Today, I am delighted to have Edward Trayer visit PBHQ to talk about his wonderful Award programme, the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, for Independent Authors. So please help yourself to a drink and settle down with my lovely guest.
My Book Awards:
Fun to Run or a Total and Utter Nightmare
Seven years ago, I set up the Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Why? Well, I was upset with book awards open to self-published and independently published authors. I felt they were a total rip-off. I remember, I was a finalist in one America-based award - I was so excited – and they didn’t even bother to tell me. Then, in another award, also America-based, I did very, VERY well but all they were interested in was selling me dodgy winner stickers at a crazy, inflated price. Then there was the feedback I got from another award. It was a joke! It was 19 (yes, 19!) words long and congratulated me on writing a wonderful adult book set in war-time France. IT WAS A CHILDREN’S BOOK SET IN A MAGIC BOOKSHOP!
So I went for a walk…
I went for a walk and decided in amongst the tall chestnut trees to set up my own book award. And that is what I did.
But it had to be different. Much, much different to what was on offer at present. So I thought to myself, what do I want from a book award? Well, I want the organisers to see me, actually see me – and my book. I don’t just want to be a ‘$’ sign or a ‘£’ sign to them. Also, I want to get ‘value for money’ so, even if I don’t win, I want to get feedback from the judging. And, finally, I don’t want to pay lots of money to enter.
So, from this, I set up The Wishing Shelf Book Awards (www.thewsa.co.uk).
Over the last seven years, it has grown. Wow! How it’s grown. In the first year we had 42 authors and publishers enter. This year it will be closer to 300! Now we have a very interactive Facebook page where the authors and publishers can discuss the award and how best to run it. Now we provide the authors who enter a catchy quote to help them to market their books. Now we post reviews – based on the feedback – on Amazon, Goodreads and Bookbub. Now we actively support Blind Children UK, helping them to produce books for children with sight problems. Now we have over twenty schools and two adult reading groups (1 in London, 1 in Stockholm, a total of 67 adult readers) helping us to judge the books. Now we are recommended by The Alliance of Independent Authors; not many are! Now we send authors who enter feedback based on the readers’ comments. They look at the cover, the content, the editing and the style. We even provide the authors with statistics e.g. How many of the readers would read another book by this author. How many of the readers felt the cover was strong etc. etc. And the prize list for the finalists and winners is pretty impressive too.
So now, my tiny award is a bit of a monster and is taking more and more of my time. Is it fun? Yes, most of the time it is. And that’s important as the Award is not run for profit and every penny/cent of the entry fee is spent on running the award and helping to support Blind Children UK. In fact, most of the time it is very rewarding and our reputation on and off the web is ‘glowing’. Don’t get me wrong. We do mess up. Three years ago, for example, it took too long to get all the feedback to the authors. So, this year, I’m employing help. The Wishing Shelf Awards actually has a member of staff! An ex-primary school head teacher who will help me to correlate all the feedbacks. It’s all very exciting.
But do you know what the best bit is? The very, VERY best bit. Twice now, one of the US-based awards I hate has attempted to buy my small awards. And I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed telling them to go to…well, you know where. Now THAT was fun!
Edward Trayer, under the pen name Billy Bob Buttons, is the author of sixteen children’s books including the UK People’s Book Prize Winner, I Think I Murdered Miss. He is also the organizer of The Wishing Shelf Book Awards.
If you would like to submit your book to Wishing Shelf Book Awards, then please read the details below…
Send the title and blurb of your book to email@example.com. We will then let you know if it's the sort of book that our readers will/might enjoy.
If it is, then we will ask you to send a digital copy of your book(s) (preferably a PDF), both inners and front cover, to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will save you the cost of posting the book. Also, we can then send it electronically to the schools and Adult Reading Groups. Every copy will be deleted at the end of the judging process.
Alternatively, if you wish to, you can send us a physical copy of your book to my address in England: Edward Trayer, 32 Rectors Gate, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 7TX, ENGLAND. Authors of picture books might wish to do this.
Pay our Paypal account (email@example.com) £69 or $89 (if you wish for feedback, catchy quote, reviews on Amazon.co.uk and Goodreads) or £39 or $49 (if you just wish to enter the awards). Alternatively, if you're based in the UK, send a British cheque payable to Edward Trayer to my English address (see above).
When sending your electronic PDF OR the book in the post, remember to include the following information: Your name and address, your email address and the category you wish to enter.
As Always, thank you for stopping by. I am away to work on my Chill Awards and also book 2 in the Gardner & Chattaway cosy mystery.
Take care and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.