What we do
There a plethora of book awards out there in the world. These awards are across many different genres. Most people have heard of the big literary awards, such as The Pulitzer, The Man Booker, The Folio, etc. To win one of these prizes brings huge kudos to an author and their work. In non-fiction too, there are many prizes with monetary and prestigious standing. Submitting books to these kind of awards is a serious business, and publishers are usually restricted as to the number of titles they can enter. We do send books to a wide variety, and there are notes about the prizes in the Contact Database. We submitted for around 100 awards last year, gaining 15. We have an awards co-ordinator who uses her discretion in this area, based on reader reports and recommendations from publicists.
What you can do
Feel free to enter awards at your own discretion. In our Contacts Database, if you search under Book Festival/Prize, there are 261, but that is a small fraction of the total.
There are companies like JPX media that only exist for generating book awards. These are seen as vanity awards, they can still have their place in book marketing, but have no standing in the book trade and in our experience, have no relevant effect on the sales of a book.
A definition of a Vanity Book Award: Vanity book awards are characterised by dozens or hundreds of categories to ensure all applicants have a shot at being a winner or finalist. There is an entry fee with additional fees for each specific category or other premium service such as trophies/stickers or prominent display on the award website; and promises of marketing, often using social media.
So in effect these awards are all part of the phenomenon of companies that exist solely to sell services to authors to help them market their books to the widest possible audiences. Often, these awards are promoted to self-publishing authors.There are good and bad versions of these services, and we try to analyse them by the activities and notes entered by our authors to know how good they are as a service provider.
If an author chooses to enter a book to an award, all related costs, including entry fees and copies to be sent in, and the costs of posting, are the sole responsibility of the author. John Hunt Publishing will only assume costs of award submissions which we select, and submit to ourselves.
We ask that if you are entering your book to a prize, any prize, that you enter this as an activity to your book. If we do not have the award in the Contacts Database, please do enter them onto the system. And add notes as to what you think of them. It will be useful for authors in the future.
Information on how to enter an activity can be found in the Author Guide here.
As with all activities, if you enter it and “complete” the activity with a win or runner up, then a notification will be sent out to the relevant book team members to let them know what has happened. The Publishing Manager and Publicist can then use this information to promote the activity using social media.
Shanti and the Magic Mandala by F.T. Camargo has, to date, won or been runner up in the following prizes:
Winner of 2014 London Book Festival - “Young Adult”
Winner of 2014 London Book Festival - “Young Adult”
Bronze Medal in 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Young Adult Fiction Spirituality
Honorable Mention 2014 New England Book Festival in “Young Adult”
Winner of 2015 Paris Book Festival “Young Adult”
Winner of 2015 International Book Awards - “Fiction / Young Adult”.
Winner of 2015 New York Book Festival “Young Adult”.
Runner-up in “Young Adult” 2015 Los Angeles Book Festival
F. T. Camargo has highlighted these awards on his website: http://www.ftcamargo.com/ and spread word about them on his social media feeds. Its effect is impressive to those looking at his title.
Most of these awards offer the author a logo that can be used in marketing purposes. These are either free with the win, or offered as a paid item. These logos can be used by you on your own website and social media. But it will be up to the author to provide their own visuals for their marketing efforts.
We are unable to use these stickers/logos. This is due to the cost involved with our various worldwide distributers. This also applies to updating covers to include any award logo, or to update the back cover text. This can only go ahead once the book has exceeded sales of 1000 copies. Discretion must be applied to the types of awards we will include here, and that decision is ours.
Publicist Experience: In 2014 I read one of our titles, Bald New World, a scifi, dystopian novel from an emerging Asian/American author. It was an ambitious novel, well executed, and I was really impressed by it. I worked on the title for PR, and noticed that it had also gained attention from a number of reviewers prior to publication. Publisher’s Weekly had tipped it as a Summer Read for 2014, Buzzfeed had included it as one of its 15 Highly Anticipated Books of 2014. Post publication it gained more great reviews. So I had it in my head as a book to note. In October 2014, I came upon the submissions for The Folio Prize. Most of their prize nominations are selected by a judging panel, but publishers around the world are then invited to submit titles they feel have a chance. I filled in the submission online for Bald New World, just on the off chance. In December, I received a highly confidential email, to say that the panel were in fact considering the title for the Folio Longlist! I was not allowed to tell the author at this time, but just to ensure that all publisher contacts were aware of the possibility ahead of the Longlist announcement. The announcement came in January 2015 and Bald New World made the Longlist.