“Anointed To Sing The Gospel: The Levitical Legacy of Thomas A. Dorsey” by Chicago resident Kathryn Kemp has been named by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group as one of the best indie books of 2016.
Kathryn’s book is a finalist of the African-American category in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the world’s largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.
The awards are judged by leaders of the indie book publishing industry, including many coming from long-standing careers with major publishing houses, to identify books that deserve to reach a wide audience.
“Our awards program is known as the ‘Sundance’ of the book publishing world,” says Catherine Goulet, Chair of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards program.
In an article at CNN.com titled “If it’s cool, creative, and different, it’s indie,” journalist Catherine Andrews wrote: “The term ‘indie’ traditionally refers to independent art – music, film, literature or anything that fits under the broad banner of culture – created outside of the mainstream and without corporate financing.”
Independent book publishing companies are independent of the major conglomerates that dominate the book publishing industry. The indies include small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.
According to Goulet, “Like other independent artists, many indie book publishers face challenges that the industry giants don’t experience. The indies have to work much harder to get their best books into readers’ hands.”
“Authors and publishers who compete in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards are serious about promoting their books,” adds Goulet. “They aim to stand out from the crowd of millions of books in print.”
According to Bowker’s Books in Print database, more than 2.3 million books were published or distributed in the United States alone in 2012, the most recent year for which complete figures are available. A majority of these (more than 2 million books) were “non-traditionally” published, including print on demand and self-published titles. The number of self-published titles produced annually in the U.S. has increased dramatically, growing 437% from 2008 to 2013.
To help Indie authors and publishers reach a wider audience, the top 70 books in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards will be reviewed by New York literary agent Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency or one of Ms. Allen’s co-agents for possible representation in areas such as distribution, foreign rights, film rights, and other rights.
The awards were presented on May 11 in a ceremony at Chicago’s Newberry Library.
A complete list of 2016 winners and finalists is available at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards website at www.indiebookawards.com.