Ben Franklin Award, Bill Fisher Award

Ben Franklin Award “recognizes excellence in independent publishing.” This is a huge shout-out to the little guys in the publishing world. If you like quirky, non-main stream books, or very focused books like craft/cookbooks, chances are you have read something published by an independent.  To find an indie publisher near you click here.

 Be aware though, that this award is for the PUBLISHING of the book, and while part of that is certainly choosing quality text/content, there is a focus on the technical end of the publishing world, i.e. all the unnoticed things that make a book easy and fun to read. Publishers nominate their own works, and a panel of judges select 2 silver winners and a gold medalist in each category.  From their website:

When we first began the awards, it was both to honor the publishers who produce quality titles and to teach publishers how they can compete in the world of book publishing. We recognize that when people purchase a product they do not purchase it because a specific named publisher publishes it, they purchase a book because it fulfills a need and is well designed and edited. Each and every day all houses compete for shelf space and consumer recognition. By providing feedback on your entries into the awards, you hear what the buyers and reviewers think about your product and learn that you can compete. Sometimes the major houses do win. Other times, the smaller publishers win out because they do a better job and provide a better product.As you can see by the wording of our awards, it is open to all. We decided to parallel the universe of book publishing that doesn’t discriminate between large and small.

— Jan Nathan

Categories include:

Arts (Art/Music/Photography)
Children’s Picture Book
Children’s Book & Audiobook Set
Coffee Table Books
Gift Books
Popular Fiction
Historical Fiction
Poetry/Literary Criticism
Health (Wellness/Nutrition)
Juvenile/Young Adult – Fiction
Juvenile/Young Adult – Nonfiction
New Age/Metaphysics/Spirituality
Political/Current Events
Cover Design, Fiction
Cover Design, Nonfiction
Cover Design-Large Format
Cover Design-Children’s/Young Adult)
Interior Design-1-2 Color
Interior Design, 3 or More Color
Interior Design, Children’s/Young Adult
Most Improved Redesign

 This group also awards the Bill Fisher Award for the best first book in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Children’s/YA categories.

Yay underdogs! Many of these categories are NOT represented by other awards, so this may be the only one out there for that group of authors AND the publishers who get their work to us the readers. Without the publishers, the reading world would be VERY different. Most of the “evils” we hear about the publishing world are the big guys, and the smaller presses struggle.

 For a list of winners, click HERE

For the organization’s website and more info about the award, click HERE

Are you out there? Hello? Anyone? (Thanks for reading! )

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