Chip MacGregor

February 22, 2013

To Enter or Not to Enter?


What is the Benefit in a Contest?

Today’s guest post is by Nancy J. Farrier, IRCA Coordinator

Published authors may wonder about the advantages of entering a contest. As a finalist or winner, there are the accolades, possible increased sales, and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, but without the win, does anyone care? What good comes from spending the money to put your “baby” in a contest?

The Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award is a unique contest for authors published in Inspirational fiction. The judges for the IRCA are readers of inspirational fiction, but are not involved in the publishing industry. They don’t write, edit, or do book reviews. These judges simply love Inspirational fiction. They love to share books and authors with other readers. They are the readers authors want to reach.

Our readers are from across the United States and as far away as Australia. Most are people of faith who attend church regularly, but not all of them do. Some of our readers appreciate a wholesome story, or are what some might term “seekers.” If the judge is a Christian, they will often think of someone when reading a book, someone your book might benefit.

For the past thirteen years I have coordinated the IRCA. I read many comments from the judges. Comments that we promised to keep private, but are often so exciting I want to send them to the author as encouragement. I’ll share a few of those comments anonymously below:

Tremendously wonderful read!…I had to have [the author’s] other books, so I ran out and bought them.

…I would definitely recommend this book and will be looking into other books by the author…

New author for me to read, but I will look for more of her books.

As a published author, think of the possibilities for reaching new readers if you entered the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Fans this excited would love telling everyone else about your book.

As you consider whether to enter, or not to enter a contest, check out the IRCA, run by the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Enter your book in one of our seven categories: Long Contemporary, Short Contemporary, Long Historical, Short Historical, Women’s Fiction, Romantic Suspense, and Novella. I look forward to hearing from you.

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