(Manhattan Beach, CA - May 15, 2020) -- The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA - ibpa-online.org) was thrilled to announce fifty-five Gold and over one hundred Silver award winners during four virtual watch parties held on the evenings of May 5-8, 2020. The virtual program, dubbed the "Shelter-In-Place" IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ Ceremony, came together after an in-person award program planned for April 3, 2020 in Redondo Beach, California was cancelled due to COVID-19.
With over 500 registered attendees, the innovative (and free!) online celebrations yielded higher participation than past in-person gala ceremonies. The four-part event also featured a new level of interactivity, with games, prizes, a robust chat stream, and creative entries to the #IBPABens social media contest. Attendees voted for their favorite posts (from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) each night, resulting in four winners of a free annual membership in IBPA.
The #IBPABens social media contest finalists from Friday, May 8, 2020. By popular vote, #1, Eric Meade, Author of Reframing Poverty, and Silver winner in the The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Nonfiction) category, won a free year's membership to IBPA.
The online program recognized Gold and Silver winners for reaching the highest standards of book editorial and design via category-specific videos, where one Gold winner in each of fifty-five categories was named. The remaining finalists in each category became Silver winners. Over 100 winners submitted home-recorded acceptance speeches in advance (not knowing if they would win Gold or Silver), and all speeches were included in the 2-6 minute category-specific videos.
The fifty-five category award ceremony videos can be seen here.
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A screen shot from the May 2, 2020 "Shelter-In-Place" IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ Ceremony Viewing Party, showing the event hosts. Pictured, from top left: IBPA CEO Angela Bole, IBPA Director of Marketing and Programming Lee Wind, IBPA Member Liaison Christopher Locke (at bottom right), and IBPA COO Terry Nathan.
Over 160 librarians, booksellers, and design and editorial experts, most of whom have decades of book industry experience, judged the books submitted to the 32nd annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program. The judging process took seven months, beginning in September 2019 and continuing into March 2020.
In a unique program component, all of the over 1,700 unique entrants will receive a written critique from each of the three judges who reviewed their book—meaning more than 5,000 written critiques will be shared. These critiques include constructive feedback to help each publisher both understand how the book was perceived by specific judges and guide them to make future titles even better. This upholds the educational component of IBPA’s three-part mission: to lead and serve the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success.
New this year was the Fiction: Horror category. Watch The "Shelter-In-Place" IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Ceremony: Fiction: Horror video above to see the finalists and who won Gold! (Playing time: 4:03) Just one of this year's fifty-five stand alone award ceremony videos. Choose the ones you want to see here.
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 3,300 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 ibpa-online.org.
About the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ Program
The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program is 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 ibpabenjaminfranklinaward.com.
Thanks to the staff of IBPA and all the judges. Rob Badger and I, Nita Winter, were thrilled to participate in this year's Benjamin Franklin Book Awards. It was our first ever book competition with our first book, "Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change." Yahoo!!! We received a gold and two silvers. We also got to know more about IBPA, the staff and all the wonderful work you folks do on behalf of independent publishers. You are such a dedicated group. A BIG THANK YOU!