Author Interview: Andy Zach

Today I’m fortunate to present Andy Zach, author of Zombie Turkeys and My Undead Mother-in-law, the first two volumes of the Life After Life Chronicles.

Hi, Andy, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

20590563_10208041570311682_465099112_oQuestion 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and lived in a couple of suburbs there until I was 32. I left Cleveland for a job in Peoria, Illinois.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Fast action, dramatic plot twists, and realistic characters you care about and want to meet. Oh, and humor.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I always loved writing since I was a child. Going into college I realized it would be hard to make a living as a writer, so I became a computer programmer, then a Six Sigma Black Belt, and a project manager. As soon as I retired, I wrote “Zombie Turkeys”.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Start working at 9:30-10 am, clear off work related email and social media posts, then start writing by 10:30 am. Lunch at 12, then back to writing by 1 PM and keep at it until 5 PM. In the evening, I’ll write blog posts and answer emails, check on book sales and read for education and entertainment.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I love researching my books. If I’m writing about a locale, I’ll get photos from the area and detailed maps. I’ll check distances and compute times it takes for my characters to move about. I love digging into a subject such as ICBM missiles silos or superyachts and getting diagrams and layout of them, both of which appear in “My Undead Mother-in-law.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

20496142_10208041572351733_952476117_nMy Undead Mother-in-law is what I call comic urban fantasy or humorous fantasy.  Although it has violence and horror, it’s shot through with ridiculous situations, satire, and irony

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?  

How real life is often like fiction! I had a scene in Manhattan Kansas and I wanted a National Guard base and an ICBM missile silo nearby.  Researching these, I found them both within a half hour of Manhattan! Later, I had a scene in New Orleans and I wanted a Navy and Marine base and an Air Force base there. Again, they were all there in real life!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Always! How many minutes do I have? I have a 10-minute excerpt and a 5 minute one.

20472049_10208041609472661_530747697_nAs soon as he hung up, Sam’s cell phone rang. Noting it was Lisa, he said, “Hi, sweetheart!”

“No time for that romantic crap. We’ve got another zombie turkey outbreak!”

“Where?”

“Not far from you. It’s a small private turkey farm near Gary, Deviled Turkeys. I’ve sent you the address.”

“Odd name.”

“They’re bedeviling the family, who’s surrounded. They called our turkey hotline. I’ve already notified the local authorities and the Indiana National Guard. Get the story, Sam! We’re dying for news here. I may have to cut our staff back again.”

“You’ve got a hot story in your in-basket from Gary already, about the zombie family. I’ve got Dr. Galloway getting DNA samples from them.”

“Great! You always pick me up, Sam.”

“You’re turning into a mushball.”

“You have that effect on me. Now, hurry up and get going!” She hung up.

“Bye, Lisa.” One tradition hadn’t changed since their marriage. She still hung up abruptly, leaving Sam talking into a dead phone.

Sam arrived at the Deviled Turkeys farm in the dark winter evening. Sam could see the National Guard trucks and a couple of police cars along the snowy drive to the barnyard. They had distracted the flock of perhaps a thousand turkeys from attacking the house and were now barely holding their own position.

Sam heard the BANG of shotguns, and the pop, pop of rifles and pistols. Why did the police waste their time and ammunition? Those weapons proved ineffective against the zombie turkeys last November.

Grabbing his trusty Flaming Turkey brand flamethrower from the backseat, he approached the line of soldiers.

“Stay away, mister!” an officer yelled over the crackle of gunfire.

Sam noticed he had a skinny neck and a shock of red hair.

“You should have a flamethrower!” Sam yelled back.

“We do! We can’t use them this close to the buildings. There’s a family in there!”

Good thing Lisa isn’t here, Sam thought. During the zombie turkey apocalypse, she’d flamed first and asked questions later.

Another car pulled up in the drive. The officer yelled, “Get away, ma’am! This is a dangerous situation!”

“I’ve come to reason with the turkeys,” Diane Newby yelled back, her red eyes gleaming.

“You can’t reason with crazed killer turkeys!”

“You watch me!” She leapt past the officer, past the line of soldiers, directly toward the mass of turkeys. The soldiers ceased firing, for fear of hitting her. The mass of turkeys washed over Diane like a tsunami. Sam reluctantly filmed her last moments, for her family’s sake.

The mound of turkeys burst apart, revealing Diane throttling a tom. She ripped off its head, legs, wings and then smashed the body into paste on the ground.

“Listen up, you turkeys!” she yelled. “I’m the boss turkey now! Follow me!” Obediently, the turkeys followed her into the barn. She led them back into their cages and shut them in. Where the turkeys had burst doors and wire fencing, using her bare hands Diane wove the tough steel wire into a tight net, holding them securely. “Good thing I’m handy with macramé,” she said to herself as she wove.

Diane’s clothing was shredded and bloody like she’d been through a wood chipper, but her skin showed pink and unbroken through the many holes in her pants and coat. Sam ran to her.

“Are you OK, Diane?”

“Never felt better! I told you I could reason with the zombie turkeys!”

“How did you find out?”

“It was on the zombie turkey Twitter feed on the Midley Beacon page, where I was reading your story about us!”

“Ma’am, I have to thank you for saving us from a difficult situation,” the officer said. “I’m Sergeant Coxcomb.”

“How appropriate,” Sam murmured. Louder, he said, “I’m Sam Melvin, investigative reporter for the Midley Beacon.”

Smiling broadly, Diane said, “I’m Diane New—er—Sydney. I came here as soon as I heard of the attack. I just knew I could control the zombie turkeys. They’re quite easy, compared to children!” She laughed.

“Diane, I filmed your battle. Do I have your permission to broadcast it?”

“By all means! Be sure to say a zombie human came to the rescue! Just call me anytime you have a zombie animal outbreak!”

“Will do!”

“I’ll testify to that!” Sergeant Coxcomb said.

“OK, let me interview you then, Sergeant, and I’ll add your testimony.”

The interviews with Sergeant Coxcomb and Diane, combined with the thrilling video of human zombie versus turkey zombies, burst across the internet like a nuclear bomb. Once again, the Midley Beacon plowed new ground in the zombie news business.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

The third novel of Life After Life Chronicles is in research mode right now. It’s working title is Paranormal Patriots. It’ll be out in 2018. I also plan an audiobook version of Zombie Turkeys and a graphic novel for it in 2017.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

That’s an easy one: the money I spent on my editor Dori Harrell. She helped me with line and developmental editing and made my books clearer and clearly better.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

On Facebook: @AndyZachAuthor page.
Twitter: @AndyZach2.
My blog is on zombieturkeys.com
My email is jms61614-andyzach@yahoo.com
My Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01M3Q35H1

Snail mail: PO Box 10705, Peoria, IL 61612

Author photos:

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My Undead Mother-In-Law:

Kindle edition: Coming out August 5, 2017: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0743FQ3QC/

Paperback

Zombie Turkeys, front and back covers:

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Author Interview: D.H. Gibbs

Today I’m fortunate to present D.H. Gibbs author of Nika and upcoming book A Touch of Kindness.

Hi D.H., thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

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I was born and raised on the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. We are the southernmost islands of the Caribbean.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

A good story is built on a solid environment and amazing characters. Once the two are cohesive it sets the foundations for readers to have a wonderful experience.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

41uTzTQqeGLWriting, in general, came at a time when I wanted a career change. I had to consider what was the one thing I loved above all else. It turns out I loved storytelling and I’ve been doing it off and on for many years. Once I made my decision two stories began stalking me: one Children’s and one Young adult. Since I could not get them out of my head I had to write them. Thus Danny the Firefly and Nika came to fusion.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

My work schedule overall is hectic. I’m not a full-time writer yet so I work full time which can average 8 to 12 hour days. Most of the time I write whenever I can squeeze more time out of the day. Which is usually early morning or late nights.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Recently, I realized I pace a lot. Lol. Sometimes when I try to work out a detail I get up and walk it out. Then jump back in my seat to write it down.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

A-Touch-Of-KindnessMy latest book is called A Touch Of Kindness. It’s a sweet romance where the main character saw someone being mugged and helps him out. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil it but there are secrets and drama that everyone will love.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That I can actually create a book. That I can sit and write so many words that people enjoy.  Not to mention have it published.  I didn’t think I could do not at first but now I’m a junkie. I can’t stop.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

From A Touch of Kindness:

Turning back she looked up at his six feet tall frame. By the look on his face and the slight flush in the cheeks, his apology was genuine. Releasing her pent up breath, she settled her shoulders and faced him fully. A sucker for a real apology, she gave in and asked, “How’s your face?”

He gingerly touched the discolored circle around his eye. “Much better than it looks.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re OK.”

“Thanks. My Name is Ro… er, Quin.”

Her brows gathered. “Did you get hit in the head and forgot your name?”

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?

After my sweet romance, I plan on publishing the second installment in the Seychatka Series, my YA Fantasy. I also have another short story romance in the works, but that one won’t be as sweet.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Scrivener and buffer. They are both useful apps that help me to reduce me long list of things to do.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I can be found at any of the links below

www.facebook.com/dhgibbsauthor

www.dhgibbs.com

tweet to @dhgibbsauthor

www.goodreads.com/author/show/14098357

 

Or

 

www.facebook.com/dhgkids

www.dhgkids.wordpress.com

tweet to @dhgkids

About the Author

Hailing from her native Trinidad and Tobago, Author, Illustrator, and lifelong bibliophile D.H. Gibbs found a way to blend her creative abilities with her love of the written word.

From her early days, she spent many waking moments crafting tales, honing her graphic design skills, or dreaming up elaborate vacation plans to satisfy her love of exploring new locations. Her creative endeavors have afforded her many opportunities and inspired her to take her love of new and different worlds to craft Childrens’ and New Adult books for readers everywhere.

When not writing, she can be found dreaming up new, fantastical stories for her fans or indulging her love of art, reading, or planning her next great adventure.

Author Interview: Cristina Grau #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Cristina Grau author of “Fulfil your Dreams”.

Hi, Cristina, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

B1MvLhWKjyS._SY200_I was born (many years ago) and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay. However, I have also lived in the US, France, The Nederlands, and England.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

A story is good when it grabs you when it makes you feel something. It doesn’t matter the genre, what is important is that you don’t want to put the book down because you want to know what will happens next.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I have been a nomad since 2008, and many people are amazed at my kind of life. I always get many questions about why I live like this, or what made me do it, or the most common one, how can I afford it. So, I decided to write a book explaining why and how I can do it.

I wrote it hoping that I can inspire somebody to live their dreams, as I am living mine. And I am proud to say, that I have been the inspiration for some people. Some have taken small steps, some have leaped into their dreams. Either way, I am happy to have been of service.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

It varies. Right now, I am house sitting in The Alps in France, so I have plenty of time to write. However, this past winter I was traveling through South East Asia and I did not write at all during the six months I was there because I was too busy gallivanting. As you can see, I don’t have a schedule, but when I get into writing mode, I don’t stop. Sometimes I even forget to eat.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I don’t think I have one. I write whenever the inspiration comes. However, I like solitude, even that I have been known to write in a busy place, but it doesn’t happen too often. One of the reasons I like to house sit in the middle of nowhere it’s that I have no temptation to go here and there, affording me the opportunity to write. Sometimes when I do help X or work away, I don’t have the chance to write as much as I want to, especially if there are many volunteers. It all comes down to discipline, and I never been known for having much of it.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

416H8lyDwkL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_“Fulfill your Dreams” is an inspirational book, and the steps needed to live your life to the fullest.

Coming soon “Backpacking my Style,” is a budget book, with a lot of history, mythology, and religion. No politics, even that in some countries it was very hard not to write about politics.

I am also sharing my experiences, and many photos of the gorgeous places I have visited.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That I actually did it. Once again, it all comes down to discipline and writing requires a lot of discipline. I love writing, but I don’t like editing.

Question 😎 Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

From “Backpacking my Style”

Greece
Ελλάδα

Greece is situated in the south of the Balkan Peninsula on the Aegean and Ionian Seas. And it is comprised of over 1400 islands.

It’s often called the birthplace of Western civilization, and as you have read in previous chapters, many of these countries are known as the cradle of Western Civilization. They all want the credit.

Nevertheless, Greece was one of the most influential nations of the time. To this day, we still emulate the philosophy and politics of Greece. Democracy was born in Athens, Greece. As was philosophy, political science, literature, historiography, and mathematical principles.

Comedies and tragedies were also born in Greece. As were the Olympic Games and this year is an Olympic year being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

And don’t let us forget the food. Italy has the reputation, but most of the food’s root is Greek, Italy just puts tomato sauce on them.

Same with Mythology, the stories are almost the same, just different names and locals.
Taking about Mythology:

“Athena and Poseidon agreed that whoever gave the city the best gift would become guardian over the city. Though Poseidon thrust his trident into the rock, a spring burst forth giving the gift of water. Athena touched the ground with her spear, and an olive tree grew. The gift of an olive tree was deemed by the other gods to be more valuable.”
Even to this day, Greece is one of the leading olives producers. Some of the trees still producing olives are from the 13th century. Amazing.

Greek is one of the oldest languages in the world as it has been spoken for more than 3,000 years.

Greece has been under the ruling of many empires and countries.

Greece was under the Ottoman Empire until 1829 when finally achieve independence.
In 1940, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini attacked it but was defeated by Greece, just to fall under Nazi Germany until 1944, when with the help of Britain, they defeated the Nazi forces.

However, Greece did not gain freedom until 1973 when it declared itself a republic.
It also had wars with Turkey, the Crusaders, Russia, and many more neighboring countries. It also participated in WWI and WWII.

The most famous Greek war was the Trojan War circa 1200 BC. And we all know the story of Helen de Troy.

Just in case, here it goes…

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?

After I had written “Fulfill your Dreams” many people asked me how can I say that I don’t have much money, or that you don’t need that much money to travel the world. So, I keep track of all my expenses for a year, and I wrote: “Backpacking my style.”
In this book, I wrote about the history, the customs, and everything I did in all the places I have been. And of course, all the expenses I had, so everybody can see how much I spend in each place and the total for the year.

The English version is finished, and it will be published soon. Now I am translating it to Spanish.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

When I make some money, I will let you know.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

http://www.amazon.com/Fulfill-Your-Dreams-Cristina-Grau/dp/1518856683

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N74LJZB/
Blog: https://gradmaswanderlust.blogspot.com
Blog: https://laabuelitaviajera.blogspot.com
Blog: https://asmallgangofauthors.blogspot.com/

If you want to laugh, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoVmvxOlcp8 to see me dancing with a camel.

Doha, Qatar
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George Town, Penang, Malaysia

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Hội An, Vietnam

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Book Spotlight: Sin Eater (The Aria Knight Chronicles Book 1)

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Blurb

Aria Knight has an unusual set of skills: she will hold back the hounds of Hell so you can fly toward the Pearly Gates, and she will wipe your slate clean so that you don’t become karma’s bitch…for a price.

A Sin Eater has to make a living in today’s world somehow.

But when she’s called in the dead of night to perform her rite for a recluse billionaire, she stumbles upon a murder scene, and the evidence points to her.

In an attempt to clear her name and uncover the true culprit, Aria is forced to team up with a private investigator who’s possessed by three spirits, and a handsome wizard who would rather see all Sin Eaters like Aria go extinct.

Aria knows her job is never easy, but now it’s become downright deadly.

SIN EATER is the first book of the Aria Knight Chronicles by USA Today bestselling author Samantha LaFantasie and Alesha Escobar, author of the bestselling Gray Tower Trilogy.

About the Authors:

Alesha Escobar

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I’m a caffeine addict and chocoholic who enjoys reading and writing engaging stories, loveable (and not-so loveable) characters, and expressing my creativity daily. I write fantasy with intriguing characters, action-packed scenes, and always throw in a good dash of humor and romance.

Science Fiction and Fantasy are my favorite genres, but I also adore the classics (Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, etc.) and I have a soft spot in my heart for Victorian poetry. You can geek out with me all-day every day over these.

Some of my favorite contemporary fantasy authors are George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan (rest in peace), J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher (Dresden Files made me love Urban Fantasy), and Ilona Andrews among others. I enjoy movies and shows like Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, The Avengers…there are too many to name!

I want to read more comics and graphic novels, please shoot a recommendation or two my way (I LOVE the Hellblazer comics, by the way).

Please don’t be a stranger–I want you to kick up your feet, sip your coffee (or tea) and join in on my weekly rants, discussions, and updates.

Samantha LaFantasie
USA Today Bestselling Author and Freelance Editor

61HAxtW11rL._SY200_A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her three kids and arguing with her characters. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.

Samantha became a bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series–Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today.

Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.

Samantha’s Social Media Links:

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Eater-Aria-Knight-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZZD44YB/

Kobo: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kobo.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Febook%2Fsin-eater-the-aria-knight-chronicles-book-1&h=ATPypyJSBFLw7AQJX78VGYqozmWq32YmVafpm8NxteUIhOYgY_WLxGfNa6cj3NNBHXRIUT6c2eDHyRbbKt1XR-gx6h8gKwfdRa9MB5wmuL-kRADNSFPEkS1Z_9yzVzaCZFsYl8KxIcAMjQ18WNmg3p2Ui3c

iBooks: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fus%2Fbook%2Fsin-eater-the-aria-knight-chronicles-book-1%2Fid1229798245%3Fmt%3D11%26ign-mpt%3Duo%253D4&h=ATPypyJSBFLw7AQJX78VGYqozmWq32YmVafpm8NxteUIhOYgY_WLxGfNa6cj3NNBHXRIUT6c2eDHyRbbKt1XR-gx6h8gKwfdRa9MB5wmuL-kRADNSFPEkS1Z_9yzVzaCZFsYl8KxIcAMjQ18WNmg3p2Ui3c

Nook: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.barnesandnoble.com%2Fw%2Fsin-eater-alesha-escobar%2F1126272657%3Fean%3D2940154139134&h=ATPypyJSBFLw7AQJX78VGYqozmWq32YmVafpm8NxteUIhOYgY_WLxGfNa6cj3NNBHXRIUT6c2eDHyRbbKt1XR-gx6h8gKwfdRa9MB5wmuL-kRADNSFPEkS1Z_9yzVzaCZFsYl8KxIcAMjQ18WNmg3p2Ui3c

Book Spotlight: Mary Crawford

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Genre: Romance

Book Description

https://www.amazon.com/Paths-Taken-Hidden-Beauty-Novel-ebook/dp/B073ZP48N7

Jordan Shepherd has regrets. Big ones. When she makes a seemingly rash decision which potentially costs her everything, she must come face-to-face with her family and start rebuilding her life.

Cristiano Romero knows a little bit about starting over after a catastrophe. He is trying to make it as an on-air talent covering the X Games, yet he still has the heart of a competitor. When he crosses paths with Jordan, he finds himself wanting to compete in a whole new game.

Can Jordan and Cristiano come to grips with the paths not taken and begin a life together?

About the Author

screen-shot-2017-07-21-at-10-34-15I have been lucky enough to live my own version of a romance novel. I married the guy who kissed me at summer camp. He told me on the night we met that he was going to marry me and be the father of my children. Eventually, I stopped giggling when he said it, and we just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary. We have two children. The oldest is in medical school, where he recently found and married the love of his life, and the youngest is now tackling middle school.

I write full time now. I have published over a dozen books and have several more underway. I volunteer my time to a variety of causes. I have worked as a Civil Rights Attorney and diversity advocate. I spent several years working for various social service agencies before becoming an attorney. In my spare time, I love to cook, decorate cakes and of course, I obsessively, compulsively, read.

Social Media Links

Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Crawford/e/B00KRGWI3Y

Website
http://marycrawfordauthor.com

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/authormarycrawford/

Twitter

www.twitter.com/MaryCrawfordAuthor

Other Books

The first book of the Hidden Beauty series is free.

https://www.amazon.com/Until-Stars-Hidden-Beauty-Novel-ebook/dp/B00UPEUXBM

this

2nd series. Hidden Hearts

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First book in this series is also free.

https://www.amazon.com/Identity-Heart-Hidden-Hearts-Novel-ebook/dp/B012JXZS20

Identity of the Heart 2x3

How To Gain Exposure Through Book Awards

Bewitched Book With Magic Glows In The DarknessOne of the ways you can help your book get more exposure is through book award contests. These contests help get your materials out to people who may have never known about you or your book, and can ultimately lead to a frenzy of media exposure.

 

It gives your book a new sense of creditability. For example, it may perk a reader’s interest, who otherwise would have skipped over your book due to you being an unknown, enough to give your book a try.

This can lead to more sales and even bestseller status. And, if you end up one of the winners, it can also lead towards finding agents, publishers, movie/television offers, as well as help convince book sellers to carry your book in their store(s).

What To Watch Out For:

Before applying, make sure to do your research. While it may seem like entering multiple contests is a great idea, you want to make sure these are:

  1. Not one where everyone automatically earns a badge/prize because they entered.
  2. Has a high cost to enter.
  3. Is reputable and real.

For example, my first book award contest, which shall be nameless, was a contest where the winner was supposed to be announced at a conference.

To this day, I still don’t know who won. There were no badges, no announcements of runner ups, nor any congratulations mentioned on any of this site’s social media platforms. It was as if this contest never existed. (Maybe it really didn’t).

What Are Some Good Contests To Enter:

According to Scott Lorenz, President of the PR and marketing firm, Westwind Communications, some of the top book awards contests in 2017 for indie authors include:

  • The National Book Critics Circle Awards
  • Indies Choice Book Awards
  • The National Indie Excellence Book Awards
  • IndieFab Awards