1]   Who is eligible to participate in the 2019 IDBAs?

  • Any indie author who has self-published a book online or in print from 2014-2019. 
  •  Small press authors are eligible so long as the author holds all the rights and is able to freely provide a digital copy of the book for the judges. 

2019 Indie Diamond Book Awards are open to the general public over the age of 18. Certain members of IDBA and the judging panel may have literary club affiliations,  however, there are no such requirements for the contestants.

 *Please see the terms & conditions for all legal requirements

2)  Can I enter even if I don't live in the USA?

  • Yes. We have authors from the UK, Canada, Australia, Philippines,  Spain, Mexico and more...

IDBA is based in the United States, but our writing contest is open to any and all international self-published authors who meet the official IDBA eligibility conditions, rules, & terms required for all contestants.

  • It is the sole responsibility of those who live outside the United States and its jurisdictions to abide by the laws of their own country regarding international contests.  

If you have  questions regarding international eligibility, please contact the submissions coordinator 

3] Why should I enter  the IDBA best book contest?

Over $5000 in cash, prizes, literary honors, and other publishing perks available exclusively for IDBA contestants and winners. 

  • All participants in the 2019 IDBA  contest automatically receive complimentary digital marketing displays for their book and/or website.
  • Along with free publishing & marketing benefits for all entrants, the finalists and winners are recognized as 'award-winning' authors, helping to elevate their professional status to reflect the outstanding achievement that readers look for.


Questions & Answers

How does participating in a self-published book awards contest help me as an indie author?

Higher status-

Being a published author, whether indie, self-published or ‘traditional’, is an incredible life accomplishment, and something worthy of respect and admiration on its own—no additional ‘book awards’ necessary. However, the marketplace is more competitive than ever, and being recognized as an ‘award-winning author’ can help to distinguish your book from the very crowded field of wannabees.

      Most things being equal, people looking for books to buy or read tend to favor a 'writing contest award winner' over one that isn't.

I want to enter my book, just not right now. Can I wait until the deadline?

You can put it off - but you shouldn’t!

(...and don’t have to)

  The complexities of judging a writing contest, and the massive amount of time and wo/manpower involved requires us to put a cap on the number of book awards entries we can accept in the main categories and each of their genres

     Because of the limited spots available, when they are filled we will mark the genre or category as closed, even if it is prior to the posted contest dates & deadlines.

     Several of the more popular self-published genres could fill up at any time, so if you are considering entering, it's a good idea to register sooner rather than later.

But what if my book is not totally perfect (or even published) yet?

You can still enter now -

Once you submit the completed registration form and pay the appropriate entry fee, IDBA will consider your spot ‘reserved’ for your book and your chosen category and genre(s).

  • So long as the digital file is submitted prior to the stated book awards deadlines, it is qualified for admission to the writing contest and treated as a standard entry.

This is the first book I've ever written... Should I even bother entering?


Not only should you definitely try, but we also have a special writing contest prize reserved for the best “Diamond Debut”. 

  • These book awards  are only for authors who self-published their FIRST book in 2019. 

This doesn't cost anything extra ... simply indicate your debut status on the registration form when prompted, and see what happens!

I hate to admit this, but big contests intimidate me

You are not alone-

Many  self-published uthors feel the same way.  That is why IDBA is so great because it has all the nice advantages of a ‘small writing contest’ (a more intimate feel, divided into different categories and with separate scoring), but it also has all the perks and benefits of being part of a large book awards contest. 

  • Titles aren’t ‘lost in the contest slush-pile’ or unfairly competing against completely different types & styles of books.

I don’t have/like PayPal. Can I pay the entry fee another way?


The payment links on the  Registration Fees page do not require you to have a PayPal account in order to submit your writing contest entry fee.  They can process any major credit/debit card securely and free of charge for you. PayPal is an option for those who prefer it.

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Quick Facts:

  • Self-published and pre-published fiction & nonfiction accepted.
  • Must be able to submit a clean Word.doc(x), PDF, EPUB, or Mobi file of the book and the cover
  • No anthologies or collections of other authors’ works.
  • All prizes, book awards, & services won from the IDBA writing contest are included with no additional fees of any kind. 

More Q & A


Can I enter more than 1 book?


You may enter as many self-published books as you like to the indie book awards contest . But each one must be registered and have the entry fees paid separately. 

Can I enter my book in more than 1 category?

The IDBA / self-published book awards is actually 1 large writing contest contest divided into 4 smaller contests, or “Main Categories”. The main category is where your book will compete against the others for the awards. 

A book may be entered into a second category...however, it must be registered and paid for as a separate entry. 

What if my book is part of a series?

Common sense should prevail here. If the book is one that stands well on its own, where someone totally unfamiliar with any of the previous storyline or characters can jump in cold and understand everything, then it’s probably fine. If it’s the third book in a cohesive series, the book awards judges might have a harder time accurately determining the strengths and weakness in certain areas, and this would be a disadvantage in a writing contest. If you can provide a comprehensive 2-3 page synopsis of the prior self-published books, the judges can review them as part of the entry.

Who are the judges and what are their qualifications?

Each book entered into the IDBA writing contest is read and scored (judged) by a select panel of experienced indie & self-publishing professionals— from best-selling indie authors, book editors, and professional book reviewers… even a former ‘traditional’ literary agent who now works strictly with indie and self-published authors

  • Additionally, each title up for book awards will be judged and scored by real readers… passionate, avid book fans who know their genres and subjects inside & out. The scores of these readers will have equal weight to those of the judges. 

Entries are scored blind, without the author's name or identifying information made available to the judges.

Some of these prizes are ‘services’… do they cost extra or will I be pressured to spend more?

No and no. 

These are donated services and are freely provided to the book awards' winners with no hidden fees, hard-sells, or up-charges of any kind. Because these services are of great value for Indie and self-published authors, some may choose to engage their services for other things (such as designing their next book cover or scheduling a promotion for a new book coming out.). Anything an author wants that is above and beyond prizes awarded as part of the 2019 IDBA writing contest is completely optional and should be arranged directly with the 3rd party provider.

Can I see my scores?


 Between December 22- December 31, you may email paulina@idbawards to request a complimentary copy of your writing contest scores and any comments about your self-published book by the book awards judges.  

I've uploaded my book registration form and paid the entry fee... now what?

After you submit the registration form through the website, you should see a confirmation notice pop up (you might have to return to the top of your page).

  • An IDBA representative will contact you via email within 24-48 hours to verify your information and ask you to submit a digital copy of your self-published book at that time (if available). 

Shortly thereafter, you will be granted access to the 2019 book awards' exclusive access' pages  (under construction at the moment) that has updated writing contest information and alerts, along with the selection of IDBA badges and other useful products and links for your book marketing. 

  • Winners will be announced on the site and via email/preferred contact on or before December 21st, 2019
  • Contest scores, prizes, and services awarded for winners are available starting January 6, 2020

The holidays are a crazy busy time, I might be out of town or unavailable when the winners are announced. What if I forget?

Don’t worry, we’ll remind you! And the Indie Diamond Book Awards private access page is always available to  keep you in the loop. All of our self-published writing contest winners have plenty of time to accept their prizes and take advantage of services awarded

  • Submit it and forget it! The end of the year will be here before we know it. And just think what a nice holiday bonus present it would be to find out you are an award winner!

Still have a question?

If you can't find your answer here, please submit your query directly to us

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