Five Finalists Span Fiction Genres

NEW YORK—June 3, 2020—Five finalists will compete for the top honor in the inaugural U.S. Selfies book awards, slated to be announced later this month. Publishers Weekly, the international news platform, and BookBrunch, the daily online news service for the U.K., announced the awards’ shortlist, all self-published authors of adult fiction living in the U.S.: Adam Boostrom, of Berkeley, California, for Athena’s Choice; Paty Jager, from eastern Oregon, for Murder of Ravens; Perpetua Langley, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, for The Lady’s Jewels; Susan E. Welch, of Lummi Island near Bellingham, Washington, for A Thread So Fine; and Tim Westover, from Lawrenceville, Georgia, author of The Winter Sisters

The prize will be presented on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 5 p.m. CDT at the American Library Association’s annual conference, to be held online this year. The U.S. Selfies are sponsored by IngramSpark® and Combined Book Exhibit. 

“We’ve been thrilled to receive Selfies entries from authors all around the United States writing in such a wide variety of different genres. The professionalism and expertise our shortlisted authors have shown self-publishing their books is fantastic, and I’m delighted we’re able to showcase so much amazing talent with these Selfies awards,” said Jo Henry, managing director of BookBrunch and a juror for the awards.

“The U.S. Selfies shortlist is an inspiring group of debut and seasoned self-published authors,” said Carl Pritzkat, president of BookLife, which administers the awards in the U.S and is the self-publishing arm of Publishers Weekly.

The shortlist spans genres and includes contemporary fiction (A Thread So Fine), science fiction (Athena’s Choice), romance (The Lady’s Jewels), historical fiction (The Winter Sisters) and even contemporary western mystery (Murder of Ravens). All titles were published in calendar year 2019 by authors who live in the U.S., although U.S. citizenship was not required of entrants. All entrants were required to be predominantly or solely self-published, defined as authors who act as publishers and/or creative directors.

Five judges looked for stories that entertain and delight readers; high production values in e-book or print format; enticing covers and blurbs that successfully nab the target audience’s attention; and effective and creative marketing and publicity strategies with the potential for significant sales.

“At IngramSpark, we strive to bring attention to the quality of content being created and published by the indie author community. The Selfies Awards in the U.S. and U.K. help us do that,” said Robin Cutler, director of IngramSpark and also a juror for the awards.

“Self-publishing is one of the fastest growing segments in the book industry,” said Cevin Bryerman, executive v-p and publisher of Publishers Weekly. “Being named to the shortlist for the inaugural U.S. Selfies awards will help librarians, booksellers and book buyers discover exciting new titles.” 

The U.S. awards are co-sponsored by IngramSpark, Ingram’s award-winning self-publishing platform, and Combined Book Exhibit, which showcases published works at trade shows and expos around the world. The winning author, in addition to receiving $1,000 cash from IngramSpark, also receives promotional book displays valued at over $2,500 from Combined Book Exhibit at major book fairs around the world and a $5,000 package of advertising in Publishers Weekly’s print magazine and online. 

The mission of the awards initiative, which was the creation of BookBrunch and introduced to great acclaim in the U.K. in 2018, is to discover new talent and reward the best self-published titles each year. The awards’ first year focused on adult fiction published during 2019. Future years are expected to include nonfiction and children’s books.