Terms of Use:

(Updated 1/12/23)

1. The Best Indie Book Award® contest is an international literary competition open to anyone who has independently published the book they wish to enter.  All books entered must be independently published and the author must have full rights. This means the book must be self-published by the author, or published by a small, independent press wherein the author retains full rights to their book.  *All entrants must be 18 years or older.

2. What qualifies as a small press?

Any self-publishing arm of any major publisher.
Any publisher that offers a reversion of rights with a 30 day notice.
Any small publisher not owned by a major corporation and has a small number of authors, generally publishing only a few books per year.
Independent partner and/or hybrid publishers.
University presses.
Any small publisher fitting the above criteria and is fully independent of any major corporation.

3. If you are self-published through sites like Amazon’s KDP, Smashwords, Createspace, or Pubit, or you are published through a vanity press where you retain your rights and remain autonomous, you can enter your book in the Best Indie Book Award® contest.  (Most independent authors are eligible. If in doubt about your rights, check with your publishing company.)

4. Not Acceptable: Your book is published by major, high volume  publishers, such as HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, or any other major publisher, or imprint of said publisher.  If you have a conventional publishing contract, wherein you are not engaging in paying a vanity press or a hybrid press, and your publisher has hundreds of authors and publishes more than a few books per year, you are not eligible to enter BIBA®.

5. Fiction entries are limited to independently published, full-length novels consisting of 45,000 words or more. Short Story Collections should be at least 12,500 words. Poetry Collections should have no less than 50 pages.

6. Non-fiction entries are limited to independently published books of 25,000 words or more.

7. Children’s entries have no minimum word count.

8. This is a published book contest.  The book must be currently available for sale, and the version of the book submitted must match the one that is publicly available.

9.  Each entrant understands and accepts that the Best Indie Book Contest is a competition, therefore an award is not guaranteed; you are competing against other entrants, entry fees are non-refundable, and by making payment and submitting your book, you agree to the terms of use.

10. If an entrant pays for entrance into the contest and fails to submit a Mobi, ePub, PDF, or Word doc of their complete book, the entry will be disqualified, and the entry fee will be forfeited by the author. (We will make every effort to contact entrants to let them know if we did not receive their file, or if there was a problem with it, so they can send us an acceptable file.)

11.  Each entrant is responsible for adding our email address to their contacts in order to bypass their email spam filter. We may need to contact an entrant to verify their address, or about issues regarding their entry. In the event that we are unable to contact an entrant, their entry may be disqualified and no refunds will be given. Our email address is bestindiebookaward@gmail.com

12. We accept Kindle Mobi, ePub, PDF, Word Doc, or Docx file formats of your complete novel. We do not convert files for entrants. (For PDF: Single page only. No double-facing page, book-block versions. Too often, this renders the text so tiny that the judges struggle to read it.)  We are not accepting hard copies at this time.  We do not accept watermarked books; a watermarked document is too hard on the eyes of the judges.

13. If there are no viable books (books written well enough to achieve award status) in a particular category, we reserve the right not to present an award for that specific category. (To date, this situation has never happened.) Awards are given to books that score high enough based on our judging protocol. This is true for every category. No matter how many entries are received in any given category, if no book garners the high score needed to win the category, then no award will be given for that respective category, and no refunds will be given to the entrants of that category. Our goal is to award high-quality writing, and we strive to improve our award as much as possible.

14. We award books based on our criteria and at our discretion, not at the discretion of any other entity.

15. Due to the high cost of shipping outside the United States, physical awards may not be shipped to winners that live outside the United States. In lieu of a trophy, the winner will receive digital award emblems.  We will, however, do all we can to ensure winners receive their trophies. (To date, all of our winners have received the physical trophy.)  Some countries charge the recipient a customs fee.  This is beyond our control, and we do not reimburse entrants for those customs fees.

16. Your book rights remain your own. We are not a publisher. The Best Indie Book Award® is a contest. By entering, you are not signing a publishing agreement.

17. You may enter more than one book in the contest, but each entry must be accompanied by the entry fee. Entry fees are non-refundable.  If you enter a collection of full-length novels or novellas sold under one cover, you must pay the Trilogy entry fee listed in our categories on the entry form.  (The exception to this Term is short story collections or poetry collections.)

18.  When you enter the BIBA® contest, if you win in any category, your book will automatically be entered in the BIBA® Book of the Year competition.  Each year, irrespective of category or whether or not the book is fiction or non-fiction, BIBA® judges will select one Book of the Year from the winning authors’ pool.  In addition to the BIBA trophy for the category won, this single BIBA® Book of the Year winner will also receive the BIBA® Book of the Year $500.00 (USD) cash prize.  This cash prize begins the year at $500.00, and may, or may not, increase depending on the number of entries for the year.  If you are in a different country and you win the Book of the Year and receive this cash prize, due to your country’s exchange rate, you may receive more, or less, in your country’s currency than the amount paid out by BIBA in USD. We do not add more to the cash prize to offset your country’s exchange rate. This cash prize is paid out via Paypal. There is no exception to this process.  If you do not accept the cash prize via Paypal, you agree to forfeit the cash prize.

19. All judges in the contest will remain anonymous. There are no exceptions to this rule. In addition, entrant information is kept strictly confidential. This means that we do not sell your information to any third party.

20. No information will be given regarding the number of books entered in the contest or who entered. (With the exception of announcing the winners.)

21. We do not provide non-winning authors with judging notes, comments, or placement information about exactly where their books ranked in the contest. We do not offer detailed feedback as to why a book did not make it to the finals or to winner status.  As we want indie authors to compete with their conventionally published peers, we do expect authors to study, learn and hone their craft.  A contest is a competition, not a full-time writing coaching service.

22. Each year, the annual Best Indie Book Award® will be open for submissionswe on January 1st.  The deadline is August 15th of each year.

23. Entries will be judged based on multiple writing skills, which include story-telling ability, author’s ability to engage the reader, hooks, transitions, point-of-view, pacing, movement of the story, author’s skill with voice, character, dialogue, narrative, grammar, and punctuation.

24. One winner will be announced for each category.  We do not have finalist awards or honorable mentions.  We only award and announce 1 winner per category.

25. If you submit an entry without payment, your entry will be deleted within 24 hours of submission and will not be judged.

26. Winners will be announced by November 30th of each year.  We make the Winner Announcement via our website.

27. We maintain the right to move a book to the correct category without notice if we feel it was entered in the wrong genre.

28. If after due diligence we are unable to contact a winner, we reserve the right to disqualify said winner, and if possible, award the title to another author in that category. No refunds are given. (We make two attempts via email. The author has 10 days to respond to the first email.)

29. We ask that authors white-list us so that our emails do not end up in spam folders.  Despite our efforts, we cannot guarantee delivery of any email. There are forces beyond our control wherein we must rely on the entrants to do their part, as well. Upon completing the entry form, every author is sent an email that gives password and log-in information to their personal author page, where each author can see where they placed in the contest.  We cannot guarantee that this email won’t end up in a spam folder, because there are multiple factors that could affect these emails.  Servers, email services, and how the author handles emails on their end, all of which are beyond our control, can all affect whether or not an author receives what we send.  Because we are not the governing body of said email services and servers, we cannot change these issues. If you did not receive your author page log-in, please let us know and we will send your password again. This generally goes to the email associated with your billing on your entry form.

30. All entries must be original work.

31. When we receive a high number of well-written mixed entries in a combined category, we will split that category for that given year and award a winner in each respective category. (For example, if we receive a high number of Fantasy books and a high number of Paranormal books in the Fantasy/Paranormal category, we will split the category into a Fantasy category and a Paranormal category to give the authors a better chance.)  However, we reserve the right to not award any books in a category if they do not fit the winner criteria set forth by the BIBA® contest.

32. It is your responsibility to send us the best version of the book you are entering in the BIBA®.  Because our judging process begins within a few hours of you submitting your book, we cannot, and do not, accept additional upgraded, re-edited versions of your book after the fact.  We will only judge the copy that you originally submitted.

33. By entering, you grant us the right to use your likeness, your pseudonym, your book cover, book description, any links to the book, your website, your social media accounts, and any other information we deem necessary in order to promote the entered book, should it win.

34. Please keep a record of which books you enter into our contest, and when. If you accidentally enter the same book in the same year and category, we are so busy that we may not catch it, and we are not responsible for duplicate entries. Once a book begins the judging process (usually, this begins within 24 hours of entry), no refunds are given. It is your responsibility to keep track of which contests you enter. We do our best to catch duplicates, but sometimes, one can slip through the process. You can help us out by keeping track of your own entries. You should be printing a receipt anyway, because, at least in the United States, your entry fee is a business tax write-off.

35. All book files we receive are kept strictly confidential. Only our judges will have access, and the files are deleted from our system upon completion of the contest.  We do not sell, or give, any entrant information to third parties.

36. Entering the Best Indie Book Award® contest does not guarantee a win.

37. If a book with multiple authors is entered, such as a short story anthology, and that book wins, no physical trophy will be given. In lieu of the physical trophy, we will give a digital sticker to the person who entered the book.

38. We ship one trophy only to each winner. While we do everything we can to ensure the delivery of award trophies, we cannot guarantee the delivery of any package. If your package is not delivered, we do not send a replacement. If you are a winner and you would like to purchase a duplicate trophy, please contact us for instructions.  Duplicate trophies are currently $150.00 per trophy.  This fee covers the trophy, the engraving, the packaging, and the shipping cost within the United States.

39.  Any and all marketing companies or representatives of any author, illustrator, or cover designer, please be advised that we only send awards directly to the author, cover designer, or illustrator who wins in their respective category. We do not send awards via representatives. There are no exceptions to this rule. All awards will go directly to the author, cover designer, or illustrator. Therefore, the author’s, cover designer’s, or illustrator’s name, email address, and mailing address must be supplied to us upon entry.

40.  Cover Design and Illustration Contest Entrants.  If the author of the book submits an entry and payment for the BIBA® Cover Contest, or the BIBA® Illustration Contest, but is not the actual designer or artist, and happens to be the winner in that year, the author (payer) receives the trophy.  But we must have the cover artist’s professional name to list on our website. Likewise for the BIBA® Illustrations Contest.  In the case of a win, even if the author is the one who submitted the entry and paid the entry fee, the designer or artist is listed on the trophy, not the author, because it is the artist being recognized for their work.  If the cover designer or illustrator enters and is the payer, the cover designer or illustrator will receive the trophy in the case of a win.

41. Due to customs regulations in countries outside the United States, we cannot guarantee delivery of any package outside the United States.

42. Without prior notification, we may change the engraving, look, size, or design of the trophy at any time.

43. We do not award books that promote hate speech against any group of people, or contains inflammatory language or bias against any group of people, religion, political party, gender, or race.

44. The judging process begins within a few days of entry, and we do not refund entry fees during the contest proceedings.  We expect entrants to properly vet their publisher to determine if their book qualifies for the BIBA® competition.  If a book is entered and begins the juding process, we do not give refunds if the publisher is determined to not qualify as independent or small press.

45. The Best Indie Book Award contest is based in the United States of America.  Our fee is in U.S. Dollars.  If you are not in the United States, your fee will be converted depending on your country’s exchange rate.  Due to this conversion,  what you pay per entry may be higher than the fee you see on the entry form.

46. We reserve the right to change these terms at any time without prior notice.

47.  The use of our trademarks, Best Indie Book Award® and BIBA® are forbidden unless directly authorized to do so by any owner or assign for the Best Indie Book Award®.  The use of our winner emblems and logos is forbidden unless authorized by any owner or assign for the Best Indie Book Award®. The reproduction of our winner emblems and logos is forbidden unless authorized by any owner or assign for the Best Indie Book Award®.

48. You (Entrant, Author, or End User) will indemnify and hold BestIndieBookAward.com and its licensees, successors, and assigns, and their distributors, customers, officers, directors, members, employees, and agents, harmless against any expense (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and disbursements) or judgment, settlement or other liability arising out of any claim or legal proceeding asserting claims contrary to any warranty or representation made by You in this Agreement.

49. By entering, you, the entrant,  agree to all these terms, and you agree that every term is binding.  You understand that this is a competition and no refunds are given for any reason.