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Friday, September 4, 2020

Interview With The Founder of The Chill Awards for Books, Author Pauline Barclay

 

Chill Awards for Independent Authors

 

1.      Pauline, what are the Chill Awards and what inspired you to launch them?

 

The Chill Awards were launched in September 2016 and the idea was, and still is, to shine a spotlight on Independent Author’s publications. In the earlier days of self-publishing authors were often met with criticism being compared to authors who had publishing contracts with one of the big publishing houses, and sometimes, seen as lesser writers. Nothing could be further from the truth; there are many beautiful books published from Independent authors. 

 

Within the publishing world there are awards, recognitions and societies that only allow authors with a publishing contract access to these. Chill Awards is for independent authors and authors who are with a small independent publisher, however, Chill reserves the right to refuse any book. 

 

Each book in the Award Programme is read by an equal number of readers, each reader must answer five questions. Reader’s comments are welcome, but not obligatory, though encouraged. A decision is made on the Award once the evaluations are returned. If a book is awarded a Readers’ Award, the book is automatically put forward for Book Cover of the Month. There is also a Book of the Month Award. There is a small fee for submission and this is used to purchase Kindle copies for Chill readers, any fee left is used to help run the Award Programme.

 

2.      What role can awards play in a writer’s branding efforts?

 

An award is an open recognition of the author’s work and can offer an opportunity to further promote the book. With each award there is an Award pack which consists of: reader’s comments, an Award banner, the book cover with the Award logo on, plus an electronic Award logo. These can all be used in promoting the book and its award.

 

3.      You have penned many books. Tell us about your latest one, please.

 

I have seven books published. The Birthday Card, is my latest book. The Birthday Card is a prequel to, Sometimes it Happens…  Doreen Wilkinson is a single mother in her mid-thirties with a seventeen year old daughter, life is tough, yet despite the many hours she has to work, she never misses an opportunity to have a good laugh and let her hair down. Bling and giggling too much are her trademarks. When her elderly neighbour had a birthday she had no hesitation at baking him a cake and buying him a card. Little did she know that calling into the corner shop to buy a card and the chocolate for the cake would eventually change everything Doreen could ever dream off. The Birthday Card is a light hearted read that restores your faith in human nature. It will make you smile and, maybe, you might need to reach for a tissue, but it will leave you feeling good about life.

 

How would you describe yourself as a writer – stylistically and thematically?

 

My stories have one thing in common and that is they are emotional reads. If there is a theme, it is that I write about things that happen to people and the consequences it has on their lives and of those close to them. I try to add a little humour and I like to end with a feel good feeling. Two of my books were inspired by true stories; Magnolia House and The Wendy House.

 

4.      What advice do you have for struggling writers? 

 

Keep going. It is tough out there and more so if you are an independent author. You are on your own and it is down to you to ensure your work is professionally edited and proof-read along with having a well designed cover. Make sure your book is polished to a beautiful shine. Another area that needs attention is marketing and promoting your published book. Working with other authors, bloggers and readers can and will make a difference. It is amazing how large a circle of support you can build if you put the time and effort in. 

 

5.      Where do you see book publishing heading, post-corona?

 

I wish I had a magic wand! Where do we see anything post-corona? I want to believe much will return to how it was, but I would be deluded to think that. As for book publishing, I can only see it getting more difficult for authors. Independent authors still hold control of their writing, but the question is, who and what will be available to ensure they can continue to publish and gain recognition in a market that has millions of books for sale and growing? We can hope for the best yet be prepared for changes and bend to meet what is needed.

 

For more information, check her out at: Chill Awards.

 

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo.

 

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