Authors Robbie Holz and Kim Votry passed along a tip for writers: Make sure to enter book awards within one year of publishing your book. "Having an award changed everything," said Holz at EPIC's Monday morning writing group. Holz's self-published book, “,” has won three awards and is soon to be traditionally published, and Votry's NaNo-inspired book, "," earned an Indie Brag Medallion. Votry recently sent info on how authors can be in the running for awards:

"Most of (the awards organizations) require the book be entered in the year it was published, and many of them have deadlines which have passed for books published in 2012. There are, however a couple that have a wider publishing window -- for example, one of them, Moonbeam, I think, allowed books published in 2010, 2011, and 2012 to be entered in the 2012 awards. 

"There are also substantial fees involved, so you must decide which contests to enter based on your own marketing budget. Some offer reviews, some announce winners at the Book Expo America in either New York or Chicago, and some offer marketing opportunities whether your book is a winner or not. Lots to consider!

"So here's my list: ForeWord Award, Shelf Unbound, International Book Awards, Newberry Medal (this one is actually free), Nautilus Award, Reader Views, Writers Digest, IBPA Award, Indie Book Awards, The IndieReader Discovery Awards, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, NIEA Award.

"And here's the link to a blog post about . This list includes contests that are closed to self-published books, but there's a lot of information here, and a publicist's opinion about why you should enter."