Yesterday I found out that Finding Emma, my new bestseller won the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards for the Fiction category!

Needless to say I celebrate by indulging in a bowl of chocolate ice-cream before I thought about what this could/would mean for me and for my novel.

The obvious – recognition. It’s a shout out to the world of readers and writers that you have what it takes to write a story worth noticing. It means that you can put Award Winning on your covers and in your bio – the same as when you make a bestseller list. As another writer mentioned to me, it means you have ‘street cred.’

But … the more I think about it … to me – it means that there’s no excuse for putting out a novel that is only half ready. It means working just as hard on my latest novel and future novels as I did on this one to ensure that it has the same level of quality for my readers. It means that my readers MUST come first for me when I’m writing my story. Yes, I need to write a story that is from my heart, but at the same time I need to write a story that will touch my readers’ heart just as much as it’s touched mine.

I think winning an award – whether it’s the Rita’s or the Indie Excellence or anything else in between adds an extra layer of weight to me as a writer.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

So here’s a toast to Finding Emma – the story of my heart and yours 🙂

Now – what about you? As a reader – does knowing a book won an award mean anything to you? What about as a writer?