Prizes & Judging

Who Wins What, And Why?

Judging for the IRDAs will be based—first and foremost—on the quality of writing and the originality of the story.  While editing, production quality and cover and interior design will also be considered, the goal of the IRDAs is to find talented writers and great books.


  • There will be a first, second and third prize winner in both the fiction and non-fiction categories.
  • There will be a winner for Best First Book (fiction & non-fiction)
  • There will be a winner for Best Cover Design (fiction & non-fiction)
  • There is the potential for there to be one winner in each of the 50+ sub categories, based on the scores given by the reviewers, raters and judges.
  • Winners for 2019 DAs will be announced at the end of May, 2020.


You Want an Agent?

IndieReader formed an alliance with New York-based Dystel, Goderich and Bourret Literary Management, whose client list includes indie (and formerly indie) authors including Tracey Garvis Graves, Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines and Samantha Young.  They have agreed to review the top six winners of the IRDAs with an eye towards signing them for representation.

You Want Some Buzz?

Our panel of judges include top PR people, bloggers, and book reviewers. They will be reading your book. And if they love it they’ll be sure to spread the word. Our press release, announcing the 2018 IRDA winners, has received close to 91,000 impressions and 1,000 reads.

Additionally, past IRDA winners have received exposure in major media outlets, including The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal, trade publications including Publisher’s Weekly,  Shelf Awareness  and GalleyCat/MediaBistro.

For the Top 2 winners (1 Fiction & 1 Non-Fiction):

  • A one hour, tailored consultation session with a publicist from Smith Publicity (VALUE: $499 per session)
  • A custom author website and one year of hosting and management from Featherlight (VALUE: $1,347 per year)
  • A Reedsy credit towards any service (VALUE: $100 each)

For the Top 6 winners (3 Fiction & 3 Non-Fiction):

The Best 1st Book winners (for Fiction & Non-Fiction) will receive:

  • An All-New Kindle (VALUE: $89.99)
  • Three stickers pronouncing your book an “IndieReader Discovery Awards for Best First Book” winner

The Best Cover Design (for Fiction & Non-Fiction) will receive:

  • An All-New Kindle (VALUE: $89.99)
  • Three stickers pronouncing your book an “IndieReader Discovery Awards for Best Cover Design” winner

The winners from each sub-category (anywhere from an add’l 40-50 winners, in addition to the top 6 winners), will also receive the following:

  • Exposure to a panel of judges who can make a difference in your book’s success
  • An IndieReader “All About the Book” feature
  • Three stickers pronouncing your book an “IndieReader Discovery Awards” winner

Additionally, ALL entrants receive a verdict/blurb which they are free to post on the Amazon, GoodReads, websites.


No, there is no guaranteed publishing deal. But publishers—along with very credible agents, publicists and reviewers—will be reading your work.  In fact, the whole reason the judges are participating is to try and find talented writers who might otherwise be overlooked. They are very busy people. Otherwise why would they bother?

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