Our Mission

At Awesome Indies Book Awards, we aim to:

  • Identify and honour self-published or independently-published books  that meet, or improve on, the standard of books published by major mainstream publishers and their imprints.
  • Support the authors of Awesome Indies Book Awards approved books through promotion.
  • Raise the standard of independent publishing,
  • Assist authors to achieve quality,
  • Raise the image of self-published or independently-published books among readers.
  • Operate ethically in all aspects of our endeavors.

Awesome Indies Book Awards is a not-for-profit independent book accreditation service that approves self-published or independently-published books that meet the same standards as books published by mainstream publishers—as evaluated by other writers, editors and publishing industry professionals. We aim to showcase books that meet a specific set of standards for fiction writing so readers can browse for self-published or independently-published books knowing they will be buying well-crafted works.

Who does the assessments?

Publishing industry professionals is a term we use for those whose employment in a mainstream publishing house, past or present, as editors or publishers indicate that they know what standard of writing is considered a publishable product for a traditional publishing house. Other people deemed to have this knowledge are those with degrees in writing, editing or literature, or reviewers with a background of writing study whose quality of reviews indicate such a knowledge.

What is assessed?

The criteria are explained in detail on the Assessment Criteria page which includes links to further information on each point. Our assessors are primarily looking for books that are well written and engaging, and that have been edited and proofread to a high standard.

In Brief:

  • 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;
  • The book has been line edited, copy edited, and proofread with the grammar, spelling and punctuation usage consistent throughout.

How is the assessment made?

The Assessor will mark each of the above criteria from 1 to 5, and provide a brief report against each of the above criteria. This means it is not always necessary for the assessor to evaluate the book as a whole should there be significant failings in the early chapters. In such cases, the writer will be invited to revise the work and resubmit it for evaluation.  Please visit the submissions page for details of how to submit your book for assessment.

How many books sold, how many positive reader reviews, and how many years or books a writer has been writing are irrelevant to our evaluation process. The evaluation is made entirely on whether or not the book meets the criteria for approval.

What does the site do for authors?

It gives authors whose books are accepted the confidence that their work is of the same standard as those published by a mainstream publisher
In some instances, it gives those whose work is not accepted guidelines as to how they can improve. In some cases this can be very specific help, especially where a book just misses out. These authors are encouraged to re-edit and then resubmit. Authors who have accepted this challenge, have greatly improved the quality of their product and been added to the Awesome Indies list on re-submission.

We promote approved books.

Authors of approved books can join a community of other authors of quality books for support and joint promotions

Awesome Indies Book Awards is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation. Submission fees and voluntary donations contribute towards the upkeep of the website and payments towards professional services incurred during the assessment.

How we define an Indie writer.

Independent authors do not depend on someone else to decide whether or not they can express their voice in the world. They may self-publish or choose a small independent publisher as the vehicle for publication.

No matter what method of publication they use, they maintain a high degree of control over the product.


Awesome Indies’ Books  does not claim to be anything other than a site listing books that meet a certain criteria. Books not listed on the site are not necessarily inferior, as the author may not have submitted their books to the site for whatever reason. We recognize that though we try to be objective in our evaluations, we are by no means perfect.