Friday, May 17, 2013

Black Bay Books racks up at Indie Awards

Black Bay Books, a small, back-farm publishing house specializing in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama dealing with Florida, horses, and rural society, is one of the big winners of this year's Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

The first novel in Iza Moreau's Small Town Series, The News in Small Towns, was a top-five finalist in TWO categories: Regional Fiction and Mystery. Not to be outdone, Sara Warner's fine first novel, Still Waters, not only was a finalist in the Thriller/Suspense category, but WON the General Fiction category and took home the GRAND PRIZE for all fiction and  $1,600 in prize money. This makes Still Waters the highest rated independently published novel in the country.  

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards, sometimes called the 'Sundance' of the book publishing world, is a literary awards program that recognizes and honors authors and publishers of exceptional independently published books in 60 different categories. "Indies" include small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. The top book in each category is reviewed by literary agents for possible representation, and winners are promoted during the BookExpo America event in New York City that coincides with the Indie Book Awards prize ceremony.

Here are the numbers: There were 60 categories in this year's awards. Each category had a winner and four finalists. Although I have no figures on how many publishers submitted books--or how many books were submitted in total--eighty-five publishers were represented in the medals list. Twenty-nine other books were listed as either self-published or published by entities such as Smashwords, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, or  iUniverse, which are technically speaking, publishing platforms and not actual publishers.

Of the actual publishers, only one had more top-five medalists in  fiction than Black Bay Books--six--and they achieved this with six books. One other house had five medals--one for each of five titles. Black Bay Books received five medals for only two books.

This speaks not only to the quality of the Black Bay Books entries, but also to the fact that, like many cutting-edge independently published novels, Still Waters and The News in Small Towns transcend genre stereotyping. And isn't that the point of Indie Publishing?