I’m writing this as 2020 draws to a close – and you’ll be reading it with 2020 firmly in the rearview mirror. The challenges brought to all of us by MMXX have been unprecedented. For authors, the traditional ways we’ve engaged with readers – book fairs, bookstore signings, book club gatherings, Renaissance festivals, historical re-enactments, libraries, craft fairs, community center activities – have mostly been on hiatus. And for indie writers who don’t have the marketing machine of one of the Big Four publishers behind them – whether they’re self-published or published by an independent publishing house – it may feel like it’s harder to draw attention to your work without those familiar venues.
So, as we celebrate the arrival of 2021 and of Covid vaccines and look forward to the time when we can get back “out there” with our readers, it occurred to me that another thing worth celebrating is the success of Indie writers in our genre. To that end, I’ve compiled a list of winners and runners-up of a number of highly-respected book awards that focus on the Indie publication sphere. These are by no means all the awards out there, but they are some of the best known. Finalists and honorable mentions are also listed on many of the award websites.
Perhaps you’ll find something for your TBR list. Perhaps you’ll discover indie writers who fuel your own WIP. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to submit your own indie-published book for consideration. In any event, here’s wishing all historical fiction writers a brighter year and lots of success, no matter where you are in your publishing journey.
American Fiction Awards
These awards have categories both for Historical Fiction and for the adjacencies discussed in my August article, “When is it Historical Fiction and when is it something else?”. So I’ve included the 2020 award winners for all the relevant categories.
Historical Fiction: The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain, Sparks Press, August 4, 2020
Adventure-Historical: Northern Blood (Northern Wolf Series, Book 3) by Daniel Greene, Rune Publishing, March 31, 2020
Fantasy-Historical: The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover, QW Publishers, LLC, August 6, 2019
Mystery/Suspense-Historical: A Child Lost: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel by Michelle Cox, She Writes Press, April 28, 2020
Romance-Historical: Awaken My Heart by Christine Wissner, Christine Wissner, March 10, 2019
Best Indie Book Award
The most recent set of winners posted here is for 2019. I didn’t find any indication of when the 2020 award winners would be posted.
2019 Winner: Sinner’s Cross by Miles Watson, One Nine Books, October 6, 2019
Eric Hoffer Book Award
Winner: I Was Hitler’s Baker by Glenn Peterson, Xlibris US, January 26, 2019
1st Runner-Up: Carrying Independence by Karen A. Chase, 224 Pages, June 11, 2019
Gold: The Boys Who Woke up Early by Amy Trueblood, Imbrifex Books, March 3, 2019 (1st edition)
Silver: Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha, The Permanent Press, April 5, 2019
Bronze: Beloved Mother by Laura Hunter, Bluewater Publications, April 1, 2019
Independent Author Network
Book of the Year First Place and Historical Fiction First Place:
Before The Brightest Dawn (The Half-Bloods Series Book 3) by Jana Petken, June 14, 2019
Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Award
Gold Medal: Moccasin Track by Reid Lance Rosenthal, Rockin’ SR Publishing, August 29, 2019
Silver Medal: Breaking Point: A Novel of the Battle of Britain by John Rhodes, Suncoast Publishing, September 24, 2019
Silver Medal: General Meade: A Novel of the Civil War by Robert Kofman, Lion Valley Publishing LLC, March 5, 2019
Independent Publisher Book Awards (the IPPYs)
Gold: Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood, North Star Editions, November 5, 2019
Silver: Beyond the Ghetto Gates by Michelle Cameron, She Writes Press, April 7, 2020
Bronze: The Pelton Papers by Mari Coates, She Writes Press, April 7, 2020
International Book Awards
Winner: Moccasin Track by Reid Lance Rosenthal, Rockin’ SR Publishing, August 29, 2019
National Indie Excellence Awards
Winner: The Dung Beetles of Liberia by Daniel V. Meier, Jr., BQB Publishing, September 1, 2019
Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Winner: Repentance by Andrew Lam, Tiny Fox Press, LLC, May 1, 2019
Pacific Book Awards
First Place: The Andean Cross by L. A. Clayton, JustFiction Edition, April 9, 2013
Second Place: In the Beginning: The Early Days of Religious Beliefs by Jaime Reyes, Westwood Books Publishing LLC, (August 13, 2019)
Rubery Book Award
There was one Historical Fiction novel short-listed for this award in 2020.
Song of the Nightingale by Marilyn Pemberton, The Conrad Press, December 14, 2019
An award-winning author of historical fiction and a freelance editor, Pamela Taylor loves helping others polish their stories almost as much as she enjoys writing her own. She’s a member of the DFW Writers Workshop and the Editorial Freelancers Association and is in her fourth year on the judges panel for the Ink & Insights Writing Contest. She shares her home with two Welsh Corgis who frequently remind her that a dog walk is a great way to get inspiration for that next chapter.