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Listed within the pages of this issue are the winners of and the finalists for the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Awards. Making the list of finalists is an incredible feat. The judges tell us that the quality of books has increased so much over the years that it becomes more and more difficult to choose just one winner and two finalists in each category.
When the Ben Franklins were first conceived, we did want to honor publishers who present great books, but that was not the primary reason behind these awards. They were designed to help publishers get honest critiques of their titles from people in our industry who are either purchasers or reviewers. We reveal all the names of the many judges who participate each year (this year, I believe there were more than 150), but we never reveal the category in which any particular person served as a judge so that judges can feel comfortable offering candid opinions on ways to improve each title. As far as I know, these awards are the only ones that return the judging sheets to all participants.
By the time you read this, all entrants in this competition will have received or will be about to receive the judging forms. Some of the reviews are glowing. Some are not so glowing, but they will help the publishers who get them improve the books submitted for the award as well as other products from the same publishers. As the years have passed, many titles that got critical reviews years ago have been reentered in the Most Improved…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).
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