Literary competitions are a great way to market your book. However, I'm starting to notice a change in the air. Some of these competitions are no longer accepting eBooks. In other words, you can't enter unless you have a print version of your book.
The problem with eBooks, I believe, it that it has become too easy to publish them. The once-dreaded gatekeepers, whose mission was to prevent most well-written and professionally edited manuscripts from ever being published, are now nearly extinct. They've been replaced by Amazon Kindle and Smashwords, who have no means of vetting the content of any of the eBooks they publish. This means anyone with a pulse who has Internet access can now publish an eBook. As a result, the market is rapidly filling up with poorly-written eBooks. I'm already seeing negative comments posted on on-line forums by frustrated and disappointed readers begging for some sort of quality control from ebook publishers and distributors. I'm afraid if the trend continues, eBooks could soon become stigmatized.
The solution is simple. First, have you manuscript edited by a professional editor. Second, publish a hard copy of your book. Printed books open the door for you to enter more literary competitions, and winning, or even placing in a competition is an invaluable marketing tool that gives you, and your book, the credibility it deserves.