Terms of Use:

(Updated 12/02/21)

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 using a standard contract but is not owned by a major corporation and has a small number of authors, generally publishing a small number of authors per year.
Independent partner 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 publishers, such as HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, or any other major publisher and you have a contract where you do NOT have full publishing rights.

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 (whitelist). 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.)  We are not accepting hard copies at this time.

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. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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 under one cover, you must pay an entry fee for each book within the collection.  So, if you enter a three book series under one cover, and each book is a full length novel,  you would pay three entry fees, one per each title.  (The exception to this Term is short story collections or poetry collections.)

17. All judges in the contest will remain anonymous. No exceptions to this rule. In addition, entrant information is kept strictly confidential.

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

19. 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.  In some cases, we do reach out to authors who are in the Top 3 to give them tips.  We are a large contest, and providing detailed notes for each entrant would raise our fees considerably.

20. Each year the annual Best Indie Book Award® will be open for submission on January 1st.  The deadline is October 1st of each year.

21. 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.

22. 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.

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

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

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

26. 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.)

27. All entries must be original work.

28. 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.

29. 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.  In addition, that copy must match the published, publicly available book.

30. 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 accounts, and any other information we deem necessary in order to promote the entered book, should it win.

31. 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. Paypal no longer refunds transaction fees when we refund someone for duplicate entry, so if we have to refund a duplicate entry, you will be charged a $5 fee to cover that cost.

32. 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.

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

34. 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.

35. 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.

36.  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, cover designer, or illustrator name, email address, and mailing address must be supplied to us upon entry.

37.  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.

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

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

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

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

42.  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®.

43. 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.

44. By entering, you, the entrant,  agree to all these terms.