So, if you’ve been following me on social media, you know that I’ve joined two contest this year: the Epic Fantasy Fanatic awards (the EFFys) and the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO 5).
It got me thinking about a lot of things (among those being how nervous I am just thinking about it). But it also got me thinking about publicity in general and how it’s a risk just to try some of these things out.
It took a lot of convincing for me to even try either of these things. It was a terrifying experience for me considering that I’ve never tried anything like this before. I thought, even now, why should I even try where there’s plenty of books out there that will probably be a thousand times better. It wasn’t a mindset that I wanted or needed to be in. You see, everyone has those reservations. To you, your book isn’t worthy of being placed in contests or being up for review by a blogger. You’ve already so acquainted with your story that you see its flaws and only see the best in the people you’re competing against.
I took the entire day when I joined the SPFBO looking at all the fellow contestants, especially the 30 within my chosen blog. There are quite a few big names in my chosen blog, so I convinced myself that I didn’t have a chance. It ruined my day. It took some friends convincing me that that act that I’m even trying is enough. And the more I think about it, it’s true. I wouldn’t have even tried this before. I would’ve convinced myself well before the contest even started that my book wasn’t even worthy to at least try either of these. It’s a scary thing to put yourself out there and take these risks. You’re going to be criticized and honestly, some people aren’t even going to like your book. That’s fine. But you need to try. You don’t know what you can do or who you might meet along the way.
Reviewers and contests are as much of a networking tool as self-promotion and marketing. In a way, they are bound tightly together. Reviews and contests give you an audience that may have never found your book otherwise. That alone is a reason to try. Your book needs to find eyes to read it. Like I’ve said before, you can’t expect people to find your book on their own. You must be willing to put your book in awkward situations. Find people that will want to read your book, who offer legitimate promotion services or publicly display your books to an audience. Remember that you’re not alone in this.
On the topic of fellow contestants in a contest, reach out to them. They are not your enemy. Yes, you’re competing against them (FOR WAR AND GLORY). But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends with them or get to know them too. You’re in a contest with sometimes upward of hundred, two-hundred, or three-hundred other people. Don’t be afraid to meet them. Read their works and learn from them. Also, don’t be jealous (as best as you can) while reading their works. Again, the grass is greener on the other side. Reading your fellow contestants works is not only supporting them but also showing good sportsmanship. It’s all a learning experience.
So, I’ll suggest anyone to at least give a contest a try. You might win. You might lose. But in the end, you might be surprised by the results either way.
Have a good day,
Deston J. Munden
If you want to nominate me for the EFFys to make it to the next round, there’s a link below!