2018 IndieReader Discovery Award Winners Have Been Announced

2018 IndieReader Discovery Award Winners Have Been Announced
11 Jun

As indie author continue to make headway in an industry that only a few years ago shunned their very existence, more and more opportunities continue to open for them. However, recognizing some of the key players who’ve been their for small press publishers and self-published authors all this time is vital, as these entities have evolved along with the ever-changing industry.

One of these entities is IndieReader, an organization that has served the indie author community for years. Eight years ago, IR launched the IndieReader Discovery Awards to help highlight some of the top works in an increasingly crowded sea of titles. These awards encompass a wide variety of genres and categories within those genres, and are open to independently published titles published in the previous year.

According to Amy Edelman, founder and president of IndieReader, “IndieReader launched the the Discovery Awards eight years ago to help elevate the profile of books by self-published authors, via the stamp of approval by an extraordinary panel of judges, with the ultimate prize being submission to a top New York-based lit agency.”

The awards have been announced each year in conjunction with BookExpo, and this year’s announcement at BookCon included the following list of winners:

Fiction First Place

Finn Bell – Pancake Money

Categories: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Fiction Second Place

Kathryn Biel – Live for This

Category: Women’s Fiction

Fiction Third Place

William Peace – Seeking Father Khaliq

Categories: Inspirational/Spiritual

Non-Fiction First Place

Janet Maker, Ph.D. – The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer

Category: Health/Medicine/Nutrition

Non-Fiction Second Place

Anne H Janzer – The Workplace Writer’s Process

Categories: Writing/Publishing/Business

Non-fiction Third Place

Mara M. Zimmerman – How to Meditate and Why

Category: Self-Help


Best First Book (Fiction) – Ivan Obolensky/Eye of the Moon

Best First Book (Non-Fiction) – HeatherSears/Mind to Mouth

Best Book Cover (Fiction) – Marlene M Bell/Stolen Obsession

Best Book Cover (Non-Fiction) – Thomas Richard Harry/God Versus the Idea of God

Action/Adventure – Joe L. Blevins/Double Trouble Double Trouble

Anthology – Heidi Stock/Mentor Me: Instruction and Advice for Aspiring Writers

Biography – Russel Lazega/Managing Bubbie

Business – Anthony Paustian, Ph.D./A Quarter Million Steps

Chick Lit – Kathryn Biel/Made for Me

Children’s (Early to intermediate readers)  – Heather Lester/I Love You For You

Erotica – Kilby Blades/The Art of Worship

Fantasy – Richard Nell/Kings of Paradise

Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Fiction – Kristen Wolf/Escapement

Gift/Holiday/Specialty – Aron Kuehnemann/Art: Become Confident Fast

Health/Medicine/Nutrition – Gustavo J. Gomez, Ph.D./Hair Loss

Historical Fiction – Ellen Butler/The Brass Compass

History – Frederic H Martin/Betrayed

How – To – Yvonne Jones/How To Self – Publish A Children’s Book

Humor–Mark A. Rayner/The Fatness

Lit Fiction – Kyle Jarrard/The Old World Dies

Memoir – Toni Nunemaker/Hey Nana!

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller – Finn Bell/Dead Lemons

New Adult – J.P. Maximus/The Speechwriter

Paranormal – RD Meyer/Salvation Day

Poetry – Margot Nothing/Out of Something Ugly

Popular Fiction – Bevan Frank/The Mind of God

Psychology/Mental Health – Frank South/A Chicken in the Wind and How He Grew

Religion – Julie Hall/Huntress

Romance – L.G. O’Connor/Surrender My Heart

Science Fiction – Brad Rau/Caveman at the End of the World

Self – Help – Raimond Volpe/Success1010 For Living

Short Stories – Scott Semegran/Boys

Women’s Fiction – Norman Whaler/Tiny Tim and The Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge

Women’s Issues – Anne Michaud/Why They Stay

Writing/Publishing – W. Nikola – Lisa/Dog Eared

YA –Melanie Ansley/Theo and the Forbidden Language

The top six books in the competition are greenlighted for submission to literary agency Dystal, Goderich & Bourret. The panel of judges for this year’s competition included book designer Joel Friedlander, editor Rebecca Heyman of REEDSY, photographer Phil Leo, publicist Sandra Smith, President, Smith Publicity, reviewers Karen Schechner and Myra Forsberg of Kirkus Reviews.

Next year’s IRDA awards are now open for submission. More information is available at

is a Senior Editor for Good e-Reader. She is also the CEO and founder of a hybrid publishing and consulting company.



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