Five Eminent Awards for Self-published Authors

Awards for self-published authors

For every author, there is no event more momentous than winning an award for their book. Not only is it a dream come true for the writer, but it is also a powerful catalyst in increasing the readership of the book. Winning a book award has several actionable impacts such as boosting promotional efforts, tapping into new audiences and reinforcing the marketability of the book. A book award makes an impressive statement to readers- that the book has been well acclaimed by a panel of literary critics and experts.

Adding the title of “award-winning author” on the cover of your book will also catch the eye of distributors and publishers for future titles. As a self-published author, winning a book award adds great value to your work and gives you an edge over other competitors in the field. If you’re a self-published writer, submit your work to the following five prestigious global book awards and join the league of other successful writers.

Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-book Award

The popular magazine Writer’s Digest remains a forerunner for writers’ resources, news and competitions for self-published authors. Their annual award honours one grand prize winner with a cash prize, a featured interview in their magazine, and a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference.

  • Criteria for nomination: Writers who are self-published authors of e-books and those authors who publish with a small press that publishes fewer than 12 books a year.
  • Period for submission: Annually; between April 1 and late May

Notable previous winners of the award: Ryan Galloway for his 2016 novel Biome, Margaret Sorick for her 2015 novel Three Empty Frames, among others

The Independent Publisher Book Awards

Since its inception in 1996, the Independent Publisher Book Awards (the “IPPYs”) have brought increased recognition to thousands of exemplary independent and self-published titles published each year. Featuring over 100 categories, they award gold, silver, and bronze medals to winners and feature them in an estimated 50 articles and press releases.

  • Criteria for nomination: Individuals who are self-published authors, independent publishers and university publishers.
  • Period for submission: Annually; between August and February
  • Notable previous winners of the award: Dorene O’Brien for her 2019 collection of stories What It Might Feel Like to Hope and Eunice Olsen for her 2018 collection of poems I’m a Girl. See what I can be! among others

 The Best Indie Book Award

The annual Best Indie Book Award or “BIBA” is an international literary contest that recognizes outstanding achievement by authors who independently (indie) published books, including self-published authors, small presses and e-book publishers. Winners of this globally coveted award receive a beautiful glass trophy and are aided in the promotion of their winning book via newsletters, social media, and press releases.

  • Criteria for nomination: Individuals who are self-published authors can submit their entries, along with independent publishers and university presses.
  • Period for submission: Annually: Submissions from January to mid-October
  • Notable previous winners of the award: Kristen Wolf, for her 2018 novel Escapement and Channy Chhi Laux, for her memoir Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-year-old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide, among others.

Rubery Book Award

Named after a charming English countryside, this book award accepts entries from around the world. It offers one grand “Book of the Year” prize, which includes a cash prize as well as publishing consideration from a top literary agency. Finalists are also awarded smaller prizes. This contest is reputed to have catapulted many winning authors into further success in their careers.

  • Criteria for nomination: Entries have to come from either self-published authors and independent presses
  • Period for submission: Annually; with the deadline usually being March 31
  • Notable previous winners of the award: Brittany Ackerman, for her memoir The Perpetual Motion Machine, Claire Chao and Isabel Sun Chao for their memoir Remembering Shanghai: A Memoir of Socialites, Scholars and Scoundrels, among others 

The IndieReader Discovery Award

One of the most renowned awards for self-published writers, this book award features multiple categories such as “Best First Book,” “Best Book per Genre,” and overall “Best Fiction & Nonfiction.” Their reputable panel of judges recommends the top winners of the IndieReaders Discovery Awards to prominent publishing houses for representation, and the winners also receive various prizes based on the category won. In addition to this, every author who enters a title gets a verdict blurb from professional reviewers.

  • Criteria for nomination: Entries must come from self-published authors, independent publishers, or university publishers, in either ebook or paperback format.
  • Period for submission: Annually; the time frame varies from year to year
  • Notable previous winners of the award: Olivia Rana, for her 2017 novel Elastic Girl and C.P Mangel for her anthology of poems A Wounded Deer Leaps Highest

An award is a testament to the author’s talent. It not only increases the visibility of the author within a competitive market but also adds credibility to their work. As a writer, being recognized for your work is an important factor in helping you stay motivated to continue writing. It can boost your self-esteem as a writer and encourage you to write more books that are worthy of winning notable accolades.

Happy Writing!

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