Self-Published Book Awards

Deadline: April 1, 2016

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 24th 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.

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One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • $8,000 in cash
  • A feature article about you and your book for the March/April 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest
  • A press release from Writer’s Digest, to be sent, along with a copy of your book, to 10 different major publishing review houses
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • 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.
  • Three hours of consultation on business modeling and marketing with Antoinette Kuritz of Strategies Literary Development ($750 vale).
  • A copy of The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors and Writers and consultation with Book Shepherd Judith Briles (valued at $500), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • Four (4) hours of consulting from Ellen Reid, CEO of the Reid Creative Group and President of Ellen Reid’s Book Shepherding.
  • A 30-minute telephone consultation about book marketing and promotion with Scott Lorenze, Westwind Communications.
  • 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.

One First Prize winner in each category will receive:

  • $1,000 in cash
  • Promotion in the March/April 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest
  • A one-year membership in The Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS), 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).

All Grand Prize and First Prize winners will receive:

  • 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.


  • 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
  • Reference (Directories, Encyclopedias, Guide Books)
  • Poetry

How to Enter

  • You may register online for faster service but all entrants must send a printed and bound book. 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. We accept check, money order or credit card payment for the required judging fee. All checks will be cashed within 60 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • 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. 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. All books published or revised and reprinted between 2011 and 2016 are eligible. (Writer’s Digest may demand proof of eligibility of semifinalists.)
  • Due to SEC restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, or North Korea.
  • Click here to download the printable entry form (for entries not registered online)For more information visit our Preparing Your Entry Page or our FAQ page.

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