Which Book Awards Are for You in 2012?


Which Book Awards Are for You? 

It’s a new year … and thoughts of book awards get an author’s attention quickly … are they worth the entry fee? Which do you submit to? And what do you do if your book is recognized … besides telling all your friends?

Can book awards make a difference? Yes, if they are the right ones—that’s why Author U has cherry-picked the ones that are recommended for your “marketing dollars.” Jerry Sears, Senior Editor at Boulder Publishers shares this:

          Ben Franklin is potent. One of my titles, A Course in Miracles in 5 Minutes won the
            best book of the year award and went from 0 sales to calls from book distributors all
            over the country wanting to take it on. It now is in its 10th edition with sales of 100,000             plus copies.  

Below are a few recommended by Author U and The Book Shepherd that receive ongoing national attention and are worth investing some of your marketing/promotional dollars for submissions. Some give stickers; some give cash prizes; all do national media releases/promotion with winners and finalists. Deadlines range from mid-January to September. Submissions and guidelines will give you the details on each site included—deadlines could mean books need to be in hand or merely postmarked.

Note: Not all Awards are a fit for your book or category. Good luck!

Colorado Book Awards
This annual program celebrates the accomplishments of Colorado's outstanding authors, editors, illustrators, and photographers. Awards are presented in at least ten categories including anthology/collection, biography, children's, creative nonfiction, fiction, history, nonfiction, pictorial, poetry, and young adult. To be eligible for a Colorado Book Award, a primary contributor to the book must be a Colorado writer, editor, illustrator, or photographer.

Entries in the 21st annual Colorado Book Awards must have a 2011 publication date. Books published and available in late 2011 that have a delayed (2012) copyright may be submitted either in the 21st or the 22nd annual Colorado Book Awards, but not both.
DEADLINE: January 13, 2012



NOTE:  this is Colorado’s program—your state may have a duplicate as well. In 1984, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress began to establish affiliate centers in the 50 states. Today, there is a State Center for the Book in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These Center for the Book affiliates carry out the national Center's mission in their local areas; sponsor programs that highlight their area's literary heritage; and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries. Many of them have state awards. Google “Center of the Book” for your state and/or go to http://read.gov/cfb/index.html for more information.

National Indie Excellence Awards
NIEA celebrates overall excellence, including design and promotional text, so that discerning readers know an NIEA winner or finalist is something special. What’s more, award announcements receive extensive media coverage you can leverage to your sales advantage. 
DEADLINE:  April 10, 2012.


Foreword Book of the Year
Every year, ForeWord looks back to the best books of the previous year. The ForeWord Book of the Year competition provides publishers with a valuable opportunity to breathe new life into the promotion of a distinguished title. These fiercely contested awards are viewed by librarians and booksellers as an important statement about a title they might have overlooked. For thirteen years, savvy publishers have used the gold, silver, and bronze awards as additional marketing material as their titles drift toward the backlist.   Foreword magazine is dedicated to the independent author and publisher.
DEADLINE:  January 15, 2012


Nautilus Awards
Recognizes Books and Audio Books that promote spiritual growth, conscious living, and positive social change, while at the same time stimulating the "imagination" and offering the reader "new possibilities" for a better life and a better world.

They look for distinguished literary and heartfelt contributions to 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:  January 31, 2012


Next Generation Indie Book Awards
A not-for-profit book awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. In its fifth year of operation, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in 60 different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group.
DEADLINE:  February 24, 2012


USA Book News Awards
Open to all books, e-books, and audiobooks with an ISBN and published in 2012 (galley copies welcome). 2010 and 2011 titles are also eligible. It covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, and self-published. Winners in 2012 will be promoted to the entertainment industry.
DEADLINE:  September 30, 2012


Independent Publisher Book Awards
The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. “Independent” is defined as 1) independently owned and operated; 2) operated by a foundation or university; or 3) long-time independents that became incorporated but operate autonomously and publish fewer than 50 titles a year. DEADLINE:  March 15, 2012


Ben Franklin Book Awards
Named in honor of America's most cherished publisher/printer, the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ recognizes excellence in independent publishing—sponsored by IBPA—Independent Book Publishers Association (AU is an Affiliate). Publications, grouped by genre are judged on editorial and design merit by top practitioners in each field.

Awards to the best books in several categories and are presented to the publishers during a gala awards ceremony on the last evening of the Publishing University (just before the opening of Book Expo America).

All entrants receive critique sheets with advice on how to improve their publications, as well as words of appreciation for the good work produced.

DEADLINE:  For 2012 © dates, submit by September 30, 2012


The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards
Designed to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading, the awards are given in 38 categories covering the full range of subjects, styles, and age groups that children’s books are written and published in today.

The contest is designed to honor the year's best children’s books, authors, and illustrators. Open to authors, illustrators, and publishers of children’s books written in English or Spanish and intended for the North American market. All 2011 and 2012 copyrights and releases are eligible.
ENTRIES OPEN:  December 1, 2011


Willa Literary Award
Did you publish a book in 2011 that features a woman's or girl's story set in the American West?  If so, please consider entering it in the 2012 WILLA Literary Award competition.  Women Writing the West, a nonprofit association of writers and other professionals writing and promoting the Women's West, underwrites and presents the award.  Books published in 2011 (in any form) are eligible.  Professional librarians select Winners and Finalists.  Awards will be presented at the Women Writing the West annual conference in Albuquerque, NM in October 2012.


Categories for entry include Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Scholarly Nonfiction, Poetry, Original Softcover Fiction, and Children's and Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction.


Deadline:  February 1, 2012




Parents’ Choice Awards
The nation's oldest nonprofit program was created to recognize quality children's media. The Parents' Choice Awards program honors the best material for children: books, toys, music and storytelling, magazines, software, videogames, television, and websites. Parents' Choice Foundation's panels of educators, scientists, performing artists, librarians, parents, and, yes, kids themselves, identify the very best products for children of different ages and backgrounds, and of varied skill and interest levels.
DEADLINE:  February 27 to March 26, 2012


Global eBook Awards
Created by Dan Poynter, Global eBook Awards announces that it is now taking submissions for award consideration. The Global eBook Awards are designed to help you achieve these goals. More than a “sticker,” these awards come with a built-in publicity machine. Entries are accepted from both authors and publishers. To be eligible, eBooks must be released on or before March 11, 2012.

DEADLINE: March 12, 2012 (midnight Pacific Time).



Judith Briles is a book publishing coach and known as The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com) and the Founder of Author U (niversity (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 28 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Catch her radio show, Your Guide to Book Publishing on Thursdays at 6 pm, EST. 

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.



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