The IBPA and Foreword Reviews award programs are established, respected competitions that highlight the some of the best fiction and nonfiction works by independent publishers every year. There are dozens of categories covered in each competition, and panels of anonymous judges review finalists on a variety of criteria. Foreword Reviews describes its process as follows:
Thousands of books are entered each year, and our panel of over 120 librarians and booksellers take part in the judging, narrowing it down to a group of finalists and winners that represent the best books, all independently published, in over 60 categories.
IBPA turns to more than 150 publishers and other experienced publishing professionals (“librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors”) to narrow down the submissions for the Ben Franklin awards, which have been a part of the indie publishing scene since the 1980s.
Having participated as a judge in the IBPA competition in the past (see disclosure, below), I understand the challenges of having to review 20+ books on a variety of editorial and design criteria. I am grateful to the judges this year who took the time to review Lean Media, and saw enough value in the book to deem it worthy of finalist status, along with other titles in the respective categories (social sciences for Foreword INDIES, and professional/technical for IBPA Ben Franklins). I really look forward to seeing the judges’ comments, which will be made available after the winners are announced later in the spring.
I also believe that achieving finalist status in these two competitions is a validation of some of the arguments and concepts expressed in the book — namely, creative teams and media ventures can focus their efforts and create great media through the reduction of waste and a better understanding of audiences.
But getting into the final stage of the INDIES and Ben Franklins is also a validation of the talent and professionalism of the many contributors who worked on Lean Media. They include:
- Tamara Dever, principal of TLC Book Design and Monica Thomas, the TLC designer who worked with me on the cover design using some of the Lean Media methods described in my book!
- Editor Zach Gajewski, an experienced New York publishing pro who tamed my rough manuscript and had many important suggestions relating to the book’s structure, examples, and flow.
- Paginator Rick Soldin and illustrator Malgorzata Godziuk, who finalized the visual appearance of the book.
- Copy Editor Monica Hamilton, who, in addition to proofing the book, also helped with promotional activities.
Without the efforts of this team, I don’t think this book would have received the attention and positive votes in the two competitions. I am extremely grateful to all of them, and hope that any other authors or publishers reading this entry will consider their services for their own books.
Lastly, I would like to give thanks to the beta readers and others who gave critical feedback on the manuscript and cover prototypes. This feedback helped drive some of the creative decisions, and resulted a book that has already impressed the judges in these two competitions!
If Lean Media wins either award, I’ll update this post.
UPDATE: Lean Media won an award!
Disclosure: I am an IBPA board member, but recused myself from judging this year. I have no association with Foreword Reviews.