Judging & Scoring for 2019 IDBA Best Book Awards

Determining a book's merit is a challenging task in any writing contest, and deciding which Indie author will win our best book awards and prizes is a job we take very seriously. 

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Our judges are selected from an elite group of experienced literary professionals, book reviewers, professional editors, and passionate readers, all of whom know and love books, inside and out.


Each submission will receive 1 - 4 rounds of scoring

  1. Overall presentation: cover, formatting, editing, summary (blurb)
  2. The book's 'hook' - level of initial reader interest elicited. How original, unique, or relevant is the plot or topic is.
  3. The strength of writing style: narration, prose, dialogue, author 'voice'
  4. Clarity of conveying story, theme, or concept 
  5. Quality of pacing, descriptions, and development of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood and/or information.
  6. Consistency and depth of reader engagement - emotional, intellectual, spiritual
  7. How the the book compares to similar in its genre/category: top 25%, middle 50%, or lower 25% 
  8. Any 'fatal flaws' that would eliminate the book's validity from serious competition (poor research or incorrect facts; racism or hate speech of any kind; gaping plot holes or unfinished stories; terrible formatting or editing, etc...)
  9. A desire to read more from the author and would recommend the book to others
  10. Overall enjoyment and entertainment value of time spent reading the book

best book awards | writing contest | self-publishers

Scoring Process

Each book is given a score between 1 - 15 on these and other factors. The 11- 15 scores are reserved for exceptional achievement based on a judge's own discretion.

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Scores for the best book awards are averaged in each genre and category, and the self-publishers with the highest ones go on to more rounds of judging. Overall between 2-5 judges will read and score each book in the writing contest. The higher the book ranks, the more eyes it will have on it.

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All entries are read 'blind' with no identifying information about the author or his/her background

Judging and Scoring