Self-Published Book Awards

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

This competition is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. We will keep you posted on the judging via email. All winners will be notified by October 17, 2014. Commentaries will be sent to entrants by December 1, 2014. Winners will be announced in the March/April 2015 issue and will be listed on this website at that time. The 2015 competition will begin accepting entries in November.

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 22nd annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC and Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc., spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.

Early-Bird Deadline: April 1, 2014

Extended Deadline: June 13, 2014 CLOSED

What’s in it for you?

  • NEW-A chance to win $8,000 in cash OR $3,000 in cash PLUS publicity exposure on valued at $7,500*
  • 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 onlineor download a printable entry form. ( Regular entry fees are $110 for the first entry, and $85 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 OR $3,000 in cash PLUS publicity exposure on valued at $7,500*
  • A trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
  • Promotion in Writer’s Digest (March/April 2015 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 2015 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 2009 and 2014 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. The extended entry deadline is June 13, 2014. 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. . All regular entries must be postmarked no later than June 13, 2014. All winners will be notified by October 17, 2014. Commentaries will be sent to entrants by December 1, 2014. 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 are not eligible to participate.

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


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* – The Lifestyle Destination for Book Lovers is the lifestyle destination for book lovers and the premiere website for all things books, bringing readers the latest in fiction, entertainment, live author chats, food, style and more. Our writing staff is comprised of published authors and experienced journalists, representing the highest echelons of literary thought. In a time when book coverage has all but been eliminated steps in to champion books and the authors who write them.

The Publicity Fusion Campaign includes the following elements:

  • AUTHOR INTERVIEW AND REVIEW: One of our writers will interview the winner for a feature and a review that will run on for a week.  This interview and review will be promoted in our weekly newsletter.  After running on the winner will be available to run this on their website and Facebook page etc.
  • FEATURED BOOK GIVEAWAY: Every week we give away a new selection of books.  A book or galley will be included in this home page and newsletter exposure.
  • LIVE CHAT: is known for the spectacular LIVE CHATS that we conduct weekly on the site.   Over 400 plus people typically attend these online events.  All the winner needs is a camera on the computer.   We promote these Live Chats extensively.


  • DIGITAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  We will create a custom digital announcement that will run on and on the blogs we pitch for coverage.
  • DIGITAL INVITATION:  Using the book cover and your photo we will create a digital invitation to be used to promote the LIVE CHAT to our media, bloggers and consumer contacts.  This invitation will also be featured in our newsletter.
  • DIGITAL SOCIAL MEDIA ASSETS: We will create a social media digital banner advertising the LIVE CHAT that can be used on Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • HOME PAGE SKIN TAKEOVER: On the homepage of we will skin the page to have BOOKTRIB.COM: The Lifestyle Destination for Book Lovers is the only online magazine for those who know that everything in life is better with books. offers stories on new books, sneak peeks of pre-released titles, reviews, commentary on classics, smart news, the latest trailers and related videos, weekly giveaways, and author live chats.
  • HYBRID OPPS: We will orchestrate a hybrid campaign that includes targeting a 5-stop blog tour and 3-radio interviews in their hometown. The winner will be sent 20 questions to answer, we package them into several Q&As around the theme of the book.

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



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