I am back in the land of blog, having taken time out to find a job. My Facebook page will not stop hectoring me to write more. I had thought writing novels was hard work enough, but apparently it’s a voluntary occupation and any payment solely at the discretion of an elusive employer, one who remains prudent and circumspect with hard cash. But that’s OK, now I am due to start a ‘proper job’, I expect my path bedecked with an avenue of golden magic money trees festooned in the colours of autumn, lightly dampened with a honeyed dew. Or, at least pay the rent.
In lieu of overnight success, which i’m assured takes a long time, and the promise of a wage, I have decided to enter a few competitions. It will be fun! I am emboldened by some positive comments for my book; ‘a definitely must-read’ (paid), ‘an noteworthy book’ (paid), ‘best book I’ve read in a long while’ (blind, illiterate man), ‘I’m impressed!’ (small child).
I researched this topic thoroughly by viewing a few Google pages, soon finding The Telegraph’s Top 25 list. Sadly, as I am self-published I am excluded from the ‘big three’. Man Booker’s loss I guess. Then finding myself back in the real world, I found a database of awards at ALLI based on their sensible code of standards. They state,
‘Ratings are based on careful appraisals of multiple criteria, including pricing and value, quality of service, contract terms and rights, transparency, accountability, and customer satisfaction’.
So, based on their recommendations I have trawled through the list in search of competitions which are affordable to me and open to submissions. So far I have submitted for a B.R.A.G. medallion and entered Best Indie Book Award.
BRAG are currently closed for submissions. Probably swamped. I received an email stating it will take six months to review my book. In one sense, money well spent, as I enjoy the giddy anticipation of their judgement. Apparently about 20% of those reviewed receive their accolade. The Best Indie Book Award will be closed in a few days. I shall wait expectantly to see if I am a finalist, and even enjoy the fantasy of standing on that fine podium giving my inaugural speech to a baying crowd of now enlightened customers. Although I have read awards generally make diddly-squat difference to sales.
I have so far found a couple of awards not on ALLI’s list. The McKitterick Prize for first time authors over 40 and first published in UK. This prize is free to enter but requires the posting of 5 paperbacks. Also, Underground Book Reviews have a novel of the year competition. That’s it to date. No doubt I shall be entering more competitions in the near future, committed as I am to squeezing every ounce of personal enjoyment out of my book, for a small entry fee.
If anyone has any information on competitions which are eligible for older men, self-published, and cheap(ish) to enter, then do please let me know.