The Independent Publisher Book Awards were conceived in 1996 as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to independent authors and publishers worldwide who produce books intended for an English speaking audience. We define “independent” as:

  1. independently owned and operated (no title limit)
  2. operated by a foundation or university (no title limit)
  3. long-time independents that became conglomerrated but operate autonomously and publish fewer than 100 titles a year

The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year. Since the inaugural contest in 1996, over 6,000 books have received “IPPY“ Awards, and all the recognition, credibility, and increased sales that a book award can bring. Entry fees range from the early-bird fee of $75 to $95 when you enter closer to our final deadline. Regional and E-Book category entries are $55 when added to a national category entry.

The IPPY Awards reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing. Independent spirit and expertise comes from publishers of all sizes and budgets and books are judged with that in mind. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to winners in national subject categories, regional categories, and e-book categories.



What is it like getting so many different entries each year? First and foremost, it has solidified our commitment to this industry and the talented people in it. Since our inaugural contest to now, we’ve seen thousands of books, and the beautiful thing is - they keep getting better. Our entrants are consistently putting out truly moving, entertaining, powerful books that exemplify what indies are capable of. When we started, small press books were considered sub par to the big house books, from their content to their execution. They’ve come a long way to today, where they are given a lot more respect and are sometimes even awarded major publishing prizes. Self-publishers too have made a lot of progress, combatting the stigma that dismisses their books as inferior or unprofessional. It has been a joy to work with such innovative and creative groups of people, and to witness the success indies have carved out for themselves in the past several years.


In the Media

Check out videos and interviews about the Award! Click here to learn more.