2023 Indie Book Award Winners Announced

CHICAGO, May 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group (IBPPG) has named the best indie books of 2023.

The books are winners of the 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the largest international book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors. The winners and finalists will be honored Friday, June 23 at a gala event at the Newberry Library in Chicago, IL, coinciding with the American Library Association Annual Conference.

Organizers of this year’s gala hope to livestream the awards presentation on Facebook, commencing at approximately 5:00 pm Central Time at https://www.facebook.com/NextGenerationIndieBookAwards. Videos of the 2021 and 2022 events have been viewed more than 100,000 times. 

2023 is the 16th year of the largest international book awards program. This year’s Platinum Sponsor is FabJob, a leading publisher of dream career guides with over half a million satisfied customers over 6 continents. IAP Career College, which offers online certificate courses in more than 100 career fields including book editing and book publishing, returns as a Gold Sponsor of this year’s awards.

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards are judged by leaders of the indie book publishing industry, including many with long careers at major publishing houses. Their love of a great read and experience in the publishing arena identify books deserving a wider audience.

In an article at CNN.com titled If it’s cool, creative, and different, it’s indie, journalist Catherine Andrews wrote: “The term ‘indie’ traditionally refers to independent art – music, film, literature or anything that fits under the broad banner of culture – created outside of the mainstream and without corporate financing.” That definition remains true for book publishing.

Independent book publishing companies are independent of the major conglomerates dominating the book publishing industry. Indies include small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.

According to Catherine Goulet, Founder and Co-Chair of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “Like other independent artists, many indie book publishers face challenges that the industry giants don’t experience. The indies have to work much harder to get their best books into readers’ hands.”

“Authors and publishers who compete in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards are serious about promoting their books,” adds Goulet. “They aim to stand out from the crowd of millions of books in print.”

According to recent statistics collected by Zippia.com, the U.S. book industry made $29.33 billion in revenue in 2021. Over 4 million new books were published in 2022 alone, with 2.1 million of those being self-published. Romance is the most popular genre of books sold in the U.S., achieving over 32 million print copies sold in 2022.

To help indie authors and publishers reach a wider audience, the top 80+ books in the 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Awards will be reviewed by New York literary agent Marilyn Allen of Allen Literary Agency (formerly the Allen O’Shea Literary Agency), or one of Ms. Allen’s co-agents, for possible representation in areas such as: distribution, foreign rights, film rights, and other rights.

The top prize-winning books in the 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Awards are:

Top Fiction Books

First Place Winner ($1,500 Prize)

Out Killing Indians, by Rick Steber (Bonanza Publishing, LLC)

Second Place Winner ($750 Prize)

A Sacred Duty: An FBI Yellowstone Adventure, by Rhona Weaver (Two Oaks Press)

Third Place Winner ($500 Prize)

The Tea Drinker’s Guide to Adventure, by Andrée Jannette (Andrée Jannette)

Top Non-Fiction Books

First Place Winner ($1,500 Prize)

The Art of Astonishment: Reflections on Gifts and Grace, by Alice Brittan (Bloomsbury)

Second Place Winner ($750 Prize)

The Accidental Reef and Other Ecological Odysseys in the Great Lakes, by Lynne Heasley, Illustrated by Glenn Wolff (Michigan State University Press)

Third Place Winner ($500 Prize)

Dear White Woman, Please Come Home: Hand Me Your Bias, and I’ll Show You Our Connection, by Kimberlee Yolanda Williams (Elephant Room Press)

Honorable Mention ($250 Prize)

The Financial Mindset Fix: A Mental Fitness Program for an Abundant Life, by Joyce Marter (Sounds True)

Other Winners

Top books were named as winners and finalists in over 80 publishing categories ranging from Action/Adventure to Young Author.

A complete list of 2023 winners and finalists is available at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards website at indiebookawards.com.

Where to Watch the 2023 Book Awards Event

We hope to livestream the awards presentation on Facebook commencing at approximately 5:00 pm Central Time on Friday, June 23. Visit https://www.facebook.com/NextGenerationIndieBookAwards.

About the Literary Agent

Marilyn Allen has over 25 years of sales and marketing experience, including serving as Senior Vice President, Associate Publisher, and Director of Marketing for Harper Collins and directing sales and marketing teams for Simon & Schuster, Penguin Books and Avon Books.  Ms. Allen has worked with many best-selling authors including Stephen King, Ken Follett, Barbara Kingsolver, John Gray, Mary Higgins Clark, and many more.


The aim of the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group is to promote professional standards in independent book publishing (also known as “indie” book publishing) and provide support and recognition for the independent book publishing profession.

2024 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Entries are now being accepted for the 2024 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. The awards are open to books released in 2022, 2023, or 2024 from independent authors and publishers worldwide. Visit https://indiebookawards.com for information.

Next Generation Indie Book Awards is affiliated with Next Generation Indie Film Awards, a not-for-profit awards program for film. To learn more visit https://indiefilmawards.co.

MEDIA CONTACT: Marilyn Allen, 203-820-5967, [email protected] 

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SOURCE Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group


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