Those Rascally Independents….

Unwilling to shut down in the face of rising costs, small readership, little or no profit margin, there are small, independent publishers all over the country (and world). This group includes small presses that may just print 10 titles a year, larger independent or regional presses, and smaller college and university presses. These publishers are not big corporate entities with whole editorial staffs. For many of them, the same person who answers the phone or opens your query letter is the one who will edit, run the galley, make those crucial choices for typeface and paper-weight, and see your book through the whole process. It’s a different world. Some of these guys may even have “day jobs” just like the authors they publish.

The Independent Publisher is a recognized trade magazine for these brave souls. For  16 years they have sponsored the IPPY awards for books, audiobooks, and beginning this year, e-books published by these brave souls. Keeping in mind the VAST array of budgets, presses, and resources, the best examples of independent publishing are chosen. In many cases, winning this award has been enough to garner interest from “the big guys” for the author.

The categories awarded are:

2012 National Categories

  1. Fine Art
  2. Performing Arts (Music / Dance / Cinema / Theater)
  3. Photography
  4. Architecture
  5. Popular Fiction
  6. Literary Fiction
  7. Short Story Fiction
  8. Anthologies
  9. Juvenile Fiction
  10. Young Adult Fiction
  11. Fantasy / Science Fiction
  12. Gay / Lesbian / Bi / Trans Fiction
  13. Historical Fiction
  14. Military / Wartime Fiction
  15. Horror
  16. Multicultural Fiction
  17. Multicultural Fiction – Juv-Young Adult
  18. Mystery / Cozy / Noir
  19. Suspense / Thriller
  20. Religious Fiction
  21. Romance
  22. True Crime
  23. Visionary Fiction
  24. Children’s Picture Books (7 & Under)  
  25. Children’s Picture Books (All ages)
  26. Children’s Interactive (Activity, Audio, CDRom, etc.)
  27. Juvenile-Young Adult Non-Fiction
  28. Multicultural N-F Juv-Young Adult
  29. Multicultural Non-Fiction Adult
  30. Essay / Creative Non-Fiction
  31. Autobiography / Memoir
  32. Biography
  33. Aging / Death & Dying
  34. Animals / Pets
  35. Business / Career / Sales
  36. Classical Studies / Philosophy
  37. Coffee Table Books
  38. Cookbooks
  39. Current Events I (Political / Economic / Legal / Media)
  40. Current Events II (Social Issues / Public Affairs / Ecological / Humanitarian)
  41. Current Events III (Foreign Affairs / Military)
  42. Education / Academic / Teaching
  43. Environment / Ecology / Nature
  44. Erotica
  45. Finance / Investment / Economics
  46. Gay / Lesbian / Bi / Trans Non-Fiction
  47. Gift / Holiday / Specialty
  48. Health / Medicine / Nutrition
  49. Graphic Novel / Drawn Book – Humor / Cartoon
  50. Graphic Novel / Drawn Book – Drama / Documentary
  51. History
  52. Home & Garden
  53. How-To (Crafts / Hobby / Industrial Arts)
  54. Humor
  55. Inspirational / Spiritual
  56. New Age / Mind-Body-Spirit
  57. Parenting (Child Care / Family)
  58. Poetry
  59. Popular Culture
  60. Psychology / Mental Health
  61. Sports / Fitness / Recreation
  62. Reference
  63. Religion (Eastern / Western)
  64. Science
  65. Self Help
  66. Sexuality / Relationships
  67. Transportation (Automotive / Aviation / Railroad, etc.)
  68. Travel – Essay
  69. Travel – Guidebook
  70. Women’s Issues
  71. Writing / Publishing
  72. Best Book Marketing (requires support material)

E-Book Categories:

E1. Best Adult Fiction E-Book
E2. Best Adult Non-Fiction E-Book
E3. Best Juvenile Fiction E-Book
E4. Best Children’s Illustrated E-Book
E5. Best Regional E-Book

Regional Categories

(Awards for “Best Fiction” and “Best Non-Fiction” in each region)

NE (North-East) ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY
MA (Mid-Atlantic) PA, WV, VA, DE, MD, DC, NJ
SE (South-East) KY, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL
S (South) MS, LA, AR, TX, TN
GL (Great Lakes) OH, MI, IN, IL, WI
MW (Mid-West) MN, IA, MO, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND
WM (West-Mountain) MT, WY ID, UT, CO, NM, AZ, NV
WP (West-Pacific) CA, OR, WA, HI, AK
CE (Canada–East) ON, QB, NF, NB, NS, PE, Nunavut
CW (Canada-West) BC, AB, SK, MB, NW Territory, Yukon AUS (Australia, New Zealand)

I could not find any information about how the contest was judged, but there appear to be over 2,000 entries every year. The stated goal is to “reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing. ”  Click on http://www.independentpublisher.com/awardwinners.php for a list of the past winners going back to 2001.

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