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Who is the Independent Book Publishers Association?
Founded in 1983 to support independent publishers nationwide, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) is the largest independent publishing association in the U.S. IBPA sees a world where its approximately 3,500 members and all independent publishers have the access, knowledge, and tools needed to engage in all aspects of an inclusive publishing industry.

What is the IBPA Book Award, formerly the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award?
The IBPA Book Award honors independent publishers who have exceeded industry standards to produce editorial and design excellence in a book. Celebrating excellence since 1985, these awards showcase the work of independent publishers and their professional teams. The awards are considered one of the highest national honors for independent book publishers.

When will the name change be effective?
The 36th annual award recipients announced in April 2024 will mark the final year of the awards under the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award name. The 37th awards will launch as the IBPA Book Award. The IBPA Book Award will add new award categories: plus, a special Jan Nathan Lifetime Achievement award.

How many IBPA awards are there?
The Benjamin Franklin Award had more than 50 categories, with one gold and two silver winners in each category. The 37th award program, known as the IBPA Book Award, will expand these award categories allowing an opportunity for additional book publishers to be honored with an award.

Why is IBPA introducing these new awards?
The new award categories are part of IBPA’s efforts to modernize its award program, improve its brand, and expand the number of opportunities for independent book publishers.

What does this mean for IBPA?
We are so excited about announcing the new award program name change, and the expanded award categories. We believe that this change reflects our organization’s work in ensuring that everyone has a fair chance at obtaining an award and continues to position us as an equity leader in the book publishing industry.

I have an IBPA Benjamin Franklin award. What does this change mean for me?
If you have received an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award from our first award program in 1985 until our 36th program in 2024, congratulations again! You can choose to refer to the award as the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award or the IBPA Book Award. The choice is up to you.

Do I have to change all my marketing and collateral if I won an IBPA Benjamin Franklin award?
You can continue calling it the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award. You can continue using the Gold and Silver seals on your book covers if you wish.

Can I now call my IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award the IBPA Book Award?
Yes, this choice is up to you. You may add “(formerly the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award)” if you think it’s appropriate for clarity i.e. the IBPA Book Award (formerly the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award).

Where can I get more information on the criteria for the new award categories?
The criteria will be announced when the 37th IBPA Book Award call for entries opens in July 2024. The addition of this suite of categories to the IBPA Book Awards is expressly to amplify authentic voices and underrepresented communities. Therefore, submissions will be judged on the quality of the publication and also on the book’s contribution to the community. Furthermore, it is required that one or more of the members of the book development team (editor, primary illustrator/photographer for highly illustrated books, publisher, author) be a member of the community.

What are the criteria for the Jan Nathan award? How do I nominate someone?
Honoring IBPA’s founder, we are pleased to announce the establishment of a new award category, the Jan Nathan Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to independent publishing by individuals and companies. More information will be available when the next award cycle opens for submissions in July 2024.

Why change the name of the award program?
IBPA's book award program has a long history of recognizing outstanding books published by independent publishers. The new name, IBPA Book Award, more closely associates the award with IBPA’s strong brand and core values. The tagline "celebrating publisher excellence since 1985” makes it clear that the award is for publishers creating excellent books and audiobooks.

Why not continue to use IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program?
The award was originally named for one of our country’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin’s book publishing endeavors created a foundation for independent publishing. But like many great Americans at the time, Franklin had a mixed history. He owned slaves, yet he was the first president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. Given the new award categories which illustrate IBPA’s commitment to an inclusive publishing industry, this was the right time to change the name of the award program.

What is your definition of a Neurodivergent individual?
The term Neurodivergent can be used to describe an individual whose brain development, behavior, and thought pattern operates differently than those who are defined as “neurotypical.” This includes people with autism, ADHD, depression, Tourette's, dyslexia, synesthesia, anxiety, and more.

What is your definition of Disabled community?
The Disabled Community is comprised of individuals who have a limitation on their physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina. This includes individuals who have impairments that limit other facets of daily living, such as respiratory disorders, blindness, deafness, epilepsy and sleep disorders.

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact us and we are happy to help. Email

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