Have you ever wanted to choose a specific reader for your book? A reader who would be enthusiastic about your fiction? A reader who would talk about your books, or leave reviews? A reader who would be so excited about your writing they would buy your backlist?
The Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award is a unique contest for authors who are published in Inspirational Fiction. Growing out of the Romance Writers of America, the judges for the IRCA are readers of Christian fiction, but are not involved in the publishing industry. They don’t write, edit, or do book reviews professionally. These judges simply love Inspirational fiction. They like to share their newly discovered books and authors with friends and family. And they are the readers we as authors want to reach.
Our judges come from across the United States and as far away as Australia and Puerto Rico. Most are Christians involved with a church, but some of our readers are simply people who appreciate a wholesome, well-told story. When reading a title, they will often think of someone your book might benefit.
For the past seventeen 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:
—Tremendously wonderful read!…I had to have [the author’s] other books, so I ran out and bought them.
—Wow!…A book God put in my hands to uplift me…
—I would definitely recommend this book, and will be looking into other books by this author…
–This was a new author for me to read, but I will look for more of her books.
New authors may wonder about the advantages of entering a contest like this, so just know that your blog host, longtime literary agent Chip MacGregor, believes that publishers like knowing that a book won a writing contest. It is evidence to publishers that your book was deemed worthy by readers in your genre. So as a finalist or winner there are not only the personal accolades, the potential for increased sales, and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, but the possibility of being able to tell publishers that your book is truly an award-winner. So think of the possibilities for reaching new readers if you entered the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Fans who love inspirational stories will enjoy telling everyone else about your book!
Writers of inspirational fiction, if you want to find new readers 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. http://www.faithhopelove-rwa.org/irc.html
Nancy J. Farrier, IRCA Coordinator