Indie Reader Discovery Award

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Announcing the 2020 Discovery Awards Winners!

The 2020 winners are here, after a hard fought “battle of the books!”

The judges on the IRDA panel included top people in all areas of the publishing industry, in concert with IndieReader’s trusty reviewers.

Judging was based on the quality of writing and the originality of the story. There was a first, second and third place winner in each of the fiction and non-fiction categories, in addition to winners in various sub-categories.

Without further ado, IndieReaders, meet this year’s winners and see their acceptance speeches here!

Fiction Winners

Hidden Gems: Quest for the Great Diamond

H. K. Boughazian

HIDDEN GEMS: Quest for the Great Diamond  is an original and intriguing adventure that combines a few scientific facts with lessons on life. Engaging and colorfully written characters and short, easy-to-digest chapters allow children to use their imaginations–and comes with a guide to help readers identify gemstones.

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Street of Storytellers

Doug Wilhelm

STREET OF STORYTELLERS follows an American high school boy’s impressions and experiences while visiting a pre-al Qaeda Afghanistan. Unwittingly caught up in ethnic tension due to his Father’s historic work, the gripping fictional tale takes a sinister twist. This teaching tool masterfully disguised as fiction explains so many authentic aspects of Afghani life and culture while also showing the ways extremism was working within it.  

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Geoffrey M Cooper

Wonderfully written with descriptive, fully developed characters and believable situational elements, NONDISCLOSURE takes readers on an investigative journey. A professor at a highly ranked medical research facility is accused of sexually assaulting a student. The author’s background as a scientist and former academic administrator at Harvard Medical School and Boston University brings real-life expertise to print. 

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Nonfiction Winners

Remembering Shanghai

Isabel Sun Chao and Claire Chao

Engrossing and educational, REMEMBERING SHANGHAI is the story of a family’s third daughter growing up during the revolution of the ’40s and ’50s. Amid a family of entrepreneurs, mobsters, thieves, and liars, she unknowingly escapes the worst of it and shares her family’s story through three generations.

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Daisy Has Autism

Aaron J. Wright

Interwoven with the story about getting a new pet is the tale of a family struggling to get the support they need for their autistic daughter. DAISY HAS AUTISM is a heart-breaking and beautifully written book, detailing the challenges placed upon autistic people and their families by an inflexible and often thoughtlessly cruel educational system. 

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The EQ Intervention

Adam L. Saenz, PhD

Anyone who works in education or mental health knows that awareness of self and others is a critical component of success in all areas of life. But why do some people seem to naturally possess these “EQ” skills while others don’t? THE EQ INTERVENTION gives us the answers to these important questions in an easy-to-read guide for educators and conscious people everywhere who want to add these concepts to their parenting toolbox.

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Category Winners


Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl

Category: Best First Book (Fiction)

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The Nature of Shadows: An African Memoir

Augustine Sheriff, L.A. Mitchell

Category: Best First Book (Non-Fiction)

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Swimming Sideways

CL Walters

Category: Best Book Cover (Fiction)

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Michael K Dane

Category: Best Book Cover (Non-Fiction)

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Henry Hits the Ball

Thom Ring

Category: Action/Adventure

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But I Didn’t Say Goodbye

Barbara Rubel

Category: Aging/Death & Dying

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Love Loss Light

Karen Trench

Category: Aging/Death & Dying

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This Moment: Bold Voices from WriteGirl

Keren Taylor

Category: Anthology

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Up-Close & Personal In-Country

Robert C Bogison

Category: Biography

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The Virtual Divide

Ronald B Beach

Category: Business

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What We Do For Love

Anne Pfeffer

Category: Chick Lit

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Spooky and the Gargoyle

Teresa Traver

Category: Children’s (Board books and Pre-reading)

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The Warrior Princess

D.L. Murphy

Category: Children’s (Early to intermediate readers)

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Anger in the Classroom

Glenn Nystrup

Category: Education

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Your Body’s Environmental Chemical Burden

Cindy Klement

Category: Environment

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Virginia Ford

Category: Erotica

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Jack of Thorns

AK Faulkner

Category: Fantasy

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Lila and Lucas

Madison Lux

Category: LGBTQ +(Fiction)

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Never Turn Your Back on the Tide

Kergan Edwards-Stout

Category: LGBTQ+ (Non-Fiction)

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End Dieting Hell

Michelle Melendez

Category: Health/Medicine/Nutrition

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The Advisor: Intrigue in Tuscany

Kenneth D Tentarelli

Category: Historical Fiction

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Two Scandals Are Better Than One

Nancy Yeager

Category: Historical Romance

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How Languages Saved Me

Tadeusz Haska + Stefanie Naumann

Category: History

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The Pumpkin Room

Mark Milbrath

Category: Horror

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The Transition Mission

Herb Thompson

Category: How-To

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Jesus and Magdalene

Joao Cerqueira

Category: Humor

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Graffiti Messages from God

Anne Uglum

Category: Inspirational/Spiritual

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Cassandra Malcolm

Category: Literary Fiction

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Fine, Thanks: Stories from the Cancerland Jungle

Mary Dunnewold

Category: Memoir

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Shadow of Doubt

SL Beaumont

Category: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

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My Name Is Not Alexa Pearce

Kerri McLoone

Category: New Adult

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A Dream to Die For

Susan Z Ritz

Category: Paranormal

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Over Our Hearts

Shana Lynn Schmidt

Category: Parenting (Child Care/Family)

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Carlos Andrés Gómez

Category: Poetry

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Becoming American: A Political Memoir

Cary D. Lowe

Category: Politics/Current Events

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Tattle Tales: Tattoo Stories and Portraits

Brandy Isadora

Category: Pop Culture

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The Rome of Fall

Chad Alan Gibbs

Category: Popular Fiction

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Section Roads

Mike Murphey

Category: Popular Fiction

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Frida and Me

Eli N. Weintraub

Category: Psychology/Mental Health

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Deborah Winograd, Beth Cohen

Category: Psychology/Mental Health

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Cross of a Different Kind

Anthony Maranise

Category: Religion

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Where Thoughts and Stories End

Solomon Katz

Category: Religion

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Taming Beckett

G.K. Brady

Category: Romance

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The Book of Ruin

W.G. Hladky

Category: Science Fiction

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Bold New You

Justin Patton

Category: Self-Help

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Romance… Push The On Button

Paul Gaughan

Category: Sexuality/Relationships

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A Little Chatter

Terry Connell

Category: Short Stories

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Thinner Leaner Stronger

Michael Matthews

Category: Sports/Fitness/Recreation

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Janice Hisle

Category: True Crime

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All the Silent Spaces

Christine Ristaino

Category: Women’s Issues

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The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy

Edwin Wong

Category: Writing/Publishing

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Britfield and the Lost Crown

C. R. Stewart

Category: Young Adult

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The Litter

Jonathan Maas

Category: Young Adult

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