Categorizing Your Title in a Literary Awards Contest

Categorizing Your Title in a Literary Awards Contest

SusanCasual
Susan Violante Managing Editor

With the autumn season approaching, the deadline for our annual literary awards gets closer and closer.  As the submissions roll in, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some awards wisdom with our authors!

  • Each literary awards contest has different guidelines, categories, and submission requirements. When submitting to various contests, it is always a good idea to keep a log that not only keeps track of when you sent each one but also shows the guidelines, fees, categories submitted to, etc. Doing this will help to keep track of the current submissions, and it will also create a chart with information about each contest, which will be helpful for your next books.
  • The genre of the title should be the main category to enter in the contest. Does this mean that it must be the only one? The answer is no. A literary novel, for example, could also be historical fiction, mystery, thriller, or all of the above! Consider submitting the title in a few categories, or even submitting the title in different categories for different contests to improve the chances of scoring an award!
  • Choosing which category to enter in an awards contest is important mostly because the category selected will determine the judge who will read the book. If the author chooses to enter their Christian fiction title in the general fiction category, it will be reviewed by a judge who prefers to read general fiction. A better fit for the title would be the judge that reads Christian fiction titles. It is essential to choose the category that is the best fit for the book’s topic.
  • As some categories are more generalized, they will have more submissions than the more specific ones. In other words, the fewer the number of titles in a category, and the number of categories entered improves the chances of being picked as a finalist or winner.

In the end, all authors want their title to make a good show. When shooting to win, competitors need to make sure they give their submission the best possible chance. In my opinion, the key is to categorize the book correctly and even submitting in different categories applicable to the book’s topic. Keeping all this information straight and organized will also help when strategizing submissions and make the process easier for your next title. For more information about the Reader Views Literary Awards, click here.

Positive Review but Missing the Point? What to Do?

Positive Review but Missing the Point? What to Do?

SusanCasual
Susan Violante Managing Editor

Through the years helping authors get their books reviewed we find that sometimes even though the reviewer liked the book, the author didn’t like the review! Of course, all reviews have gray areas. Sometimes, the story is amazing but lacks editing. Other times, the book is perfect technically, but the plot is weak. On occasion, however, the review comes back positive, yet it’s evident to the author that the reviewer got it all wrong! Dealing with these cases is tricky because although as authors we put a big effort on communicating a specific message through our writing skills, we have no way to guarantee that all readers will get it because the author can’t be next to every reader and explain as they read. Furthermore, even though they didn’t get it, they liked the book! Here are some tips on how to handle positive reviews that are totally missing the point:

·         Do not assume that the reviewer didn’t read the book. Reviewers love to read, that is why they take the time out of their lives, work, and any other thing they have going on. They love to read. They gain nothing by writing a review, yet they do it because they get books to read, and they get to talk about them!

·         Just because the reviewer is an avid reader or is knowledgeable of the topic of your book, doesn’t mean that they can’t make a mistake writing the review or miss the point, or even get facts wrong. They are as human as authors!

·         The first thing an author needs to do after acknowledging the first two points above is determine exactly what is wrong. Are any of the characters’ names wrong? Location? If a non-fiction book, are any of the facts mentioned in the review wrong? Wrong does not mean how they wrote the review, or how they expressed themselves.

·         Be nice. The reviewer is not out to sabotage the author’s success. The author should ask questions like if there was anything in the writing that lead them to miss their point. If it was an error on the review, simply point it out and ask them to correct it. Being nice and taking the opportunity to connect with the reviewer as a reader can be helpful to your writing as well as to your PR as many reviewers are also bloggers.

Finally, remember that there will always be readers that won’t get it, and if, unfortunately, that one ended up being a reviewer, just have another reviewer check your book out, and ask them to look into the aspects of the book that the other one didn’t get…maybe they had a point after all and something can be done quickly to correct the problem, or there is nothing wrong, and now you have a better review!

 

Interview with Amy R. Saltz, Author of “An Essential Song”

Interview with Amy R. Saltz, Author of “An Essential Song”

INTERVIEW WITH AMY R. SALTZ


An Essential Song

Amy R. Saltz
CreateSpace (2018)
ISBN 9781976419058
Reviewed and Interviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (08/18)

From as far back as she can remember, Amy R. Saltz has been on a quest for healing. As an adolescent, she reached out for help and got debilitating invalidation in a hospital setting, which brought overwhelming shame and despair that ultimately caused her to try to take her life. As a result, she suffered severe burns to her mouth, lost most of her tongue, then was hospitalized for years with a feeding tube and underwent skin grafting. No surgeries could restore her tongue, and she was told that she might never be able to talk or eat by mouth and would likely be institutionalized for life. Instead, her yearning for healing somehow led her to re-enter life and teach herself to talk and eat (although it’s difficult and limited) and begin to search for connection. Love emerged, as did death. It was working through loss that brought her the healing she’d been longing for since youth.

AmySaltz1.jpg

Continue reading “Interview with Amy R. Saltz, Author of “An Essential Song””

What Are Other Authors Selling? Why Should I Know…

What Are Other Authors Selling? Why Should I Know…

SusanCasual
Susan Violante Managing Editor

Last week I spoke about the benefits of going to the library. As I mentioned I have committed to visit the library once a week, so I did! This time I focused on checking out what other authors have written about on my topic in the age group I write for. The experience was enlightening and inspiring, to say the least, even though this was not the first time I had done research on what other authors were doing. What made this experience different was my focus. Continue reading “What Are Other Authors Selling? Why Should I Know…”

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Feeding your Writing and Library Field Trips

Feeding your Writing and Library Field Trips

SusanCasual
Susan Violante Managing Editor

Recently, I decided to visit our new Central Library downtown in Austin. It had been a while since I had been to one since I spend most of my time in my home office or should I say ‘Cave.’  But after spending half a day in the library something clicked within, in such a way that I can no longer live as a recluse. Continue reading “Feeding your Writing and Library Field Trips”

Awards Programs and Other Contests – Benefits of Early Submission

Awards Programs and Other Contests – Benefits of Early Submission

SusanCasual
Susan Violante Managing Editor

Granted, sometimes books come out right before the submission deadlines for some awards programs chosen by authors, so early submissions are no longer an option. Yet with advanced planning, a book launching can always be synchronized to contests deadlines, literary magazine guidelines, and important marketing calendar dates. If it is too late for the current book in production, creating a synchronized publishing calendar, program, and plan for the next title in the works will definitely give the best chance possible for the title to make good sales, especially if it can get to the hands of awards judges early.  Following are a few benefits of submitting early: Continue reading “Awards Programs and Other Contests – Benefits of Early Submission”

Does Size Matter When It Comes to Books?

Does Size Matter When It Comes to Books?

SusanCasual
Susan Violante Managing Editor

I think it does, but let’s consider all the angles.

As a passionate reader myself, when it comes to books I’d rather read in installments. Let me explain myself. I take books with me everywhere, on my e-Reader and printed books as well, so big heavy books don’t often make it on my book shopping sprees.  Granted, there are long stories that are epic works of art, yet, I bet most of the libraries of regular readers have only a few of them! Continue reading “Does Size Matter When It Comes to Books?”

Finding Time to Write

Finding Time to Write

SusanCasual
Susan Violante Managing Editor

Many people have great ideas for books. But most people never actually write their books. The most common reason people use as their inability to write is time. But it’s not the lack of time that holds people back from writing; it is their idea of time.

“I will write a book when I retire”

How often have we heard that, or even said it ourselves? Continue reading “Finding Time to Write”