How to Promote Your Book: CONTESTS!

Contests are a great way to promote your writing. Also, having a Golden Spleen Winner stamped on the front cover of your book adds credibility to your work—some judge some where thought your book was the bomb (and just not your mom.) So, thanks to Stephie Smith, here’s a compilation of (mostly romance) contests.

And here’s a list by Poets & Writers

Be careful, though. Some are not worth the cost. But some are free to enter, so what’s the harm?

I’ve had good (mostly) experiences with contests. Many years ago, I entered the Writer’s Digest short story contest. My short story, Love Beneath the Huckleberries, placed in the top one hundred. At the time, I was really disappointed, but looking back, I realize I should have been thrilled. Magic is the first thing I ever self-published and I did it mostly to practice. It’s still available at Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. (It’s free.)

Years ago when my twin babies were 3 years old and starting preschool, I sat down to write my first novel. I didn’t know what to write so I did some research and came across a small, start up company that wanted to publish “wholesome romance.” I ordered a couple of their books, read them and thought piece of cake. Of course, the cake was much more difficult to digest than I had thought, but after many afternoon preschool writing sessions, I completed my first book and sent it off to Ponder Romance. The editor called me. She loved my book, but it wasn’t right for them. We talked for nearly ninety minutes and our conversation provided invaluable feedback. I’ve since published that book, The Light in the Christmas Cafe. (It’s $3.99)

In 2010, I entered my novel Hailey’s Comments in the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist contest (I’m pretty sure they don’t have these anymore, but they were at the time a big deal.) Here’s what I found:

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) was a contest sponsored by Amazon.comPenguin GroupHewlett PackardCreateSpace and BookSurge to publish and promote a manuscript by an unknown or unpublished author.[1] The first award was given in 2008 and in 2015 Amazon announced that they would not be continuing the award and would instead focus on the Kindle Scout program.

Hailey’s Comment was a quarter-finalist. That  it was in the top one hundred (I believe) and it “won” a review by Publisher’s Weekly. I now wish I had kept the review.

hailey's comments copy

(Hailey’s Comments, currently $4.99, but will be FREE this weekend.)

My novel The Rhyme’s Library was a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review Awards in 2013.



Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent was a semi-finalist in the I Heart Indie’s Contest.

big beyond the tent copy

(.99 cents)

And my last foray into contests was my 2015 Kindle Scout winner, Witch Ways.

Witch Ways copy (1)


You can read my previous posts on the Kindle Scout program:

As I said, I haven’t entered a contest since, but now looking back, I’m wondering why not?

How about you? Have you found contests valuable?

About Kristy Tate

USA Today bestselling author Kristy Tate has come a long way from small-town Washington. Her avid curiosity and love of reading have carried her to thirty plus countries. (She loves to travel to the places she reads and writes about.) She's the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling and award-winning Beyond Series and the Kindle Scout winning Witch Ways series. She writes mysteries with romance, humorous romance, light-hearted young adult romance, and urban fantasy. When she's not reading, writing, or traveling, she can be found playing games with her family, hiking with her dogs, or watching movies while eating brownies. She is also a popular public speaker and presents writing workshops for schools, libraries, and fundraisers. All proceeds donated to charity. References available upon request.
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3 Responses to How to Promote Your Book: CONTESTS!

  1. Carol says:

    Congratulations on your success, Kristy! Many thanks for the links.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. E. Ayers says:

    There are some fabulous contests for writers and people don’t have to have a whole books to win them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. leighmorgan1 says:

    Great post, Kristy! Each cover of yours is lovely and tells a mini-story all by itself. Well Done!


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