In my time working with Indie Authors I have found that many authors do not know there are dozens of awards out their that indie and self-published books are eligible to win. Like making an ebook free for a limited time, entering for an award can be a great marketing tool. To help get you started I have compiled a list with the current deadline (many of these happen every year so if you miss it try again next time!), fees, and some general requirements (please make sure you check the website for the full requirements and rules!)
Axiom Business Book Awards
Deadline: January 12, 2013
Fee: $75-$95 per title
Requirements: Authors and publishers throughout North America and overseas publishers who publish English-language business books intended for the American market may enter. Print-On-Demand and other independent authors are welcome to enter their books themselves.
ForeWord Reviews – Book of the Year Awards
Deadline: January 15, 2013
Requirements: Any independently published titles in any format—including eBooks—published in 2012. This includes self-published, university press, and POD books. Note: professional production are taken into consideration when judged.
Georgia Author of the Year
Deadline: January 31, 2013
Requirements: The Georgia Writers Association recognizes Georgia’s authors of excellence by presenting the Georgia Author of the Year Awards. The GAYA has the distinction of being the oldest literary awards in the Southeastern United States while reflecting the current publishing world. The GAYA honors both independently published authors, those whose books are published by traditional publishing houses.
Independent Book Publishers Association – Benjamin Franklin Awards
Deadline: December 31, 2012
Requirements: Publishers of books copyrighted in 2012 may enter the competition. Any books submitted with copyright dates other than 2012 must be accompanied with proof of initial distribution in the year 2012.
Independent Publisher Book Awards
Deadline: March 16, 2013 at latest
Requirements: Independent, university, small press, self-publishers and independent authors throughout North America and overseas authors and publishers who publish books intended for the American market. Authors are welcome to enter their books themselves.
Mom’s Choice Awards
Requirements: There are three primary qualifiers for entries:
1) Is the item safe?
All products must comply with US product safety standards including, but not limited to the standards set forth by the US Food & Drug Administration and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
2) Is the item current?
While the MCA does not require a certain manufactured / published date, entered items cannot contain content that is considered “out of date.”
3) Is the item easily available?
Entered items must be easily available for parents, educators, and librarians to acquire (i.e. the item is available via a major retailer such as Amazon).
Nautilus Book Awards
Deadline: January 31, 2013
Requirements: The 2013 Nautilus Book Awards is now accepting entries in 28 subject categories and 5 categories for Children, Teens and Young Adults. Any book (printed) in English and copyrighted, published or released in 2011 or 2012 will be eligible to enter the 2013 Nautilus Awards contest. We accept books from traditional publishers, small presses and self-publishers. Each year the Nautilus Awards has an honorary category to acknowledge the Best in Small Press. Our judges consider a small press title to be any book that qualifies for entry in the Nautilus Awards that is from a publisher who produces less than 10 books a year. All qualified, paid submissions from small presses become candidates for this award. It cannot be entered otherwise. All books must have an ISBN number.
Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Deadline: February 22, 2013
Requirements: The 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards is open to all indie publishers including independent publishers (small, medium or otherwise), university presses, self-published authors, e-book authors, seasoned authors and even first time authors based in the U.S., Canada or internationally who have a book written in English and released in 2012 or 2013 or with a 2012 or 2013 copyright date.
Readers Views Literary Book Awards (Multiple awards)
Deadline: December 15, 2012
Requirements: Reader Views Literary Awards are open to all authors regardless of residency, however, the books must be published in the English language and targeted for the North American market. Work published by major book publishers are not eligible. Books must have 2012 copyright date.(Copyright date is on the copyright page of the printed book. Yes, that means copyright date – no, it doesn’t mean a copyright date of 2011 and publication in 2012. This means copyright in 2012. Please do not ask us for concessions because it’s not going to happen.) Submission for more than one category or more than one title is acceptable. Books that have racist themes will be not be accepted.
The Book Designer – Monthy eBook Cover Design Award
Requirements: Use the submission form. Please link to a cover at least 160 x 160 px. (and preferably at least 300 x 300 px.) This is the size of the small thumbnails in the Amazon search results page. There is no restriction on publication date, but I’m interested in current trends. No PDF e-Book covers, that’s a different genre entirely. We love designer credits! No inappropriate subjects, please. We reserve the right to remove any entry for any reason.
The Indie Reader Discovery Awards
Deadline: March 15, 2013
Requirements: The “IndieReader Discovery Awards” are open to indie authors who have self-published books. Books have to have a valid ISBN or ASIN number. There are no restrictions on pub dates. Both eBooks and paper books can be submitted.
The Kindle Review – Best Indie Books
Deadline: May 1st, 2013
Requirements: Any indie/small press author (book) published to Amazon between May 1, 2012 and May 1, 2013 (see categories). ONLY ONE (1) BOOK PER AUTHOR. All ebooks must be formatted in a Kindle acceptable file such as MOBI, PRC, AZW, AZW1, TXT.
The National Indie Excellence Book Awards
Deadline: April 2, 2013
Requirements: Please send one copy of the book per category entered. 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013 publication dates are eligible. You can put all the categories in which you submit on one Submission Form but be sure to copy the submission form and put it in each book you submit in each category. All titles must have an ISBN and be published books. *Indie Excellence is open to all English language books that are available for sale online and off. We are not accepting e-books in 2013.
Writer’s Digest – Self-Published Book Awards
Deadline: April 1st, 2013 (early bird)
Fee: $100 for the first entry, and $75 for each additional entry. (early bird)
Requirements: The competition is open to all English-language self-published books for which the authors have paid the full cost of publication, or the cost of printing has been paid for by a grant or as part of a prize. (see website for further detail)
Kate Tilton is the marketing associate for BiblioCrunch, an author assistant, and a book blogger.