This month, my first novel, Reflection of the Gods, was given a bronze IPPY in the category of Canada-East – Best Regional Fiction.

The Independent Book Publisher (IPPY) Awards is the largest competition for independent publishing in the world. This year, the IPPYs received in excess of 5,200 entries, and granted a total of 382 awards in 75 fiction & non-fiction categories, 11 regional categories for both fiction and non-fiction, and 10 e-book categories.

To be eligible, books must be published independently for the North American market. Entries were received from English-speaking countries around the world.

What the IPPYs give to the winners goes beyond a simple award. They give credibility. This is crucial in order to catch the attention of booksellers, librarians, and readers. Unfortunately, credibility is often elusive for the independent publisher. Lacking acquisitions, editorial, and design departments, quality control often rests solely with the author. The current availability of cheap and easy publishing options enables authors to bring their books from first draft to publication in a matter of weeks and, sadly, many do. How to be taken seriously when the marketplace is glutted with books that are poorly designed and edited, and may or may not be well written?

An IPPY award is proof of excellence. It shows that not only is the writing superior, the author/publisher has invested the time into creating a quality product in every way. Just what industry professionals and ordinary readers want to see.