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stickerdesignsilver2014[1]From time to time, I stray from the theme of facing 50 with humour and like to post for writers and readers alike. You may know I have written frequently on the subject of writing, marketing and award for other websites including Indies Unlimited. A topic that often crops up among authors is should I enter my book for an award?

There are many awards out there that quite frankly will cost you handsomely to enter and should you be fortunate enough to win, will offer little in return other than the chance for you to purchase winner stickers from them. There is little else to be gained because although you have boasting rights, not many people may have heard of your award.

Here’s one though that I would recommend to authors – The Wishing Shelf Award – organised by Edward Trayer AKA Billy Bob Buttons who is himself an award-winning author (He scooped The People’s Book Prize award last year and was my neighbour at the gala dinner.) He is very keen to support authors and set up this award a few years ago as he actually hates entering awards.

Edward wants to involve authors in the process. He is also discerning about what he accepts. Authors are invited to send in blurb before they enter and should it hold little appeal for the readers, the author is turned away.

So, why is this award different? Firstly, although you pay a small fee to enter it all goes towards advertising and marketing for the finalists. Edward is keen to promote the author’s works and to that end, all are winners. Secondly, every entrant gets an honest review form a panel of readers – readers who go through all the entries purely because they enjoy reading. Lastly, the readers are th ejudges. They weigh up each book and judge it on its editing, style, theme and cover. There are two panels of readers – one in London and th eothe rin Stickholm where Edward lives.

The upshot is that author’s actually get more than an award. Those who win have bragging rights and are promoted by Edward. And, should you not be happy at the end of the process, Edward will refund your money!

How can it benefit the reader? Well, if a book has made it through the strict reading process and has become a finalist, there is fair chance it is a jolly good read. Why not browse through this year’s categories to see what you think? There is something for eveyone and some superb children’s books. Click HERE to see the winners and HERE for a list of finalists.