Previous Finalists




Hi everybody,

We just announced the 2023 Wishing Shelf Book Award WINNERS! Simply click on WINNERS at the top of this page. Congrats to all of you! Remember, the winner list is for Category 1 through to 8 only. The winners of the Best Book COVER Award will be announced in August. Whether your book is a winner, finalist or not a finalist, you will find info in this newsletter. So scroll down to find out what´s happening.

A vast majority of the non-finalists who picked Opt. 2 now have the feedback we promised them. A few have not. We will keep going until ALL the feedback has been sent out. I suspect another few weeks or so to complete the non-finalist feedbacks.
We will now start sending out FINALIST feedback. It will go out over the next 3 months. It's a huge job!
If you still want a medal, let us know. We ordered another box of them. They cost £29 (which is what they cost to have produced) plus postage. Let us know if you want one. They are gorgeous! When you get the medal, take a picture of yourself holding the medal and the certificate, and we will add you to our Winners Gallery! That page gets a lot of hits, so it´s worth it.
Over the next few months, we will be marketing the finalist books. We just sent out a PRESS RELEASE to over 100 reader-related bloggers; the article was linked to the finalist books on the website We also put an advert on Facebook targeting readers in the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Firstly, congrats on being a WINNER. The readers in our Reading Groups loved your books. You can link any marketing you do to the winner list on this website.
The first thing you need to do is download your logo. You will find them under MEDALS at the bottom of this page.
Secondly, when you get 5 mins, send me your full POSTAL ADDRESS (including country) and I will send you your wonderfully amazing WINNERS MEDAL! This is covered by the entry fee so there’s no charge. Also, when I reply to you, I will attach your certificate to the message. When you get the medal, take a picture of yourself (portrait NOT landscape) holding the medal and the certificate, and we will add you to our Winners Gallery!
As a Gold, Silver, Bronze medal winner, you are eligible to enter The Book of the Decade which we are running this year only to celebrate our first TEN YEARS! There's no entry fee; we just ask you to donate £20 to the trophy fund. They look AMAZING, handmade in a small Yorkshire town where I happened to be born. If you wish to participate in the Book of the Decade, let us know when you contact us with your address.
Over the next few months, we will be sending out feedback and also marketing your win with a big advert on Facebook. We will also be marketing your win on Twitter and Goodreads.
Remember, it's important you also market your win as much as possible. I did a short film for the Alliance of Independent Authors a few years ago on how to make the most of winning a book award. You will find a link to it at the bottom of this page.

That's all for now! Congrats to everybody who entered the 2023 awards. Remember, you wrote a book and that, in itself, is something to be very proud of.

Chat soon!

Edward (and the Wishing Shelf gang)






To see the list of the 2023 FINALISTS in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, simply click on FINALISTS at the top of this page. The children’s books were read and judged by children from 10 UK primary and secondary schools, the adult books by 2 Reading Groups, 1 in London and 1 in Stockholm. Over 200 readers! The books were marked according to EDITING, THEME, STYLE, COVER and, in the case of many of the children’s books, ILLUSTRATIONS. The audio books in Category 7 and 8 were also marked according to NARRATOR PERFORMANCE, SOUND QUALITY, MUSIC and SOUND EFFECTS. Every book in Category 1 - 6 which was awarded over 25/35 is a finalist. Every book in Category 7 and 8 which was awarded over 30/40 is a finalist.

The WINNERS will be announced on April 1st, 2024

Note: you will also see the Best Book COVER Awards from LAST YEAR listed there; ignore them as this year´s will be posted in August.

Firstly, many thanks for entering your book in the Awards. Not everybody can be a finalist, and it's important to remember that the list of finalists simply reflects the opinion of our readers. They are not experts in publishing; they simply enjoy, what they feel, is a good book. Remember, you wrote a book, and you should rightly be proud.

Over the next month, we will be sending out feedback to everybody who entered the Awards (Op. 2) and was NOT a finalist. I hope you will find that feedback helpful to your writing careers. Once you have read the feedback, you can then decide if you wish us to post it on Bookbub and Goodreads. We will also be awarding a few Red Ribbons to books that were not finalists but the reading groups still very much enjoyed. This can happen when, say, the story is good but the editing or cover is poor. We will let you know if you are a Red Ribbon Winner when we send you your feedback.

By the way, every year, 1 or 2 of the non-finalists send me a nasty message. It is not welcomed. I run the Awards, but I do not judge the books, so yelling at me won’t get anybody anywhere.
Firstly, congrats on becoming a finalists in the 2023 Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Our readers very much enjoyed all of your books. Just over 30% of the books entered were picked as finalists.

If you contact us ( with the title of your finalist book, we will send you your wonderfully cool certificate as an attachment. Also, if you wish to have a FINALIST MEDAL, include your FULL POSTAL ADDRESS - important: read the info regarding the cost of the medals at the bottom of this newsletter before deciding if you want a medal or not.

Remember to TELL THE WORLD! Being a finalist in a book award is now a ´tool in your toolbox´. But if you don´t get the tool out, it won´t help you to sell your books. I always find local newspapers are particularly interested in locals winning awards - CONTACT THEM NOW AND LET THEM KNOW!

The winners will be picked from the finalists and announced on April 1st, 2024. After that, we will be starting to send out feedback to finalists. This is a HUGE job and will take a number of months. We will work as fast as we can. Once you have read the feedback, you can then decide if you wish us to post it on Bookbub and Goodreads.

We will also be organising a Facebook advert to market the finalists' books. We will be targeting the advert at 'readers (interest/hobby) in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand'. The budget will be $2000, so we expect to get a lot of hits for your books!

Over the next few weeks will will be sending out a Press Release promoting the finalists to over 100 bloggers. Plus we will be promoting them within Facebook and Goodreads reader groups.

Don't forget, if you are a finalist, you can get 50% off website design from Simply let them know you were a finalist, and they will help you.

As most of you probably know, the gold, silver and bronze winners now get wonderful MEDALS! The medals are amazing; individually designed for the awards, gold-plated in a velvet padded box. Last year’s winners loved them.

But, over the years, a number of finalists have asked us if they could have medals too.

The thing is, they are not your typical school sports day medals i.e. they cost a fortune. All the winners get them for free - it's covered by part of the entry fee - but if we had them produced for all the finalists, the awards would go broke!

However, what we could do is this. As a 2023 finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, if you would like a finalist medal, let us know ASAP. We would charge the exact cost of having them produced (if I remember correctly it's £29) plus whatever the postage is.

So, if you wish to have a medal, contact us ASAP at with your FULL NAME and POSTAL ADDRESS (don’t forget to include the ‘country’ at the end).

They really do look wonderful; gold-plated, big and heavy too! By the way, the design is different to the winner medals, but they are exactly the same regarding size and quality. They will look amazing at book signings, on a bookshelf or even on your writing desk. We only have so many, so let us know ASAP. Also, we can add you (holding your medal and book) to our GALLERY! That page gets A LOT of hits! Remember, we will only charge the cost of producing and sending them; the awards will make no profit whatsoever. We just thought you all might be interested. If it was me, I´d get one!

So that's all for now. Congrats to all the finalists! Non-finalists, if you picked Opt. 2 (with feedback), keep an eye on your inbox; your feedback will be along shortly.

Chat soon!

Edward (and The Wishing Shelf Gang)


A Tool in Your Tool Box

This is part of an article I penned a few years ago. It might be helpful to you all.

So, will winning a book award help you to sell your books? Firstly, you don’t need to win: You can be longlisted, shortlisted, a finalist, a Red Ribbon winner, Gold, Silver, Bronze medalists. And, yes, any of them can help you to market your book. But only if you see it as a tool in your marketing tool box. For example, when I won the UK People’s Book Prize in 2014, I put it on my author page and I put it on the front cover of all my books. This helped a little. But it helped BIG TIME when I was trying to twist the arms of schools to allow me to visit them and present my literacy workshops to the students there.

In the past, when I sent a message to schools offering to do my workshops, I’d get a response of approx. 1%. But, when I put ‘Winner of The UK People’s Book Prize’ in the box at the top of the message, I got a response of approx. 12%. You see, 99% of readers have no clue how good or bad a literary award is (although The Wishing Shelf Book Awards happens to be very, very good). They simply see ‘Award-Winning Book’ and they think, ‘Oh, it must be good’. In my case, the teachers in the schools see ‘Book Prize Winner’ and think, ‘Oh, he must be good’ and they book me up for a visit.

So, yes, being a finalist or winning a medal in a book award can help you to sell your books, but only if you have a marketing strategy whereby you utilize the win to further that marketing strategy. Let me put it this way, after winning the award I now sell an average of 75 books at every school I visit. Before I won the award, I sold an average 45 books. The difference: I had a marketing strategy and every poster I now send the schools says ‘Winner of the UK People’s Book Prize’ in bold, red letters at the top. And the letter the schools send to parents to tell them a children’s author is visiting, and they can buy a signed book – well, I bet you can guess what it says in big, bold letters at the top.

See winning an award as a tool in your tool box. But it you don’t take the tool out, it’s not going to do you any good.

That’s how winning a book award helped me. But can it help you? For example, what if you write novels for adults and not children? A thriller. A cosy mystery. A cookery book or a book on woodworking.Well, there are lots of ways winning a book award can still help you to market your book.

Firstly, of course, you can add ‘Award-Winning Author’ to the front and back cover of your winning book and, of course, to any future books you might write. There are so many amazing books for readers to pick from. Having ‘Award Winning Author’ on the front cover might just help them to pick yours. If you happen to be doing a booksigning, then have a roller banner produced – they only cost $40 or so – to tell shoppers that you are an ‘Award Winning Author’. It will help.

Don’t forget, winning an award is news. Even a small award. So, tell local newspapers. Local newspapers are often desperate for anything to write. Anything! The other day, the front cover of my local rag was dedicated to a lost swan! Your win might just make the front page too. And, if your book happens to have a local angle to it, all the better. And, of course, don’t forget your Facebook page, your blog and, of course, Amazon. As you probably know, you can access your Author Page through Author Central. There, you can do all sort of things: add a biography, a photo and, of course, tell the prospective readers you won a book award.


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