The U.S. Selfies book awards were launched in 2020 by Publishers Weekly and BookLife in recognition of one of the fastest-growing parts of the book market. 

This exciting initiative aims to discover new talent and reward the very best indie-published titles each year. The U.S. Selfies are sponsored by IngramSpark, Ingram’s ebook and print self-publishing platform, and Combined Book Exhibit (CBE), and run in association with BookBrunch. 

The Selfies were originally launched by BookBrunch in the UK in 2018, in collaboration with IngramSpark and the London Book Fair; the first Selfies award was presented at the London Book Fair in March 2019.

Prize for Winning

  • $1,000 cash and $5,000 worth of trade advertising
  • Free display at five trade shows in 2021-22
  • Feature in issue of CBE Library Newsletter going to 30,000 librarians
  • Plus free entry for all shortlisted authors to 2021 ALA Annual Conference
  • Plus discount of 50% on CBE displays in 2021-22 for all submitted work


  • Adult fiction titles and children’s/YA books only may be submitted 
  • Book to have been self-published between January 2020 and December 2020 by an author living in the U.S.
  • Only works written in English will be accepted

Key Dates

  • Submissions open on January 1, 2021
  • All submissions to be received by midnight on March 8, 2021
  • Shortlist to be announced May, 2021
  • The second annual U.S. Selfies Award is scheduled to be presented at ALA Annual Conference on June 26, 2021

Entry Format

  • Adult Fiction: Full novel (no unfinished works, poetry, short stories or non-fiction will be accepted) as a digital file, e-book or PDF.  Novels are generally 70k-100k words
  • Children’s/YA Fiction: Full book (no unfinished works, poetry, short stories or non-fiction will be accepted) as a digital file, e-book or PDF;
  • Synopsis and author biography to be supplied.  Please include illustrator biography for children’s picture books
  • Overview of sales to date and marketing/PR also required


The prize for the winning authors is $1,000 cash plus a $5,000 package of advertising in Publishers Weekly, both in the print magazine and online.  In addition, CBE will display the winning titles at five trade shows on the CBE schedule in 2021-22, and feature the titles in an issue of the CBE Library Newsletter, which goes to 30,000 librarians.

All shortlisted authors will receive free entrance to the 2021 American Library Association’s Annual Conference, a book display at one trade show on the CBE schedule in 2021-22 and be featured in the CBE Library Newsletter. 

All authors entering the Selfies in the U.S. will be given the opportunity of a 50% discount off CBE’s published rates for any show in 2021 and 2022. 


A preliminary judging panel will review all submissions and draw up shortlists for the final judging panel.  Judges of adult fiction and children’s/YA books will be looking for:

  • A fantastic story that entertains and delights the reader
  • A well-produced book
  • An enticing cover and blurb that successfully addresses the target audience
  • An effective and creative marketing and publicity strategy with the potential for significant sales

The shortlists will be announced in May via the Selfies website, BookLife, Publishers Weekly, IngramSpark and other associated agencies. The winners will be chosen by two expert judging panels.  The winners will be announced in June.

Should any of these plans change due to the Covid-19 pandemic, details will be announced. 


Everybody submitting work will receive a free subscription to BookLife, the online resource that provides tips, news and information for indie and self-published authors. 

BookLife membership allows authors to:

  • Post news about and reviews of their books, which then get featured on BookLife’s homepage
  • Upload excerpts from their books
  • Submit their books for Publishers Weekly review consideration for FREE
  • Receive the weekly BookLife Report e-newsletter and the monthly BookLife digital supplement in Publishers Weekly.