Independent Publisher Book Awards

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Independent Publisher Book Awards
Country USA
Presented by Independent Publisher magazine & Jenkins Group
First awarded 1996

The Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPY Awards, is an annual book awards contest conducted to honor the year's best independently published titles from around the world. The awards are open to independent authors and publishers worldwide—including small presses, university presses, and authors of self-published works—who produce books written in English and that are intended for the North American market. The IPPYs are designed to recognize independent authors and publishers "who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing"[1]. According to Spawn, Small Publishers, Artists, & Writers Network, The Independent Publisher Book Awards "honor books created outside the 'Big Five' conglomerate New York publishing scene. From one-book self-publishers to hundred-year-old university presses, indie publishing is diverse, cutting-edge, and not bound by the constraints of media overlords and corporate bottom lines."[2] It is the longest-running unaffiliated contest open exclusively to independent presses.


The awards were conceived in 1996 as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry.[3]

In 2006, regional categories were added to the contest to spotlight the best entries of each area and books written or published with a regional focus.

In 2012, the awards categories were expanded to include e-book categories in response to the growing use of e-readers. The e-book categories received 390 entries in the first year.

Entry and prize consideration

In 2016, the entry fee for the national program ranged from $75 during an early-bird time period to $95 for entries received closer to the deadlines.

About 2,400 publishers throughout the English-speaking world participate in the awards each year. In 2017 the contest drew over 5,000 entries, and medals were awarded to authors and publishers from 43 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces and 15 countries.[4] National categories cover different genres. For regional categories, gold, silver and bronze medals are given for fiction and non-fiction books in each of the 11 regions. The e-book categories include fiction, non-fiction, children's books and best regional e-book for the east and west of the USA.


Books by IPPY medalists in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were published by university presses including Princeton, Stanford[5], Yale, Wisconsin, Iowa, and other major university presses. Among the fiction gold medalists was Elena Ferrante's The Story of the Lost Child, originally published in Italy and issued in English by Europa.

Previous winners in fiction categories include the small presses Milkweed, Coffee House, Graywolf, The Other Press, McPherson, Europa, and McSweeney's. IPPY Gold Medal winner Lord of Misrule also won the National Book Award and The Patience Stone also won France's Prix Goncourt for its French edition. David Eggers won a 2003 Outstanding Book of the Year for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.[6] Margaret Atwood won in 2003 for Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. Juan Felipe Herrera, the United States Poet Laureate, won an IPPY gold medal in 2005 for Featherless (Desplumado).

In addition to recognizing celebrated authors, the IPPYs have brought attention to small presses, such as the lesbian press Bywater Books, four of whose authors have won IPPY Awards in 2017. Publisher Salem West says “Bywater Books has long pursued quality and diversity in the literature we publish, and it is especially gratifying to win these four Independent Publisher Awards. We know that lives are enriched when our lesbian stories are read, and it is clear that mainstream awards like the IPPYs help us to reach a widening world of readers.”[7] Hybrid press SheWrites had 17 IPPY medal-winning books in 2016, categorizing the press as publishing "first-rate writing, editing, and design – as well as powerful new voices.” [8]


  1. ^ "Independent Publisher Book Award | Wayne State University Press". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  2. ^ "World's Largest Book Award Contest to Reach Milestone in 2018 - Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network". Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network. 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  3. ^ "The Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPYs)". Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  4. ^ "Local Author's Book Named 2017 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medalist". Teaneck, NJ Patch. 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  5. ^ Webmaster. "Stanford University Press Awards". Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  6. ^ "IPPY | Book awards | LibraryThing". Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  7. ^ "Sarasota Author Receives Independent Publisher Book Award - OUTCOAST". OUTCOAST. 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  8. ^ "You are being redirected..." Retrieved 2018-09-05.
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