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IBPA Announces Finalists in the 31st Annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ Program

Monday, March 18, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Over 160 independently published books to be honored during an April 5, 2019 ceremony in Chicago, Illinois where 54 Gold winners will be declared.
Representative publishers include Marimba Books (an imprint of Just Us Books), The White House Historical Association, Insight Editions, Indiana Historical Society Press, Koehler Books, She Writes Press, Buffalo Heritage Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, and more.

(Manhattan Beach, CA – March 18, 2019) -- Today, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) – – officially announced finalists in its prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ program, recognizing excellence and innovation in independent publishing. All finalists will be recognized during an awards ceremony on April 5, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois where one Gold winner in each of fifty-four categories will be named. The remaining finalists in each category will become Silver winners.

The full list of finalists in all fifty-four categories is available here.
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[Above: Watch what happened at last year's IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ ceremony in Austin, Texas.]

"The mission of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ is simple: to recognize excellence and innovation in independent publishing," said IBPA CEO Angela Bole. "Unlike many other award programs, the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ demand both editorial and design excellence and entrants are judged independently on both."

This year, over 160 librarians, booksellers, and design and editorial experts – most of whom have decades of book industry experience – judged the books submitted to the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program. The judging process took seven months, beginning in September 2018 and continuing into March 2019. At the end of the process, over 1,500 unique entrants will receive a written critique from each of the three judges who reviewed their book. The critiques include constructive feedback to help each publisher understand how their book is being perceived by industry professionals, upholding part of IBPA’s mission to serve the independent publishing community through education.

This level of detail has helped the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program remain one of the highest national honors for independent publishers for over 30 years. "When our awards program started,” said IBPA COO Terry Nathan, "we were one of the only ones around. Since then, many other programs have come and gone, but we are proud that our awards continue to do what they did when IBPA started, and that is to help our members improve their publishing programs."

IBPA members and friends are invited to help celebrate the finalists during the April 5, 2019 awards ceremony, a gala dinner programmed at the end of the first day of IBPA Publishing University. Both the ceremony and the conference will take place at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois.

"One of the memories I have of the awards is how much joy there was in that room for the various award winners," Donald Tubesing, retired co-founder of Whole Person Associates and Pfeifer-Hamilton Publishers, said in a piece about the history of the awards published in IBPA Independent magazine. "It was great to see so many other people so joyous. Which really is the whole point of [IBPA], to celebrate the incredible creativity and quality that people are putting into their books."

The call for entries into the 32nd annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program (for books with a copyright date of 2019) will open in late April 2019. Visit to learn more.

Contact Terry Nathan, IBPA COO, at

About the Independent Book Publishers Association

Founded in 1983 to support independent publishers nationwide, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) leads and serves the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success. With over 3,100 members, IBPA is the largest publishing association in the US. Its vision is a world where every independent publisher has the access, knowledge, and tools needed to professionally engage in all aspects of an inclusive publishing industry. For more information, visit

About the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ Program

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) with help from over 160 publishing professionals, including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, and editors. All entrants receive direct feedback from the judges which is sure to help guide future publications. For more information, visit

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