“Do you think awards and reviews are key to sales of new releases?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: You boast on your website that over 5 years the authors you’ve published with MWA, Inc. have won over 50 major awards. To how many awards do you submit each of your releases to? How expensive is it to do a mass submission to so many awards for several books? Do you or your authors fund these submissions? Do you see a positive return in terms of sales after a book ends up winning awards? Do you think awards, reviews, or some other components are key to the sales of a new release in the illustrated children’s book category?

Christa Carpenter receives the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award.
Christa Carpenter receives the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award.

AdamsAwards—we all want them, but why? Most authors rely on publishers to submit for book awards. The publisher works within a fixed budget and may only enter a few awards competitions. What authors and illustrators may not realize is they can submit for book awards. Some awards offer monetary compensation, while all offer either local, regional, or national exposure. What value is an award? Awards offer something different for each person. Authors may use awards to validate their profession to consumers, peers, or family. Readers may see awards as a quality review from book professionals. Publishers may see the award as a reason to contract for future books. No matter what the reason, be confident that your book is of professional quality before submitting. Be open to the fact that not all submissions win. Being a finalist is as important as receiving a medal. For my fifty published books, only eleven have won awards. I use critiques from judges to enhance the next book or second edition printing of the current book. Not every book is a winner, so why not learn from each.

Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Illustrators Draw a Crowd!

“The only person who can sell a book better than the author is the illustrator.” —Mark Wayne Adams

Authors aren’t the illustrations a key selling point of picture books? So why is getting the illustrator to make public appearances so difficult? Money may be the main factor. Illustrators not making royalties usually don’t promote. Consider offering royalties when hiring and negotiating contracts with illustrators.

Having not only a talented illustrator, but also an entertaining illustrator can boost sales too! An entertaining illustrator’s presence literally “draws a crowd” at events. Why should the illustrator make appearances? They are like magicians transforming words into pictures worth a thousand words.

Illustrators participate in events if royalties are earned. The percentage may be small, however for every book sold around a $1.00 could be earned.  Helping authors and publishers sell 5,000 copies a year, is a $5,000 royalty check that year.  The longer it takes to sell the books, the longer a substantial royalty check takes to arrive. This fact is true for inactive authors too.

Authors and Illustrators can set the selling pace by becoming sales people. Focusing individual and combined energy in selling is rewarding in several areas.

  • Awards:  The benefits are recognition in local and national media, retail sales, speaking engagements, award money, and new contracts.
  • Book Festivals:  The benefits are quick retail sales and new contracts.
  • Book Signings:  The benefits are distributor sales and new contracts.

Most importantly the time spent selling together and individually will Draw a Crowd of readers faster with teamwork. Double one another’s following through association. Working together may also inspire additional books in the series. Making a win win for everyone involved!