Evaluations for Awesome Indies Book Awards are based on editorial assessments by what we call ‘publishing industry professionals’. These are people who know more about the craft of writing than your average reader. They might have degrees in English Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism or Linguistics or other qualifications in writing or editing.
Specifically, our assessors must:
- understand our mission as outlined on the page: Our Mission
- be able to evaluate books against our criteria in an objective fashion;
- be well read in mainstream books so that they know what would be considered an acceptable standard by a mainstream publisher;
- be aware of stylistic differences that impact on the weight given to various aspects of the criteria.
For us to be sure that those recommending books do have this kind of knowledge and understanding, we ask that our recommendations come from people who:
- have a degree or certificate in Creative Writing, English Literature, linguistics, editing or Journalism; or
- are an established professional editor or an editor or publisher who is, or has been, employed in that capacity by a mainstream publishing house; or
- have demonstrable knowledge of writing, a clear understanding of our assessment criteria and, preferably, have extensive reviewing experience.
It’s not easy to find assessors with these qualifications, and this makes it frustrating for authors who want their book evaluated for the list. Gaining approval from Awesome Indies Book Awards is an important confirmation of quality for authors as well as readers,
In order to continue this exemplary service, if you have the prerequisite qualification or experience, Awesome Indies Book Awards needs your help.
The assessor will not be required to read more than necessary to reach a fair conclusion as to the book’s quality. For example, you might be allocated a book that is littered with errors in the opening chapters! However, you should only recommend a book for approval if you have read and assessed the complete book including the front and back page material. At present, the applications for assessment are posted as a comment in our dedicated Facebook group. However, as we gather more assessors, applications will be sent to all assessors on the list, thus it follows that some submissions will receive several independent assessments whereas some submissions might receive few or no assessments. This would be a fair indication of the book’s commercial appeal. As some of our assessors also evaluate books for other associations and review sites, it might also mean that you have already approved the submission on behalf of another organisation. YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, NAME, OR OTHER DETAILS WILL NEVER BE DISCLOSED TO THE WRITER WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT.
Assessors are not expected to note every error or proofread the book to bring the book up to the required standard, but assessors should note the errors if they are few and minor. The writer will be asked to correct these errors before the book is approved.
Although Awesome Indies Book Awards does not charge a submission fee or pay for assessments, if there are substantial errors, assessors may contact the writer directly to negotiate a professional fee for correcting errors. The negotiation must stress that the arrangement is independent of Awesome Indies Book Awards and does not guarantee approval.
Awesome Indies Book Awards accepts only free submissions, thus no payments are made to assessors. However, suitably qualified editing professionals will have the opportunity to promote their services on the Awesome Indies Book Awards’ website.
Also note that there is a strict code of honesty among our assessor team, and this code is applied to all books no matter who is the author or what their qualifications are. That will apply even when, or especially when, you are one of our assessors! if your book falls below our standards, it will not be approved!
We are aware that such assessments or criticisms can often attract rude, offensive, or derisory criticism from disgruntled writers. It is important to the reputation of Awesome Indies Books Awards that we maintain the highest standards of integrity. Thus all complaints, observations, or criticisms are investigated. However, almost all such correspondence will be dealt with by the administrator, so the assessor will only be contacted if necessary to clarify a point in issue. Unless the assessor makes direct contact with the writer, all sssessments are posted anonymously, so the assessor is unlikely to receive direct correspondence from the writer.
Please read the criteria for evaluation. (More details on the criteria can be found here.)
- Awesome Indies Book Awards’ assessors are primarily looking for books that are well written and engaging, and that have been edited to a professional standard.
- In Brief:
- The book has been edited and proofread to a professional standard and is free from errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
- The book is correctly formatted for fiction;
- The cover looks professional;
- The plot is well structured, well paced, conceptually sound, and engaging;
- The characters are well developed and their dialogue and interactions with others are believable;
- The book is not overwritten or unnecessarily wordy; for instance; no obvious dumps of information, unnecessary repetition, or irrelevant scenes;
- Changes in point of view are clear;
- The prose is well written and engaging. Where appropriate for the genre, voice and intention, the story is shown rather than told and the writing active rather than passive.
Assessors are NOT required to review the book, but the administration would appreciate a few lines in the form of a written report to explain the reasons behind the assessor’s recommendations. However, it appears that Google and other search engines return a 1-star rating against any title on the Awesome Indies Book Awards Website, so for this reason, our assessors are also required to allocate a star value to the book. A 4-star rating indicates that the book meets the required standard of editing and proofreading, 4.5 stars indicate a good story, 5 stars if the book is excellent in every respect. Every book receiving 5 stars in the preliminary assessments is automatically listed for a third assessment, which is to determine its suitability for the AIBA Seal of Excellence.
It should be emphasized that Awesome Indies Book Awards assesses the suitability of submissions for approval or the Seal of Excellence. The assessment is NOT a review, but writers may wish to post the whole or extracts of the assessment as an Editorial Review.