The Author’s Guide to Award Submissions

To a first-time author, the award submission process can seem daunting. To shed some light on the subject, we chatted with Lori Orlinsky, #mascotauthor of Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All) and the recent First Place Winner in the Children’s Category at the Author Academy Awards! She shared her award selection process, best practices for researching awards, and her tips for future award-winning authors.

Q&A with Lori:
  1. What was your award selection process like for Being Small?
    Because Being Small is a bullying prevention book, I submitted Being Small to a number of awards that have categories in that realm, such as school issues, social/emotional issues, mind/body issues, etc. There are so many awards out there (many of which come with a high price tag), so I had to pick and choose the awards that offered categories in which the book fit the best.

  2. You were recently awarded First Place in the Children’s Category at the Author Academy Awards. Congratulations! What was that experience like for you?
    Thank you! There were thousands of applications, and the Top 10 global finalists were chosen in August by popular vote only. Leading up to the Top 10, I did a huge campaign across my social media channels to encourage my fans to vote for the book. After I made it to the Top 10, there was another round of popular voting, coupled with a 90-second presentation I made in front of judges at a conference in Columbus, Ohio. I brought a growth chart with me as a prop for my presentation, and spoke from my heart. The most ironic part was that I could not reach the podium! You can see the video below. Later that evening, there was a big award ceremony with a red carpet. When they announced my name, I was so relieved to know that all of my hard work paid off. It all came full circle for me.

  3. What other types of awards have you found the most success with?
    Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to win both a Gold Mom’s Choice Award and a Purple Dragonfly Book Award.

  4. While there are a lot of credible and honorable awards for authors out there, unfortunately there are also some incredible ones. What would be your advice to authors who are interested in submitting their book for awards, but do not know where to start or what to look out for?
    1. Do your research! Look into the company that hosts the award you are considering applying for to ensure they are credible and reputable. Search the Better Business Bureau for anything that may be fishy.  Trust your gut, too. If something sounds scammy, it probably is.

    2. Reach out to other authors who won a particular award that you are interested in applying for. Find out directly from them if the costs were worth the benefits and if they would apply again. One thing that is great about the author community is that most people are willing to share their experiences to benefit others.

    3. Take advantage of discounts! Ask the company hosting the awards if they offer discounts on entry fees for indie authors. Because Mascot is a hybrid publisher, its authors are called indie authors. That’s a huge benefit, because many awards provide a discount specifically for indie authors. Additionally, take note of early bird entry dates because the savings add up.

    4. Don’t apply for awards in general categories unless you have to. Instead, find the best match for your book. As mentioned, I generally enter Being Small in bullying prevention categories over general picture book categories because the alignment is naturally there.

  5. Was there a particular moment when you realized Being Small was a potential award winner?
    I had a feeling I would be a winner after the presentation I made to the judges. I walked off that stage and just felt that I nailed it. I believe my passion for the book came shining through. But that presentation was a long time coming. I feel like I had been practicing for it every time I gave the elevator speech about my book, every time I read at the library, at a book store or was interviewed in the media.

  6. Is there anything else about your award-winning experience that would be helpful to our authors?
    The awards process is very overwhelming, so take a deep breath and understand it is natural to feel that way. Mascot staff are a wonderful resource, so take advantage of their experience and ask them questions. Above all, believe in yourself. Less than 1% of the population writes a book, so bask in your success. You wrote a book! Now it’s time to get noticed for it!

Get your copy of Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All) at the Mascot Bookstore

Back to Blog

Mascot Books’ Outstanding Author Awards 2014

Congratulations and Thank You to All Mascot Books’ Authors!

Mascot Books is thrilled to announce the winners of our 2014 Outstanding Author Awards! It’s hard to believe, but 2014 was our eleventh full year in business.  Time flies when you’re doing what you love…and working with amazing people along the way.  We’re passionate about great content, and again this year, our authors have produced just that.  It’s gratifying for everyone at Mascot to work with so many imaginative and creative storytellers. You continue to enrich our lives and the lives of our readers. As we continue to publish more quality books in all our favorite genres (fiction, non-fiction, biographies and memoirs, science fiction, sports-related, children’s books, and cookbooks), honoring just a few authors has proven to be a daunting task.  After much debate, passionate back-and-forth, lobbying, and some politicking among the employees, we’ve cast our ballots and are pleased to announce the results below. The 2014 Mascot Books Outstanding Author Awards are presented to: Children’s Picture Books: Since Rebecca Crownover’s launch of the Texas Farm Girl series, Rebecca has been all over the state of Texas in a big way meeting with the Texas farming community and excited children to share her book! Rebecca even had a song written about her and the series by country music recording artist Billy Dawson! Stephanie Sorkin is the author of two amazing and successful children’s books and has a third coming out in the very near future. With her book, “Nutley: The Nut-Free Squirrel” about a squirrel allergic to nuts, she takes delight in helping children with nut allergies and also has a knack for reaching out to create meaningful relationships through social media! Denise Barry has done an excellent job vividly answering the question, “What Does the Tooth Fairy Do with Our Teeth?” and continues her success with Soap on a Rope. Look for Sweeney Mack and the Slurp and Burp Competition coming in 2015! Roselyn Kasmire is a native of Buffalo, New York. She wrote a wonderful and exciting children’s book for the Buffalo Bills in addition to her Mage Magnus series. Fiction: Tom Fitzgerald crafted a suspenseful thriller, Defector in our Midst, that grabs you from the first page and reels you in throughout the book. If your favorite book genre is suspense and thrillers, this one should be on your list of must-reads. J.R. Reiling is a fiction-thriller writer that makes you dig deep into the depths of your mind while clenching onto this book in wonder. Everyone remembers September 11, 2001. J.R.’s book, “Ordinary Day: A Novel of 9/11”  is the story of “what-if” on that deeply tragic and historical date in our country’s history. Non-Fiction: Sean Stellato wrote a true life, inspirational story called “No Backing Down” about his own high school football team, one that overachieved in the face of great adversity. Sean has now become an agent for the NFL. Arlene Krieger wrote two outstanding biographies in 2014. One is about the life of the legendary Las Vegas entertainer, Tony Sacca, called “Tony Sacca, Las Vegas Ambassador of Entertainment” . The other titled, “Little Anthony: My Journey, My Destiny ” is about Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Little Anthony. Look for more excellent writing from Arlene in 2015! Deena Baxter opened up her heart in her book “Surviving Suicide“. In this thoughtful book, she shares the story of her stepson’s suicide and how she and her family coped with the tragic loss. She brings light to the subjects of suicide and mental illness in order to help others cope with similar situations. Cookbooks: Excited for the professional football playoffs as much as we are? Paul Swaney’s Stadium Journey Pro-Football Cookbook will provide you with mouth-watering recipes that are sure to win! This book shares recipes and captures the regional food traditions of every single city in the National Football League. Carla Litrenta, Courtney Matinata, and Matt Matinata created two great cookbooks for hungry fans of both “At the Table with NC State“, a North Carolina State University Cookbook  and the University of North Carolina Cookbook, “At the Table with the University of North Carolina“. Take a culinary adventure through Chapel Hill and Raleigh, North Carolina! Roya Gharavi is the proprietor of Gourmet Pantry on Main Street in Blacksburg, Virginia. She is a connoisseur of tasty food and offers unique and clever ideas for hosting parties and events. Inside this wonderful recipe book titles “Roya’s Recipes” you’ll find healthy, international cuisine!

We’re Proud to be Your Book Publisher and Look Forward to Publishing More of Your Exceptional Writing in 2015!


Back to Blog