What Is It?

What do you get when you cross a bunch of great self-published books with extraordinary publishing industry professionals?

IndieReader’s fourth annual “Discovery Awards” (IRDAs)–where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

With the rush by traditional publishers to sign them and their noteworthy bestselling status, there’s no longer much doubt that indie authors can be both commercially and creatively successful. All that was left to do was create a credible vehicle by which to find them. That’s where the IRDAs come in.

What makes the IRDAs so unique is their extraordinary panel of judges, including top agents, traditional publishers, PR people, bloggers, and book reviewers–virtually a who’s who of some of the most important people in publishing today (click here for past and current lists).

Why have all these important people agreed to read a pile of indie books?  For the simple reason that they’re interested in finding talented writers who might otherwise be overlooked.

If your book gets a 4-5 star rating—whether you win the IRDAs or not—it will be considered “IndieReader Approved” and we’ll give you a sticker so that booksellers and book buyers can identify it as such.

NEW FOR 2016: If your book gets a 3+ rating, you will receive a bonus PR-worthy blurb which can be used for promotional purposes.

The IRDAs are open to all self-published books with a valid ISBN.  Judging will be based on the quality of writing and the originality of the story with the goal of finding talented writers and great books.  Entries are being accepted now for the 2016 IRDAs through March 2, 2016. The 2016 winners were announced by bestselling indie author Melissa Foster on Friday, May 29th at the 2015 Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City.

So feel free to take a look around, check out our impressive list of judges and–if you have an indie book you feel is worthy of discovering–sign up and send it along.  Because here at IR, we know that the difference between a successful book and a non-successful book (self or traditionally pubbed) is the exposure it gets to people who can help make it a success.


  • The “IndieReader Discovery Awards” are open to indie authors who have self-published books
  • Books must have a valid ISBN or ASIN number
  • There are no restrictions on pub dates
  • Both eBooks and paper books can be submitted

* Sorry…if your book was originally traditionally published it is not eligible for entry



  • Entries for IRDAs are being accepted from March 2nd, 2015 through March 2nd, 2016.
  • Payment must be received by March 2nd, 2016.  You have a week following to get us your paper book (ebooks can be sent along with payment).
  • Books that are postmarked after the deadline will not be eligible for 2016, but authors will have the choice of entering it in the following year’s IRDAs.
  • Should the author choose not to enter for the following year, their submissions will not be returned
     and no refunds or credit will be issued for the cost of entering.
  • Winners will be announced at the end of May, 2016. Date TDB.


  • Whether you’re entering a print or an ebook book, complete and submit the entry form here.
  • The IRDA entry fee is $150 per title which includes the first category.  There is a $50 fee for each additional category entered.
  • There will be a 10% discount should you sign up for the IRDA and a review at the same time.
  • The IRDAs have two main categories (fiction and non-fiction) and additional sub categories (listed below).
  • You can enter your book in more than one category, but an additional $50 fee is charged for each category entered.
  • Only one entry form is required per category, however, if more than one title is submitted for the IRDAs you must complete a different entry form for each.
  • The preferred method of payment is either via credit card (Stripe) or PayPal, but personal checks and money orders are also accepted. Please note that if you pay by credit card the charge on your credit card statement will either show up as IndieReader or IndieBooksellers.
  • Please submit two copies–total— of each title, no matter how many categories are entered. Depending how far along a title gets in the process, IndieReader may request additional copies.
  • Books will not be returned.

Submitting a Paper book

  • Include a copy of the receipt when sending your books.
  • Two copies of each title must be submitted UNLESS you also have books available in an ebook format.  In that case, ebooks are preferred.
  • Books will not be returned.

Paper books should be sent to:

PO Box 43121
Montclair, NJ 07043

Submitting an eBook

  • Ebooks should be submitted in a format readable by a Kindle (.prc/.azw/.mobi) or an iPad/Sony/Nook/ Kobo (epub).
  • If you are gifting the book via Amazon or B&N, please be sure that we are able to access 2 copies.

Ebooks should be emailed to:




1. Chick-Lit

2. Erotica

3. Fantasy/Science Fiction

4. Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Fiction

5. Graphic Novel

6. Literary Fiction

7. Historical Fiction

8. Horror

9. Humor






15.Popular Fiction


17.Science Fiction

18.Short Stories


20.Young Adult


1. Aging/Death & Dying

2. Anthology

3. Biography

4. Business

5. Cooking/Baking

6. Crafts/Hobby/

7. Entertaining

8. Environment

9. Finance/Investment/Economics

10. Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Fiction

11. Gift/Holiday/Specialty



14.Home & Garden





19.Parenting (Child Care/Family)


21.Pop Culture

22.Psychology/Mental Health






28.True Crime

29.Women’s Issues


31.Young Adult


IRDA Winners by Category