Self-Published Book Awards

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 23rd annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

Early-Bird Deadline: April 1, 2015

What’s in it for you?

  • $8,000 in cash 
  • National exposure for your work
  • The attention of prospective editors and publishers
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!

How to enter: Register and pay online or download a printable entry form. ( Early-bird entry fees are $99 for the first entry, and $75 for each additional entry.)

Enter your book into one or more of these categories:

  • 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

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • NEW-$8,000 cash
  • A trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
  • Promotion in Writer’s Digest (March/April 2016 issue)
  • An endorsement from the Writer’s Digest editorial team–10 copies of their book for submission to major publishing review houses.
  • A one-year membership to Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest not-for-profit trade association representing nearly 3,000 independent book publishers, courtesy of IBPA.
  • Guaranteed acceptance in a special sales catalog, providing the Grand Prize Winner with national representation through 60,000 salespeople selling to non-bookstore markets, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A Marketplace Readiness Assessment Consult ($450 value) by Amy Collins. This includes cover, pricing, category, market and packaging research and consulting. Prizes courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A copy of Show Me About Book Publishing and consultation with Book Shepherd Judith Briles (valued at $500), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A $100 discount on a new website by NewMedia Website Design

Nine First-Place Winners will receive:

  • $1,000 cash and promotion in Writer’s Digest (March/April 2016 issue)
  • A one-year membership to Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A one-year membership to Book Central Station where you can find lists of suppliers rated by previous clients, provided by Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • An e-book titled Beyond the Bookstore, a Publishers Weekly book by Brian Jud (with CD).
  • A $100 discount on a new website by NewMedia Website Design

All Grand Prize and First Place winners will:

  • Be featured on the Writer’s Digest website
  • $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books

Honorable Mention Winners will receive $50 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and promotion on

All entrants will receive a brief commentary from one of the judges.



1. The competition is open to all English-language self-published books for which the authors have paid the full cost of publication, or the cost of printing has been paid for by a grant or as part of a prize.

2. You may register and pay online for faster service.

3. Entrants must send a printed and bound book. Entries will be evaluated on content, writing quality and overall quality of production and appearance. No handwritten books are accepted.

4. All books published or revised and reprinted between 2010 and 2015 are eligible. (Writer’s Digest may demand proof of eligibility of semifinalists.)

5. All books not registered online must be accompanied by an Official Entry Form. Photocopies of the Official Entry Form are acceptable. You may enter more than one book and/or more than one category; however, you must include a separate book, entry form and the additional fee for each entry.

6. We accept check, money order or credit card payment for the required judging fee. The early-bird entry fees are $99 for the first entry, $75 for each additional entry must accompany submissions. Entries submitted after the April 1 early-bird deadline require the regular judging fee of $110 for the first entry and $85 for each additional entry. For entries submitted online, the multiple entry discount applies to entries submitted during the same checkout. Payment must accompany submissions.All checks will be cashed within 30 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.

7. Early-bird entries must be submitted or postmarked by April 1, 2015. All regular entries must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2015. All winners will be notified by October 12, 2015. Commentaries will be sent to entrants by December 1, 2015. If you wish to receive confirmation that your entry was received before the deadline, we recommend using certified mail or some other tracking method to send your entry.

8. Judges reserve the right to withhold prizes in any category. Judges reserve the right to re-categorize entries.

9. Books which have previously won awards from Writers Digest are not eligible.

10. Employees of F+W Media, Inc. and Book Marketing Works, LLC and their immediate families are not eligible. Books published by Abbott Press and Blue Ash Publishing are not eligible to participate. Due to SEC restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, or North Korea.

11. Writer’s Digest is not responsible for the loss, damage or return of any books submitted to the competition.


Be sure to check out more writing contests sponsored by Writer’s Digest.



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