Winning an Award

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Terry DohertyBy Terry Doherty

Tis the Day after the Red Carpet …
What’s an author to Do?
Shout, “I won an award!”
And, answer the question: “Oh yeah? Well, who are you?!”

Congratulations! You won a Benjamin Franklin Award. It is a very prestigious award and you should be very proud of your accomplishment. Enjoy the euphoria of this incredible milestone … you have worked hard to get here!

Good. Now, let’s get back to work.

Today more than any time in history, it is easy to stand atop the mountain and share your news with the world. You, and the rest of the planet! So, how can you cut through the noise and get the world to take notice? And more importantly, how can you get people to buy your award-winning book?

Before you won your Benjamin Franklin Award, you knew that books don’t sell themselves. Winning an award hasn’t changed this. It does, however, bring recognition that can help you get your book noticed. It can also open doors to promotional opportunities that were tough to get before. Here are three tips to help make sure this happens.

Start the Presses!

Paper boyIBPA just sent out a media release. Did you? One of your first orders of business is to write and publish a media release. They hit the big guys and you need to hit home:

  • Send a copy to your local news and radio stations, as well as your local newspaper (no paper too small).
  • Deliver a copy to your local (or regional) librarian and offer to co-host an event at the library.
  • Drop by your local bookstore so they can coordinate a signing!

Get Covered

IBPA-BenjaminFranklinYou have a nice shiny sticker on your book. It’s beautiful. Do you have a Benjamin Franklin Award seal on every copy?

Without this sticker, no one knows that you have an award-winning book. This distinction is exactly what will help your book stand apart on the bookstore shelves.

If you use a distributor, you might consider having the seal imprinted on your cover. If you don’t imprint the seal, you may spend a lot of time stickering each one of your books before they go out to the distributor’s warehouse. At this time, IBPA doesn’t charge a licensing fee to imprint the Benjamin Franklin Award seal on your cover. Nice, right?! Just contact the IBPA office to request a version of the seal that will be high resolution enough.

Don’t forget the “virtual” versions of the book! Be sure to update the book cover image for all points of sale: your website, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, et al. While you’re there, be sure to update the description / summary of your book to include “Benjamin Franklin Award winner.”

Give Yourself a Break

checklistNow that you’ve had a life changing event, take a moment to see where you are. This is a wonderful time to take stock of where you are and refresh your goals and/or plan.

  • What are you doing that you (a) love and (b) that is helping you reach your goals?
  • What are the things that you don’t like to do? Can you get rid of them?
  • Who are the people in your network – authors, publishers, friends, family – that can help open doors to new ideas or markets?
  • Are there markets you haven’t considered yet?

As you think about the answers to these questions, consider how you might want to refresh your media kit and online presence.

Rinse and Repeat!

The reality is that the basic process of marketing your book haven’t changed. Unless you’re Sue Grafton, your book doesn’t sell itself.

If it is any consolation, even Sue Grafton needs to remind people about the other books she’s written. People who just discovered “W” is for Wasted may not know about “A” is for Alibi. There are always new audiences and people have short memories.

Nurturing your network and building new ones is an ongoing process – just like any other relationship. Winning a Ben Franklin Award has created new opportunities. Take advantage of those special accomplishments.

Don’t hesitate to periodically remind the world just what an incredible milestone that is. The world deserves to know!

(And, here’s another idea just for fun: set a tickler in your calendar for about a year from now so you can celebrate the anniversary of the day you won your Benjamin Franklin Award.)

Related: Good Writing Speaks for Itself, and Sometimes Wins a Benjamin Franklin Book Award! ; Making the Most of Winning the Benjamin Franklin Book Award for The Take-Charge Patient

Terry DohertyAbout the Author: Terry Doherty is a voracious reader with a keen analytical eye and a lifelong passion for writing. Combine a passion for reading and kids, a natural affinity for analysis, and a love of solving puzzles, and you’ve got Terry. Before becoming a Mom in late 2001, she spent nearly 20 years as a research analyst, supervisor, mentor, trainer, and analytical program manager with the federal government. She has drawn on her acclaimed expertise as a national security analyst in her roles as senior editor and publishing director for an independent house; and mentor for both her consulting business & flourishing literacy nonprofit.

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