- Anything we have that can make our book stand out from the millions of other books on offer at Amazon or any other outlet, has to be considered. The reality of the situation is that we are competing with so many other titles that being noticed is incredibly important. A book award can do this for you.
- You must ensure the award carries some credibility in the marketplace. For example, I issue my Annual Grunter Awards every December to the books I consider to be the best books I've read that year. For me, it's a lot of fun and for those that receive an award, I'm sure it's a nice feeling but value in the marketplace - probably zilch. So, you really must look for an award that has some literary standing and some value for the investment you put into it.
I'm often asked how important it is for us, as authors, to actively seek out book awards for our work. My answer is two-fold:
From the people who bring you the top-selling (free) monthly magazine, comes the opportunity of a lifetime: In association with The Fussy Librarian we have assembled some of the very best Indie Authors on the planet to offer you free or heavily discounted books over an entire weekend.
Today, I want to hand my blog over to Best-Selling Author of the Detective Sam Smith Series, Hannah Howe, who, along with her co-creators Ronesa Aveela and Denise McCabe have started the venture - MOM'S FAVORITE READS!
After an extensive search and much consideration we reach the point where I can announce the winner of the SUPREME GRUNTER AWARD for 2018.
Before we do that, though, lets quickly remind ourselves of the twelve category winners who are in line to receive this prestigious award
Whew! What an awesome selection of talented authors and exceptional books - How to choose a winner from that? Read on, dear friend, read on....
I was planning on announcing the Supreme Grunter Award in today's blog, however, I've decided to let that wait until tomorrow now and I'll introduce a new category for this year's awards - COVER OF THE YEAR.
We all know how important covers are and how they work to attract our eye to that small thumbnail, as we scroll through literally thousands of books. Cover designers are the unsung heroes of our industry, so I thought it would be nice to honour them with an award.
I've scrolled through the 180 odd books that I've read this year and chosen the six covers I think are the best of the best. It's totally subjective of course, but I know what catches my eye and in the words of an overused cliche: "I may not know much about cover design, but I know what I like:
Although I am many moons past being a Young Adult, myself, I always find these books to be refreshing and fascinating reads. I still remember teenage angst, inherent shyness and, of course, bullying. When you throw in an indie author's creativity and imagination, some of these Young Adult books are just as spectacular and thrilling as any "adult" book.
So, the nominations in this final category for 2018, are:
Science Fiction is a genre I lapped up, as a kid. I was an enormous fan of Robert A. Heinlein and I think I read every book he wrote. As an author, I am in awe of the people who write science fiction and their incredible imaginations. I do like my Science Fiction heavy on the fiction and light on the science, but nevertheless, I have read a wonderful collection of all types of Science Fiction, this year.
Again, one of my favourite categories. It's a genre I often write in and also a genre I love to read. Yes, deep down, beneath this gruff exterior you see before you, I truly am a hopeless romantic and a believer that love can conquer all - but, can it? We shall see with some of these fine Romance/Adventure books nominated for this year's awards.
Today we look at the category of Non Fiction/Memoirs. There is such as wide variety of material to choose from in this category, ranging from Self-Help books through to harrowing tales of pain, angst and suffering, and then those inspirational tomes that help us see the world in a better light. This year, I've read some wonderful books in this category, so let's get to the nominations, without further ado.
And now we come to one of the biggest categories every year, that of Murder/Mayhem. Some of my favourite indie authors write in this genre, so there is always something amazing and wonderful to choose from and this year is no exception. In fact, just choosing three finalists is a hard enough job in its own right, but here we go!
"Laughter is the best medicine". That's what they say and they are absolutely right. So much of what we see today in the world around us and so much of what we read in novels is dark, scary, and downright depressing. When we come across a book that makes us smirk, giggle, laugh and even occasionally belly-laugh, we should cherish it. Writing good humour, though, is not an easy thing to do - trust me, I've tried and it is both taxing and hard to navigate. The three authors nominated in the humour category this year have all managed to find that fine line in humour between making us smile and offending us. I salute their talents.
And, now we are up to my favourite genre - Historical Fiction!!!!
But wait, I hear you mumble, you've missed a category this year! What about Erotica? Where's the Erotica? Well, the simple truth is this - I haven't actually read any true erotica this year. I'm not sure if that means I've finally grown up, or perhaps it means I'm getting too old to enjoy the hot, steaminess of erotica. Probably the latter, but whatever, it has dropped off the Awards radar this year.
The Historical Fiction genre encapsulates some of the most talented, indie writers in the Universe and this year, I've read some amazing historical fiction. Accordingly, as in some previous years, I've chosen four nominations for this title, instead of the usual three, but even then, some superb books have had to miss out.
The nominations are:
Today we enter the world of fantasy, of make-believe and of creatures as yet unknown and unseen. This is certainly among my top genres to read and I have been lucky enough to read some absolute pearlers in this category this year. Choosing my favourite three was a difficult and painful task, but it's got to be done. So, here are the three nominations for the Fantasy Fiction category in this year's awards:
Dystopian fiction is the type of fiction that brings our worst nightmares to life. What would happen if there was a catastrophic world even and civilisation had to start all over again? How thick is our veneer of humanity and civilisation? How will we react in difficult conditions - with humanity or with our primnitive survival instincts. These books always make for a good read and the three nominations in this category are no exception.
The nominations are:
What is contemporary literature, you may well ask? To be perfectly honest, I can't give you a definitive answer to that question, but for me, in these awards, it is books that fall between the cracks of the genre categories that I have set. They tend to be books that are much more philosophical than your average novel, or they tend to be books that tell a modern story of life and relationships (outside of straight romance). I have read some absolute stunners this year and I am excited to bring them to you.
The nominations in the category of Contemporary Literature are:
I'm particularly excited about this category because I have a strong belief in the importance of reading for children. I know I owe my late father a deep debt of gratitude for introducing us kids to books at an early age. Dad took us to the library virtually every Saturday morning and there we would immerse ourselves in the world of fantasy that is books. As a Grandfather of 12 grandkids, I try to pass on my love of reading to them, but with today's electronic distractions it sometimes feels like a losing battle, however, it is one I am determined to continue.
Reading develops an area of stimulation in a child's brain that visual cues do not and for this reason alone it is critical that children read and read often.
I have been fortunate to read some stunning children's books this year and I happily give you the nominations for the Grunter's Children's Book of the Year.
It's my favourite time of year again - December! Yes, it's Christmas and yes, it's Hanukkah, and yes it's the holidays, but more important than that it is the time I take each year to pay tribute to the wonderful authors who have filled my year with excitement, with delight, and with the sheer pleasure of reading their wonderful works.
Each year, I seem to read more books than ever and the Grunters grow in popularity and stature. This year has been no exception and as of 30/11/2018, I have read 182 superb books, this twelve month period. This compares to 142 in 2017 and makes this, the fourth iteration of these awards, the 2018 Grunter Awards, the biggest and best ever.
As always, remember these are my opinions only and if your book doesn't get a mention in these awards, it is no reflection on your book, it is merely a reflection on the breadth and depth of talent in the Indie Author industry and the sheer number of books I read.
So, without further ado, let's get on with the very first awards for 2018. This category is for: Anthologies and Collections.
The nominations are:
Calling all fans of #Lostgirl and #BuffytheVampireSlayer
Grab your copy of this Lesbian Paranormal Fantasy
by USA Today Bestselling Author Erzabet Bishop!
Today, I'm happily turning over my blog to a good friend of mine, Jill Hughes, whose recent debut novel Spirit of Prophecy is taking the indie book world by storm. A mixture of the paranormal, wicca, science fiction and a good old fashioned murder/mystery, Spirit of Prophecy is centred around the rarefied world of three-day-eventing. Jill would love to let you know some more about this incredibly popular form of equine competition. So, take it away Jill!
In the equestrian world, the three-day event is seen, by many, to be the pinnacle of equine supremacy. Why would be this be so? Simply put, the three-day event tests all of the innate skills of the horse and of horsemanship by combining three equine events into a challenging series of obstacles that tests not only speed, endurance and courage, but also accuracy and temperament. It perfectly encapsulates all that makes horses and horse competitions so enthralling to both the equine community and the general public.
One of the best parts of what I do, especially reading indie authors is that every once in a while I stumble across a new indie author who is publishing his/her debut novel and it blows me away.
It is incredibly exciting being in, right at the beginning of a new talent's rise in the industry. I experienced just such a moment recently when I was offered the opportunity to read Spirit of Prophecy by J J Hughes.
I very much wanted to introduce this novel to everyone and give you an insight into the story and the author.