Win a Book Award
Indies awards bring results!
Read for Yourself
Past winners have testified to the success they've received as a result of being a winner in our Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.
Get Your Book Noticed
Award programs are designed to give winning titles a marketing boost in the trade and consumer markets. The Foreword INDIES annually recognize up to four winners in each of 55 categories.
Why Register for the Foreword INDIES?
Since its creation in 1998, the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards has served to showcase the talent of established university and independent press titles, as well as emerging authors who self-publish. Well aware of the challenges faced by small publishers, our goal is to highlight deserving books—those that not only meet our editorial standards, but also blow our minds—to our audience of librarians, booksellers, industry professionals, and other book lovers, domestically and internationally.
By entering your book into the awards program, you will be offered a free subscription to Foreword Reviews, covering six issues of our print magazine.
|Through September 30, 2020||$89||$69|
|After September 30, 2020||$99||$79|
The Judging Process
The INDIES are distinguished by an intense judging process utilizing professional editors, booksellers, and librarians. Our final judging process sees each book evaluated by a librarian and a bookseller, the decision makers for millions of book buys a year. They carefully appraise finalist titles using the following criteria: editorial excellence, professional production, originality of the narrative, and the value the book adds to its genre. Foreword Reviews reserves the right to withhold awards should any book not meet our criteria of editorial excellence and professional production standards.
What Finalists and Winners Get
We announce finalists on our website in March, and winners in June. Honored titles are also showcased in the many platforms of Foreword Reviews including the print edition, via digital newsletters, as well as to our international media list. Additionally, wherever we list your book online, we try to include links to order it through Amazon.com, IndieBound, and Bookshop.
Along with two $1,500 cash prizes, one for fiction, the other nonfiction, finalists and winners can count on being seen by the librarians, booksellers, industry professionals, and book lovers that read Foreword Reviews in print and our weekly e-mail, Foreword This Week. They will also be promoted on our social media channels and have the chance to be placed on the award winners shelves at the many international events attended by the Foreword Independent Press Collective. Press releases linking finalists and winners will be sent to Foreword Reviews’s 10,000+ list of media and industry professionals.
After the announcements, we’ll provide finalists and winners with a Foreword INDIES marketing toolkit with everything you need to personalize your publicity blitz. There will be discounted fees for specifically branded ads in Foreword Reviews, as well as suggestions on how to publicize your recognition locally and nationally. Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention winners will also receive 500 foil seals to embellish the cover of your books.
Registering Your Book
We’ve been in a conversation with librarians and booksellers now for over twenty years, and we’ve winnowed down our categories to fifty-six top genres from indie presses.
After September 30, 2020, the fee is $99 per entry, and $79 for additional categories. If your 2020 book is published, why not enter today?
If you prefer to do things old-school, no problem: entries can also be submitted with your check made out to "Foreword Reviews" and mailed along with this mail-in registration form and your books.
What to Expect
We’ve streamlined the entry process to make it as quick and simple as possible. It is managed through our website, and notifications are sent to your email along the way (be sure to verify your email address). Here’s the timeline you can expect, starting with registration and through the winners announcement:
- Register your book for the Foreword INDIES
- We’ll send you an email with instructions for claiming your complimentary 1-year subscription to Foreword Reviews
- Send two copies of your book (physical or digital) to the address on the receipt by January 31, 2021
- We’ll send you an email letting you know we’ve received your book
- Finalists will be announced in March 2021 on our website, Facebook, and Twitter
- Finalist seals for your book cover, a Foreword INDIES marketing toolkit, and Foreword-exclusive advertising opportunities for finalists will immediately become available to finalists
- Winners will be announced June 17, 2021 on our website, Facebook, and Twitter
- Gold, silver, bronze, and honorable mention seals for your book cover and Foreword-exclusive advertising opportunities for winners will immediately become available to winners
- Winners will be sent a packet containing a winner certificate, 500 seals for your book cover, and marketing tips soon after the announcement
Testimonials from Publishers Who Love the Foreword INDIES
Book awards are an important way to differentiate among hundreds of thousands of books. It has certainly helped us with foreign rights. So far, his book has sold in Brazil, Poland, Taiwan, China, and Korea. And the Chinese publisher lists several of the awards right on the book cover. L.P.
I think getting the book in the hands of people who will not only read it, but who are also in a position to purchase, order, and/or recommend it is a good use of $100 bucks, irrespective of outcome. A.A.
The gold Finalist seal from Foreword on the front of my book has really helped sales (7500 copies). My rank on Amazon is still high (about 104,000). K.P.
Since my novel was nominated as a finalist in Foreword Reviews’s INDIES Book of the Year Award and after it won Silver in the Thriller/Suspense category, many other companies have recognized it. Your company has also helped me gain exposure in the press. From online sites to mainstream media outlets, there have been several articles written about this book—Walmart is even carrying it online now! I have a few movie producers who are interested in the story—so I just finished writing the screenplay. D.A.
I have the gold Finalist seal on every copy of [my novel]. Many readers have commented that seeing that made a difference to the way they first approached purchasing it. Foreword Reviews’s name is well-established and respected. P.S.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you accept advance reading copies or final copies?
- We accept both ARCs and final copies, but final copies are preferred and ARCs will be judged as if they were final copies.
- Why do I need to send two copies of my book?
- Finalist books are each sent to two different judges: one librarian and one bookseller. Two copies of the book allows us to send each of the judges their own copies of each book.
- Do I need to send both a physical copy and an eBook?
- No, and we prefer that you only send two physical copies or an eBook, not both.
- What books are eligible to compete?
- Any independently published book—including those from self-published authors and university presses—published in 2020, and available for purchase in print or e-book formats. Revised editions of previously issued books are eligible for entry only with newly issued ISBNs. Reissued editions are not eligible for entry.
- When do books need to be sent to your offices?
- The deadline for entries is January 15, 2021. Judging begins February 1; please ensure your books have arrived at our offices before then.
- Where should I send my books?
- Physical books (two copies) should be mailed to the following address accompanied by an entry form, online receipt, or order number and category:
Attn Foreword INDIES
413 E 8th St
Traverse City MI 49686
- Ebooks are only accepted in the following formats: PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket. These files must be downloadable and able to be shared with our judges and editors. Files under 25 MB should be emailed as an attachment. Files 25 MB and larger must be uploaded elsewhere and the link to download it should be emailed to us. Ebooks, along with an order number, should be emailed to (you will be notified by email when we receive your entry): email@example.com
- Foreword Reviews will not be held liable for the loss, damage, or return of any books submitted for awards.
- How do I claim my complimentary 1-year subscription to Foreword Reviews
- Once you’ve registered your books and paid, we’ll send you an email with instructions for claiming your complimentary subscription. Alternatively, you can view your available complimentary subscriptions at any time and claim through there.
Order Foil Seals
|unlimited||$99 one-time fee|
|Free with 500+ foil seals.|
|Shipping & Handling|
We know, you’re fabulous, and you’re here to order a foil INDIES Book of the Year Awards seal for the front of your book. Do you know how much these seals give testimony to your book’s design quality and editorial excellence? No doubt, you do. Plus, they look so damn good!
You should get one because once you’re an INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, you’re always an INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner. So don’t overlook a great opportunity to buy seals for past award-winning titles too. They’re a marketing-must for book signings, trade shows, and instant street cred with readers, booksellers, and librarians.