Posted tagged ‘book awards’


May 10, 2012

The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) is proud to announce the finalists in the 24th Annual Benjamin Franklin Awards™. The three finalists in each of the 54 categories were chosen from close to 1,300 entries, and one winner per category will be announced at the Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony on Monday evening, June 4th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York city on the eve of BookExpo America 2012.

Top experts in the book industry, including librarians, booksellers and design experts, judged every entry. In keeping with IBPA’s educational mission, all entrants receive a written critique with advice on how to improve their publications as well as kudos for the good work produced.

Honoring excellence in publishing annually since 1988, the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ have recognized publishers as large as John Wiley and Sons, DK and Sourcebooks, and as small as Happy Quail, Appell Publishing, and Exalt Press.

This year’s finalists include a spectacular array of titles from publishers large and small, including The Drama-Free Office from Greenleaf Book Group, LLC, Empowering Spanish Speakers – Answers for Educators, Business People, and Friends of Latinos from Summerland Corp., My Grama’s Garden from My Grama’s Garden and more…

The Independent Book Publishers Association, the largest not-for-profit association of publishers in the United States, is pleased to honor this year’s Benjamin Franklin Awards.™ finalists.  A complete listing of finalists may also be found on the IBPA website

And the Winner Is . . . The Top Five Issues to Consider Before Entering a Book Awards Program

December 14, 2010

by Florrie Binford Kichler, President, IBPA

As a publisher, I’m a believer in book awards. Not only does that gold or silver seal on your book attract the consumer’s attention; the tangible mark of distinction also gives you marketing and promotion ammunition for catalogs, bookmarks, blogs, Web sites, and more.

Another benefit comes from those few programs—such as IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards—that give you individual feedback on why your book was or wasn’t chosen. The education and insight you receive through feedback can be applied to future books and is invaluable.

Granted, unless the award your book gets is national in scope, you may not see a huge bump in sales, but for buyers faced with a universe of millions of books—and the new title count approaching a million a year—an award provides one more reason to choose your book.

So the decision to enter a book award competition is easy. What’s hard is choosing which one.

Criteria for Choosing Among Awards

The Pulitzer, the Nobel, the National Book Award—winners of these venerable prizes for book excellence enjoy the well-deserved prestige they confer, and their publishers generally enjoy increased sales. And while the Pulitzer does require an entry fee (the Nobel and National Book Award do not), my guess is that the independent publisher of this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, tiny Bellevue Press, did not begrudge that expense.

But what about the hundreds of other book award programs that invite you to plunk down entry fees ranging from under $100 ($90 for the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards) to $300 (for the iParenting Media Awards)? Literary Market Place has almost 800 listings in its category “Awards, Prize Contests, Fellowships and Grants, International Literary Prizes,” and while the listings are not all for book awards, I counted well over 100 before I decided that the only thing more difficult than writing about awards would be continuing to count them.

How to narrow the field?

Consider the following five issues as you’re deciding which book awards program would be right for you.

Who is the sponsor and/or organizer of the awards program? Is the program sponsored by and/or run by book industry professionals? Or by for-profit or not-for-profit vendors whose primary goal is to collect fees and amass a mailing list that will help them sell their services to publishers? Make sure that those behind the award programs are legitimate and well respected in the industry; that affects the way their awards are perceived by the outside world.

Who are the judges? Do they have credentials for judging against standards of excellence? Are they members of the book industry? Awards don’t mean much if those who give them out aren’t qualified to do so.

What do you get for your entry fee? Many award programs do need to charge a fee to cover administrative expenses, but weigh the amount of the fee against the value you as an entrant receive. How is the award program going to promote its awards in general, and your award winner in particular? And will you get individual feedback—pro and con—as value-added for your publishing education?

How many award categories are there as compared to the number of entries? Does nearly every entrant win an award? If so, then you need to balance the advantageous odds of winning against the likelihood that the award will be perceived as meaningless.

What do previous award winners report? Talk to some people who have won awards in the program you’re considering and find out what winning did for them. Did they notice an uptick in book sales? Were they happy with the judging process? Did they feel that they received a good value for their fee? Previous winners may be the best source of help in deciding about an award program.

Pants Precautions

“A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public with his pants down,” remarked poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her observation about the vulnerability of book publishers is painfully apt when publishers invest their hard-earned cash to send new titles out for judging by coldhearted strangers with no guarantee of a win, place, or show.

However, whether it’s the Pulitzer Board or the Boston Book Club, taking time to investigate the people behind the prize may increase your confidence, reduce that vulnerability—and pull those pants back up where they belong.

This article first appeared in the November, 2010 issue of the IBPA Independent.

Congratulations to the IBPA Benjamin Franklin™ Award Finalists

May 20, 2010

If it’s May, it must be time for the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ and all of us at IBPA are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2010 contest. We often get the question as to why the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ are open to all publishers rather than just restricted to independent publishers. The answer is simple–in the marketplace, independent publishers must compete with ALL publishers, large and small, for shelf space, eyeballs—and excellence. The Benjamin Franklin Awards™ are simply a reflection of the reality of that larger universe. Which is why, since 1988, the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ have recognized publishers as large as John Wiley and Sons and Sourcebooks, producing hundreds of titles annually, and as small as Mermaid Press and Keynote Publishing Company, producing 1-10 titles per year.
In keeping with IBPA’s educational mission, each entry of the more than 1300 this year (and every year), received a written critique from the judges with suggestions for improvement and/or compliments for a job well done.
Kudos to the following finalists for their achievement! One winner in each category will be announced at the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ Gala on Monday evening, May 24, at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. A complete list of the finalists may also be found on the IBPA website

Good Rabbitkeeping, TFH Publications, Inc.
The Official Horse Breeds Standards Guide, Quayside Publishing Group
World Atlas of Dog Breeds, TFH Publications, Inc.

Arts (Art/Music/Photography)
Clint Eastwood, Icon, Insight Editions
Human Documents: Eight Photographers, Peabody Museum Press
Stone Offerings, Lightpoint Press

Hemingway’s Cuban Son: Reflections on the Writer by His Longtime Majordomo, The Kent State University Press.
Luna’s Life – A Journey of Forgiveness and Triumph, Caros Books
Me and the Biospheres: A Memoir by the Inventor of Biosphere 2, Synergetic Press Storm of the i: An Artobiography, Art Review Press

Audiobook – Children’s
The Bossy Gallito, Lorito Books Inc.
Letters From A Window In The Sky (A tribute to Astrid Lindgren and Pippi), NYS Theatre Institute
The Pigman, Graymalkin Media

Kipling’s Cat: A Memoir of My Father, Protean Press
Theodore Roosevelt, Hunter-Conservationist, Boone and Crockett Club
Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman, Quayside Publishing Group

Doggy Business 101, TFH Publications, Inc.
Managing, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Seven Turning Points, Fieldstone Alliance

Emotional Intelligence 2.0, TalentSmart
A Life in the Law: Advice for Young Lawyers, American Bar Association
Post Office Jobs – 5th edition: Explore and Find Jobs, Prepare For the 473 Postal Exam, and Locate ALL Job Opportunities, Bookhaven Press LLC

Children’s Picture Book
One Child, One Planet: Inspiration for the Young Conservationist, Emerald Shamrock Press
Pingo, Deseret Book Company / Shadow Mountain
Urban Animals, Star Bright Books

Children’s Book & Audiobook Set
The Belly Button Fairy, Best Fairy Books
For Baby, For Bobbie, Dawn Publications
We Eat Food That’s Fresh, Our Rainbow Press

Coffee Table Books
Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock, Voyageur Press, an imprint of Quayside Publishing Group
Spanish Mustangs in the Great American West, Fine Art Editions Gallery & Press
Tropical Homes of the Eastern Caribbean, Ozone Zone Books

Orange County Fare: A Culinary Journey Through the California Riviera, Junior League of Orange County, Inc.
TOSCANA, Simple Authentic Italian Recipes, Killer Pizza Enterprises, Inc.
Under the Fig Leaf, Under the Fig Leaf

Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts, Willow Ridge Press
Fibreart Montage, Dragon Threads Ltd.
Quilts: Unfinished Stories with New Endings, FPI Publishing

My Dog Bites the English Teacher: Practical Grammar Made Quick and Easy, Aviary Publishers, Inc.
Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness, Quillrunner Publishing LLC
The Wolf Pack Classroom Management Plan, Butterfly Sky Press

Gift Books
Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender, Anchor Distilling
Facing Death: A Companion in Words and Images, Health Professions Press
I Wish, A Good Book for Pondering, Willis Harding, LLC

Popular Fiction
Christmas on Mill Street, Shadow Mountain
Cottonwood Spring, Fletcher House
The Middle of the Air, John F. Blair Publisher

Historical Fiction
Dead Weight, Joggling Board Press
Falling from the Moon, Windy City Publishers
In the Land of Cotton, Outskirts Press

The Bone Chamber, Poisoned Pen Press
In Their Blood, Oceanview Publishing
Jump, Poisoned Pen Press

Poetry/Literary Criticism
All Man! Hemingway, 1950’s Men’s Magazines, and the Masculine Persona, The Kent State University Press
In Praise, Lost Horse Press
Lucifer: A Hagiography, Lost Horse Press

All Screwed Up, Benu Press
The Golden Age of Gay Fiction, MLR Press, LLC
I Told You So, Beacon Press

3-Step Vegetable Gardening, Creative Homeowner
California’s Olive Pioneers, Robert Mondavi Institute (RMI)
Rain Gardening in the South, Eno Publishers

Health (Wellness/Nutrition)
American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies, Second Ed., American Cancer Society
Easy Gluten-Free Baking, Lake Isle Press, Inc.
The New Heart Disease Handbook, Quayside Publishing Group/Fair Winds Press

The California Missions, Getty Publications
Charles Fritz: 100 Paintings Illustrating the Journals of Lewis and Clark, Farcountry Press
Theodore Roosevelt, Hunter-Conservationist, Boone and Crockett Club

All In A Day’s Work for Real Estate Agents: Humorous and Heartwarming Stories, Work Like A Dog Books
Roastbeef’s Promise, Smack Books
The Wheel of Nuldoid, Pointless INK Publishers, LLC

Juvenile/Young Adult – Fiction
Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, Deseret Book Company / Shadow Mountain
The Kalevala: Tales of Magic and Adventure, Simply Read Books
Zillah’s Gift Beaver’s Pond Press, Inc.

Juvenile/Young Adult – Nonfiction
The Power of the Penny, Spencer Publishing
Transforming Lives, Star Bright Books
Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland, Carolrhoda Books

Another World Lies Beyond, Huntington Library Press
Half Spoon of Rice, East West Discovery Press
Layla’s Head Scarf, Star Bright Books

B is for Bufflehead, PhotoHutch
Giant Lizards (2nd Edition), TFH Publications, Inc.
Plundering Appalachia, Earth Aware Editions

New Age/Metaphysics/Spirituality
Gita Wisdom, Mandala Publishing
ReBecoming: The Way of Opportunity, Dassana Press, LLC
Transforming Practices, 10th Anniversary Edition, American Bar Association

Get Out! 150 Easy Ways for Kids and Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
The Highly Intuitive Child: A Guide to Understanding and Parenting Unusually Sensitive and Empathic Children Hunter House Inc., Publishers
Raising Twins From Pregnancy to Preschool, American Academy of Pediatrics

Political/Current Events
Hope: A Collection of Obama Posters and Prints, Zenith Press, an imprint of Quayside Publishing Group
Just Coffee Caffeine With A Conscience, Just Trade Center
Lost American Principles, Outskirts Press, Inc

Anatomic Basis of Neurologic Diagnosis, Thieme Publishers
The Articulate Advocate: New Techniques of Persuasion for Trial Lawyers Crown King Books
Garner on Language and Writing, American Bar Association

Brothers and Sisters in Adoption: Helping Children Navigate Relationships When New Kids Join the Family, Perspectives Press, Inc.
Redeeming Our Treasures: Finding Joy In the Shadows of an Abusive Past, Edict House Publishing Group, LLC
Uprooting Anger: Eliminating the Emotion that Kills, Life Transitions Consulting

Chasing Moonlight, John F. Blair, Publisher
Golf, Naked – The Bare Essentials Revealed, Pick It Up Publishing, LLC
LeBron James: The Making of an MVP, Gray & Company, Publishers

The Book Collector’s Guide to L. Frank Baum and Oz, March Hare Books
Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 16th Ed., SIL International
World Atlas of Dog Breeds, TFH Publications, Inc.

People of the Land: Legends of the Four Host First Nations, Theytus Books
Steel Pier: Showplace of the Nation, Down The Shore Publishing Corp.
Voices of the American West, Fulcrum Publishing

Big Picture of the Bible – New Testament, Big Picture Ministries, LLC
Gloria’s Miracle, San Juan Publishing
Welcome Them Home — Help Them Heal, Whole Person Associates

California’s Olive Pioneers, Robert Mondavi Institute (RMI)
Everyone’s Guide to Atoms, Einstein and the Universe, Real Science Publishing
Marine Aquarium Handbook, TFH Publications, Inc.

Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle, Greenleaf Book Group Press
Redeeming Our Treasures: Finding Joy In the Shadows of an Abusive Past, Edict House Publishing Group, LLC
Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness, Quillrunner Publishing LLC

The Complete Walt Disney World 2010, Coconut Press
Photographing Oregon, Graphie Int’l, Inc.
Yellowstone Treasures: The Traveler’s Companion to the National Park, Granite Peak Publications

Cover Design, Fiction
The Hole in the Sky, Sea Turtle Publishing
Issa: The Greatest Story Never Told, Snow Mountain Press (An imprint of Summit University Press)
Personal Demons, Medallion Press, Inc.

Cover Design, Small Format
Kipling’s Cat: A Memoir of My Father, Protean Press
Letters to Zerky, a Father’s Legacy to a Lost Son and a Road Trip Around the World, Nickelodeon Press
Look Great, Live Green: Choosing Beauty Solutions That Are Planet-Safe and Budget-Smart Hunter House Inc., Publishers

Cover Design-Large Format
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Thirty Years of American Landscapes, Quiet Light Publishing
Steel Pier: Showplace of the Nation, Down The Shore Publishing Corp.
Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage, The Kent State University Press

Cover Design-Children’s/Young Adult)
The Art of Planet 51, Insight Editions
The Belly Button Fairy, Best Fairy Books
Famous Figures of Ancient Times: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble, Figures in Motion

Interior Design-1-2 Color
Beehive Reader 1, Takeaway Press
Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft, RCR Creative Press
You Don’t Have To Learn the Hard Way, BenBella Books, Inc.

Interior Design, 3 or More Color
Steel Pier: Showplace of the Nation, Down The Shore Publishing Corp.
Treasures through Six Generations, Huntington Library Press
World Atlas of Dog Breeds, TFH Publications, Inc.

Interior Design, Children’s/Young Adult
Nico & Lola: Kindness Shared Between a Boy and A Dog, Genuine Prints LLC
The Princess and the Kiss: The Three Gifts of Christmas, Warner Press
What Does It Mean To Be Global?, Little Pickle Press LLC

Most Improved Redesign
Born to Win, Breed to Succeed, BowTie Press
The Gold Standard MCAT, Ruveneco Inc
World Atlas of Dog Breeds, TFH Publications, Inc.

The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Fiction)
Kingdom of Simplicity, Skywriter Books
Shadwell’s Slaves – Escape to Freedom, Discover’N Publishing
Shakedown, Lenox Road Publishing LLC

The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Nonfiction)
The Healthcare Survival Guide, Health Advocate Publishing, Inc.
The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt: War Through a Woman’s Eyes, 1939-1940, Aquila Polonica Publishing
The No-Diet Obesity Solution for Kids, AGA Press

The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Children’s/Young Adult)
Chippy Chipmunk Parties in the Garden, Celtic Sunrise
My Savings Book & Journal, Community Services Press
The Star of Christmas, Winterlake Press