Self-published authors are finding themselves at the centre of even more celebration this week as the Association for Art and Social Change in Canada announced its plans to launch a new book awards forum especially for self-published authors.
The Association is the producer of Toronto’s INSPIRE! International Book Fair and it has told the Canadian press that it wants to recognise achievement in writing, design and the overall marketability of self-published books and their authors. The Creation of Stories: Canada’s Self-Publishing Awards will first take place at this year’s Inspire! Book Fair, and are open to all Canadian self-published authors.
The only criteria to fill include stipulations that the book must have been written and published by a Canadian, and it must have been produced between July 1st 2013 and September 1st 2014. The awards will offer prizes in three different categories, including books for children, books for young adult audiences and books for adults. The winners of each category will not only receive a $3,000 cash prize but also several other prizes which will help them to further the success of their books.
The winners of The Creation of Stories will each receive up to 100 copies of their books printed and bound, as well as a professional marketing consultation and marketing campaign provided by indie publishing platform Blurb, the sponsors of the awards, and a trip to the Inspire! International Book Fair.
The Association for Art and Social Change will provide a committee to judge the first round of self-published books, creating a shortlist of six finalists in every category which will then be judged individually by a panel of industry professionals. While this panel has not yet been determined, the judging criteria will include excellent in approach as well as creative use of images and language.
The book’s ability to appeal to a large audience will also play a large factor in the judging, and Jason Lilien, the director of marketing at Blurb has said that while many might argue that the writing should be at the core of any panel judging books, the writing component is still a very large part of the criteria. “At the heart of this is creating great stories,” he told the Canadian press as the awards were announced in July, continuing to say that each finalist in the shortlist would be automatically entered into the People’s Choice Award worth $1,000 which will be decided by public voting.
According to Blurb Inc., Canada is the second largest self-publishing market, and the largest outside of the United States. While there are many other self-publishing producers out there, Blurb has more than 250,000 registered users in Canada, and has produced millions of titles across North America since it began in 2005.
The Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre between November 14th and 16th 2014. As well as revealing the results of The Creation of Stories awards, the event will showcase a huge range of books from self-published to multinational published, children’s literature to business.