We got some great news over the weekend: my novel has won a bronze medal, for best 2008 religious fiction, in the Independent Publisher ("IPPY") Book Awards. Although Independent Publisher magazine has not yet disclosed the number of titles that were competing in that category, there were a total of 3,380 books entered across all 65 national categories --- an average of 50+ per category.
According to the sponsor, the "IPPY" awards are conducted annually to honor the year's best independently published titles. The "IPPY" Awards reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing. Independent spirit and expertise comes from publishers of all sizes and budgets, and books are judged with that in mind. All independent, university, small press, and self-publishers who produce books intended for the North American market are eligible to enter titles copyrighted or released in 2008.
All I can say is: I'm very honored that the novel was judged to be near the top of its category. But what makes me even happier are the messages of appreciation from those who have read the book and found themselves moved or inspired by the story. If this award helps the book find its way into the hands of even one more such person, that's the only thing I really care about.