When I published my first memoir, I entered quite a few book awards. It wasn’t just the award that I was after, it was the feedback and the public nod of approval that my book was of a high standard. I did end up as a finalist in one of the book awards and that was worth it for me. Not only does my book now have an award seal and is listed as a finalist, I also received feedback from over 30 readers who all responded positively to my book.
There are many benefits to winning an award other than the book seal, certificate and feedback. Some of these are things such as being featured on various websites and/or articles, being promoted in press releases, media exposure, and some will even submit the winners’ books to literary agents. It differs with each award program.
You usually need to send two copies of the printed book for each category entered and there is an entry fee per category. Please note that your book must have been published within the last two years to enter some of these awards. Read the individual guidelines carefully for each award before entering.
Here are 20 book awards that are open to Indie authors:
Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Open to all indie book authors and publishers who have a book written in English. Deadline for entries is each February for books published the same year or in the previous two years.
Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY Book Awards)
Open to authors throughout North America and overseas who publish books intended for an English speaking audience. Deadline for entries is each February for books published the same year or in the previous two years.
IndieReader Discovery Awards
Open to indie authors who have self-published books. There are no restrictions on publication dates! Deadline for entries each year is March.
Feathered Quill Book Awards
All books written in English are eligible. Deadline is December each year for books published in the same year or the previous year.
The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
To enter this award your book must be self-published or published by a small, independent or academic press. Your book must be predominantly in English and published within the last three years. Deadline for entries each year is the 31 December.
Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards
Open to independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors for books available for purchase in print or e-book formats. Deadline is January each year for books published the year before.
Reader Views Annual Literary Awards
Open to all authors with books published in English and targeted for the North American market. Work published by major book publishers are not eligible. In the first level of judging, a reviewer will write a review and it will be forwarded to you and also posted on Reader Views. Deadline is December for books published in the same year.
Readers Favorite International Book Award Contest
Open to all authors with an English book in any format. There are no restrictions on publication dates. Deadline each year is June and winners are announced in September.
National Indie Excellence Book Awards
Open to all English language books that are available for sale. No ebooks. Deadline for entries is each March for books published the same year or in the previous three years.
International Book Awards
Open to all books, published in the English language with an ISBN and currently available for sale online to global consumers. Deadline for entries is each April for books published the same year or in the previous two years.
The International Rubery Book Award
Open to English books published by independent presses and self published books. There is no publication date requirement but books should not be out of print. Entries open in August each year.
New York Book Festival Winners
Entries can be in English, Spanish, French or Italian. Deadline is June each year for books published within the past 4 years.
Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Open to all English-language self-published books for which the authors have paid the full cost of publication. Entries from November to June every year for books published the same year or in the previous five years.
Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards
Open to all English-language self-published ebooks for which the authors have paid the full cost of publication. Deadline is August every year for books published in the same year or the previous five years.
The San Francisco Book Festival Winners
The San Francisco Book Festival will consider non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, children’s books, compilations/anthologies, teenage, how-to, cookbooks, science fiction, audio/spoken word, history, wild card, gay, photography/art, poetry, unpublished, travel and spiritual works. Deadline is May each year and there is no date of publication restrictions.
Nautilus Book Awards
They accept books from traditional publishers, small presses, and self-publishers printed in English. This award is for books on spiritual growth, conscious living, high-level wellness, green values, responsible leadership and positive social change as well as to the worlds of art, creativity and inspirational reading for children, teens and young adults. Deadline is February each year for books published in the past two years.
Living Now Book Awards
These awards are for the best lifestyle, homestyle, world-improvement and self-improvement books. They also accept inspirational children’s books and memoirs. Authors and publishers around the world who write and publish in English may enter. Entries are accepted each year until July for books published from October two years before until July in the current year.
eLit Book Awards
Do you only have an ebook? This award is for you. Open to publishers and authors worldwide of electronic books written in English and created for the global marketplace. Deadline is January each year for books published within the previous two years.
Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards
The contest is open to authors, illustrators, publishers and self-publishers of children’s books written in English or Spanish for the North American market. Deadline for entries is August for books published in the current or previous year.
Purple Dragonfly Book Awards
Open to all English children’s books that are available for purchase published in any year and in any country. They look for stories that inspire, inform, teach or entertain. Deadline for entries is May each year.