Feature

World’s Largest Book Award Contest Reaches Milestone

Independent Publisher Book Awards Will Present 5,000th Medal This Year

2017 IPPY Ceremony at the Copacabana in New York City.  Photography by Andrew Lipovsky.

While the world’s top athletes ski, skate and bobsled their way to the podium at the Winter Olympic Games, another elite group – the world’s top independent authors and publishers – will be competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in the 22nd annual Independent Publisher Book Awards. The contest is open to independently-published books in English and will accept entries through February 24, 2018.

Using the motto, “Recognizing Excellence in Independent Publishing” and known as the largest book contest in the world, the Independent Publisher Book Awards (aka the “IPPYs”) honor books created outside the “Big Five” conglomerate New York publishing scene. From one-book self-publishers, to hundred-year-old university presses, indie publishing is diverse, cutting-edge, and not bound by the constraints of media overlords and corporate bottom lines.

2017 IPPY Ceremony at the Copacabana in New York City. Photography by Andrew Lipovsky.

2017 IPPY Ceremony at the Copacabana in New York City.  Photography by Andrew Lipovsky.

IPPY Award ceremonies are famous for good food, drink, and entertainment, considered a “must-do” part of BookExpo America week, and have been held in some very “lofty” locations:

• 2004: Chicago’s Tavern Club, on the 25th floor of the 333 N. Michigan building, with a live band on the outdoor patio
• 2005: the entire 8th floor of the Marriott Marquis Times Square
• 2008: the 60th floor of the Wells Fargo Building in downtown L.A.
• 2016: the 20th annual event took over the 99th floor of Willis Tower in Chicago, literally above the clouds rolling in off Lake Michigan

The upcoming 2018 award ceremony will be especially notable, for including the presentation of the 5000th medal awarded during the program’s 22-year history, and for its return to the bright lights of Times Square and the legendary Copacabana night club. In celebration, one of this year's medalists will be chosen at random to receive a massive promotional package of goodies, including a plaque, 5,000 award seals, a custom press release, a consultation with Media Connect, and a spot at BookExpo through Combined Book Exhibit.

Yes, the IPPY Awards have come a long way, from humble beginnings in 1997 with just 27 categories and about 300 entries. This year’s award ceremony will host more than 300 guests, and IPPY medalist number 5,000 will be the toast of Times Square!

2016 IPPY Ceremony at Willis Tower in Chicago. Photography by Melissa Morley. 

2016 IPPY Ceremony at Willis Tower in Chicago. Photography by Melissa Morley. 

The Independent Publisher Book Awards were conceived in 1996 as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles produced each year, and reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing. 
 

2016 IPPY Ceremony at Willis Tower in Chicago. Photography by Melissa Morley. 

2015 IPPY Ceremony at The Providence in New York City. Photography by Andrew Lipovsky.

2015 IPPY Ceremony at The Providence in New York City. Photography by Andrew Lipovsky.

2015 IPPY Ceremony at The Providence in New York City. Photography by Andrew Lipovsky.


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