The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program, which include over fifty categories recognizing excellence in book editorial and design, are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers.

The awards are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), with help from over 170 book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors.

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards are regarded as one of the highest national honors in independent publishing. The awards are unique in that the verbatim judging forms are returned to all participating publishers, providing entrants with direct feedback on each submission.

Each year, a gala award ceremony is held in conjunction with the IBPA Publishing University conference where one Gold and two or three Silver award winners are announced in each category. During the ceremony, all Gold winners receive an engraved trophy marking their achievement. Following the ceremony, winners are announced to major trade journals, select libraries, all IBPA social media channels (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the IBPA news feed), and more.

In addition, all winners (Gold and Silver) receive:

Recognition prior to the awards ceremony on the IBPA website.

  • Archived listing after the awards ceremony on the IBPA website.

  • Two tickets to the awards ceremony recognizing all of the award winners.

  • 15% off all IBPA marketing programs during the book(s) winning year. 

  • A press release template to use when announcing the winning book(s).

  • A personalized award certificate.

  • Special award stickers to affix to the winning books.

Finally, all entrants into the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program receive 15% off IBPA Publishing University conference tickets.


Publishers of print and audiobooks with a copyright date of 2023 may enter the current competition. Qualifying publishers include:

independent publishers

  • hybrid publishers

  • self-published authors

  • university presses

  • association presses


For books published in 2023:

There are two periods of entry:

(1) July 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023.

(2) October 1, 2023 to December 15, 2023.

Usually, books published between January 2023 and September 2023 are entered in the first entry period and books published between October 2023 and December 2023 are entered in the second entry period. As long as the books have a copyright date of 2023, however, they can be entered any time prior to the final December 15, 2023 deadline. All entries must be postmarked no later than December 15, 2023. This final deadline cannot be extended.

Books with a copyright date other than 2023 will not be considered without proof that the book first became available for sale in 2023.

Fee for current members of IBPA:

$95 for the initial entry; $95 for additional entries

Fee for non-members of IBPA:

$229 for the initial entry; $95 for additional entries

$95 per title/per category, plus $134 to cover annual IBPA membership fee (an annual membership fee savings of from $21)

See entry details