By Patty Shaw, VP COVR Board
In ten short months we’ll be honoring the best of the best at our annual COVR awards banquet
and it’s not to soon to be preparing for it. I’ve been on both sides of the fence as a judge
and an entrant and here to share some tips to help you be a winner. Our Awards program is
undoubtedly my favorite benefit of being a COVR member. It’s so much fun to be honored for
all your hard work, plus the exposure of your business and products is priceless.
1. Don’t procrastinate. Start working on your product now. It has to present well in the
store in addition to being a fantastic product. Get your submissions in early if not on
time. Deadlines are in the first quarter of the year. Look at our website for dates and
deadlines, www.covr.org. The 2014 dates will be up soon.
2. Yes, you have to submit 6 copies or items. This excludes electronic submissions
like, websites, radio shows, and newsletters. There are five judges per category
plus a sample is put in the COVR booth at INATS where all the finalists and winners
3. Each individual entrant has its own fee. If you submit three books, there will be three
submission fees. You can’t submit a line of products as one item. For example I can only
submit one candle from my Blessed Herbal Candle line.
4. All eligible products have to be newly offered in 2013.
5. Choose your category thoughtfully and enter it in as many categories that your
submission qualifies for. This increases your chances for becoming a finalist or even first
The judges are your peers and COVR looks for people who have been in our industry for at
least two years and very familiar if not experts in the category they will be judging. Judges
evaluate your submission using COVR standards, but they are also using their expertise as
retailers. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing your product, packaging and
Music and sidelines
1. Does the cover or packaging reflect the content accurately?
2. Does the packaging for sidelines add to the value of the product?
3. Is the art of a high quality and the graphics easy to read?
4. Is construction of the packaging durable?
5. Will your product display well in a store?
6. Is this product unique in its genre?
By the time you’re reading this article most of the work is done for books being
presented for the 2014 awards, but you can file this away for your next book.
1. Books are not just judged by their covers, but their interiors too. Judges will look at
2. Quality of writing: judges look at language used, grammar, and examples used to
3. What sets book apart from other books in same category?
4. Is the author successful in communicating the subject matter?
5. Who is the book intended for? Does the book reach its intended audience?
Internet Radio Show, Electronic newsletters, websites
1. Landing page – is it visually appealing and consistent with content of show?
2. Is it easy to navigate?
3. Does the show load correctly and easily?
4. Can information be easily obtained from radio show?
5. Does the show make you want to take action?
As you can see, there is a lot of planning that goes into getting your product ready for the
COVR awards. We want you to be successful and knock the socks off our judges. Please review
our website for more details about the Awards, judging guidelines and submission forms.
If you have an amazing product you’d like to present in the 2014 awards, but need help
with the polish, contact us at our office. Our mentors are experts in creating award winning
products. PO Box 100866, Denver CO 80250, phone 303-758-0007.
Would you like to be a judge? Contact our office soon!