I am very excited to announce that my book Downsize with Style was selected as one of three finalists in The 2015 USA Best Book Awards, Category Home & Garden. This year, over 2,000 mainstream and independent titles participated in the contest and were narrowed down to 400 winners and finalists in over 100 categories.

USABookNews.com reports that winners and finalists traversed the publishing landscape: Random House, Tarcher/Penguin, HarperOne, WW Norton, Harper Collins, William Morrow, Crown Business, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, American Cancer Society, The White House Historical Association and hundreds of independent houses contributed to this year’s outstanding competition.

Self-publishing a book is a mammoth task, and the work starts after the book gets delivered from the printer. In the past couple of years, I spent a huge amount of my time promoting and marketing my book Downsize with Style. I spoke at downsizing and property events; I gave talks at Probus and Rotary Clubs, I did presentations in bookstores. I ran downsizing and apartment living workshops. Plus, I wrote about the topic on my blog.

Following the writing and publishing industry through blogs and newsletters, I discovered many competitions and awards you can enter as an author. I decided to give it a go – you have to be in it to win it – and see what happens. Books have to be submitted well in advance, often eight to twelve months before the finalists and winners are announced. Overall, I am quite happy with the results; I entered six competitions, and my book won one Bronze Medal, was shortlisted twice, and has been honoured with the accolade of 'outstanding'.

So, if you have self-published a book, it is worth researching the competitions and awards that are out there and give it a go. Subscribing to newsletters and podcasts about writing, blogging, and publishing is the first step to staying informed and connected with the industry.

These are the competitions I entered with success since my book came out in January 2014:

2015 USA Best Book Awards - Downsize with Style was shortlisted as one of three finalists in the category Home & Garden

2015 IPPY, Independent Publisher Book Awards - Downsize with Style won a Bronze Medal in the category Home & Garden

2014 Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, Downsize with Style was rated 'Outstanding' in all categories applying to non-fiction books, such as

  • Structure, Organisation, and Pacing
  • Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar
  • Production Quality and Cover Design
  • Voice and Writing Style.

October 2014: Downsize with Style was shortlisted - Agent’s Pick of the Month, Andrew Lownie, London

These are the competitions I entered without success:

2015 IAN (Independent Author Network) Book of the Year Awards

2015 Living Now Book Awards

Have you self-published a book and submitted it to competitions? What are your experiences with entering book awards?

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