Self-Published books

(hello again- I AM still alive, but the new semester really knocked me for a loop.)

ANYWAY- back to the topic at hand: Self-Published Books.

Many of the awards I’ve covered have special addendum to their rules that say Self-published and/or e-books are not eligible to win. Bias? Unfair discrimination? I’m not sure. I know that a LOT of books that are self-published have been rejected from traditional publishing routes. I know that some of the self-published e-books I’ve read desperately needed an editor for copy AND plot issues…on the other hand some have been better than some traditionally published mass-market paperbacks. (Shoddy proofreading in fantasy & romance genres comes to mind…) What you and I DON’T know is WHY that author went the self-pub route. In making that choice, their work enters a special category. The ONLY award I’ve seen dedicated to finding & recognizing the best of these authors is done by Writer’s Digest magazine. This award is a whopping 20 years old, which surprised me. It’s open to any author who has paid at least 1/2 the publishing costs of their work, or who was published as a result of winning a contest/prize. The categories are:

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Inspirational (Spiritual, New Age)
  • Life Stories (Biographies, Autobiographies, Family Histories, Memoirs)
  • Children’s/Picture books
  • Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
  • Reference Books (Directories, Encyclopedias, Guide Books)
  • Poetry

What I really like is the supportive, encouraging nature of the awards:

ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be awarded $3,000 cash and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City. The editors of Writer’sDigest will endorse and submit 10 copies of the Grand Prize-Winning book to major review houses. Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC will provide a one-year membership in Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), guaranteed acceptance in a special-sales catalog giving you national representation through 1800 salespeople selling to non-bookstore markets, guaranteed acceptance by Atlas Books, a top distributor to wholesalers, chains, independents, and online retailers, A copy of Show Me About Book Publishing and consultation with Book Shepherd Judith Briles—valued at $500, and a guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review.

9 FIRST-PLACE WINNERS will receive $1000 cash and promotion in Writer’s Digest. In addition, Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC will provide a one-year membership in Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), a guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, a one-year membership to Book Central Station where you can find lists of suppliers rated by previous clients, and ebook  Beyond the Bookstore by Brian Jud (with CD).

Plus, all Grand Prize and First Place winners will receive promotion on the Writer’s Digest Web site at, a copy of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 4th Edition by Tom and Marilyn Ross, $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and a Notable Award Certificate.

HONORABLE MENTION WINNERS will receive promotion at, $50 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and a Notable Award Certificate.

All other entrants will receive a brief judge’s commentary and a listing with a link on the Writer’s Digest Web site, provided an accurate URL is provided.

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

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