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Saturday, December 30, 2006

The IPPY Awards

Independent Publisher Magazine is the voice of the independent publisher. Since 1996, the publication has sponsored the IPPY Awards -- which for some reason stands for “Independent Publisher Book Awards.” Possibly because IPPY rolls off the tongue more smoothly than IPBA, which sounds like a Latin undergrad about to sneeze.

It isn’t difficult to figure out what the IPPYs are: awards for the best independent books published each year. There are 90 winners in 60 regional and national categories ranging from genre fiction to titles any author would be proud to announce, like “Storyteller of the Year” and “Most Likely to Save the Planet.” What may not be apparent is the incredible effect winning an IPPY has on a book’s sales.

Sure, you get money if you win. You also gain recognition. For example, one of 1997’s winning IPPY titles, The Millionaire Next Door, went on to sell 2.5 million copies. The Sleeping Father by Matthew Sharpe, a 2004 IPPY winner, was chosen as a TODAY Show Book Club selection. Jack Fritscher’s debut novel What They Did to the Kid: Confessions of an Altar Boy sold out in hardcover after winning the IPPY, and the proceeds of the award funded a substantial paperback print run.

Both independent and self-published titles are eligible for the IPPY awards, and authors can enter their titles themselves. You’ll find rules, regulations, and an online application here. Entries for the 2007 IPPY Awards, for which all books published or reissued in 2006 are eligible, will be accepted through April 1, 2007, and the entry fee is $75 per title. Happy contesting!