“Technology has changed the way book publishing works, as it has changed everything else in the world of media.” ~ Bruce Jackson
On Saturday, I attended the monthly meeting of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA). One of the reasons I don’t mind driving the distance, is the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life who are publishing their stories. Their manuscripts are usually a reflection of their interests, their lives or their careers. Always diverse, always leaving me wanting to learn more about each person, I collect business cards throughout the day, so I can go home check out their author websites and see what they have written.
The October meeting was “Get the Skinny on Book Awards.” There was time for networking and facilitated breakout sessions, fulfilling CIPA members requests for information on:
- Award-winning Editing
- Award-winning Design
- Guidelines used by CIPA for their annual EVVY Book Awards
- Discussions about Social Media and other Marketing
Christine Goff, a judge and organizer for the Colorado Book Awards was the guest speaker on Saturday. She spoke about book awards in general and it became clear to me as she spoke that the criteria for judging books is as she said “subjective,” depending on each contest. The aim should be to make the judging fair for all by having a set of standards in place to go by.
Interestingly, Goff mentioned, there are only about 19 states that have State Book Award contests. The Colorado Independent Publishers Association is opening up their awards to non-members meaning more submissions, a higher level of competition and an increased need for qualified judges. A four hour workshop on book competition judging will be offered.
Winning a book award gives a book distinction, indicating it is well-worth reading. There are many contests, and it is important that the contests that you, as an author, enter have been researched to make sure they are run legitimately.
I can not express enough, the value of joining publishing associations, at the national or state level, such as the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Networking with other authors should be at the top of your list. Join a publishing association in your area or State today!
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