Publishers Weekly and BookBrunch, the daily online news service for the U.K., have launched the Selfies book awards for self-published authors in the United States. The contest will be administered by PW's self-publishing arm, BookLife, and its winner will a receive $1,000 cash purse and an advertising package valued at $5,000 in Publishers Weekly’s print magazine and online.

"BookBrunch are delighted to be working with Publishers Weekly and BookLife to bring the Selfies awards to the U.S. and to help discover and reward the very best fiction writing by indie authors in 2019," Jo Henry, managing director of BookBrunch, said in a statement.

The mission of the awards initiative, which BookBrunch introduced in the U.K. in 2018, is to "discover new talent and reward the very best self-published titles each year." The awards’ first year will spotlight adult fiction published during 2019. Categories may be expanded in future years to include nonfiction and children’s books.

A juried shortlist will be announced for the U.S. Selfies on May 29, 2020, and one winner announced in June 2020. The first U.S. Selfies award will be presented at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on June 27, 2020. The U.S. awards will be cosponsored by IngramSpark and Combined Book Exhibit.

"The Selfies are bound to be a big hit among indie authors in the United States, as well as a useful guide for readers, librarians and booksellers in discerning new authors whose works deserve greater recognition," Carl Pritzkat, v-p and general manager of Publishers Weekly and president of BookLife, said in a statement.

Eligible titles in the adult fiction category must have been published in the United States during the calendar year 2019 by authors who live in the U.S. (Citizenship is not required.) Entries cost $50 each and will only be accepted from authors who are predominantly or solely self-published—i.e., authors who act as their own publishers and/or creative directors. The deadline for submission is February 29, 2020.

The judges will be looking 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
  • Effective and creative marketing and publicity strategies with the potential for significant sales

"When I first read about the launch of the Selfies in the U.K. and saw the enthusiastic outpouring of entries and support, I knew this would be a success here in the U.S," Cevin Bryerman, executive v-p and publisher of Publishers Weekly, said in a statement. "The Selfies support self-published authors and help their books gain a foothold in the general book market."