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The Book Competition That Keeps on Giving

Most book contests are pricey and the author has a slim chance of winning. This contest has one category, one judge, and up to 10 winners.

As a self-published children’s picture book author, I’ve paid $10 just to have my book posted on a website for one day. I once paid about $40 to enter a popular contest that had dozens of categories. Today, I was asked to enter a contest with a $500 fee. The contest I’m going to tell you about has just one category. It continues to promote the books of the winners long after the contest ends. The entry fee? As low as $35, if you enter by April 30th.

To promote my own work, I do some paid Facebook ads. I tweet and post about my books along with (what I hope) is value added content for potential buyers. I’ve shied away from entering more book contests because it feels like I’m buying a lottery ticket. I’d have better odds at winning PowerBall.

“In 2015, I stepped up my promotion game.”

In 2013, I decided to start a contest exclusively for self-published authors of children’s picture books. There were two main reasons I started the contest. First, I had discovered other self-published children’s books that I felt deserved more attention. Second, I realized that we indie authors could support each other by cross-marketing our books.

The Gittle List contest has continued to evolve over the  years. Some contest entrants did get free promotion the first two years. In 2015, I stepped up my promotion game. I give entrants several opportunities throughout the submission period to earn free promotion. I also just randomly include an entrant’s book in a tweet or Facebook post.

“Cross-Marketing at its finest.”

Remember, we are talking about authors who have not yet (and may not) win a spot on The Gittle List. I’m providing free promotion for entrants. So far, several authors have gotten their books promoted through Facebook posts, tweets, The Gittle newsletter, LinkedIn articles, and press releases. Here’s the catch: The ads are promoting the contest while featuring the entrant’s book. Then, The Gittle List contest and the author both promote the ad across their social media platforms. Cross-marketing at its finest.

“What contest tweets about an entrant’s book? The Gittle List contest does.”

As far as I know (and feel free to correct me), The Gittle List is the only contest that gives indie authors free promotion during the submission period. Yes, there is an entry fee now. (I did this for free the first two years.) With other contests, you’re paying just to have your book judged. What contest tweets about an entrant’s book? What contest displays an entrant’s book cover in a press release? The Gittle List contest does.

I don’t promise that every entrant will get their book promoted during the submission period. I do promise that you have a very good chance of getting your book mentioned. At no extra cost. The earlier you enter the greater your chances.

“I’m still promoting past winners.”
All Gittle List winners will get continued promotion throughout the holiday season. Links to buy their books, along with my reviews, remain on But, Gittle List winners get more than that. I’m still promoting 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 winners. Why? I do it to promote the contest and support the indie authors and their books that I loved enough to put in my top 10 list. (Pictured left is paid Facebook advertising featuring the book covers of six previous contest winners from 2013 and 2014.)

If you are a self-published children’s picture book author, enter The Gittle List contest. It will likely be the most promotional bang for your buck. Even if you don’t win. Click here for contest submission guidelines. Deadline is Midnight PST November 15th.

The Gittle List contest is only for self-published children’s picture book authors. Open to indie authors around the world. Any publication year is accepted. (I’m just trying to find great books!)

Remember: The earlier you enter, the better chance you have of getting free promotion.

AvivaWithGym4WEBAviva Gittle Publishing offers great stories for children in English and Spanish, including the Kitten and Friends / Gatito y amigos series. Aviva’s website, shares the stories of authors, illustrators and others who create books and creative media for children.

*All of the books featured in this article can be purchased on Just search Amazon for the author’s name and/or book title. If your purchase initiates from this website, I get a small commission that keeps me in business. Thank you!

Published inThe Gittle List

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