All books entered into the current IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program must have a copyright date of 2020. Books with a copyright date of 2019 will not be considered. Books with a copyright date of 2021 will be held over for next year’s program. See "How to Enter" for entry deadlines and more information.


NOTE: Children’s Picture Books are only eligible in categories that have “Children’s” in the name. Children’s categories are 7, 8, 46, 48, 53, and 56.


  1. Animal & Pet

  2. Art & Photography

  3. Autobiography & Memoir

  4. Biography

  5. Body, Mind & Spirit

  6. Business & Career

  7. Children’s Picture Book (0–3 years)

  8. Children’s Picture Book (4–7 years)

  9. Young Reader: Fiction (8–12 years)

  10. Young Reader: Nonfiction (8–12 years)

  11. Teen: Fiction (13–18 years)

  12. Teen: Nonfiction (13–18 years)

  13. Coffee Table Book

  14. Cookbook

  15. Craft, Hobby, Home & Garden

  16. Education

  17. Gift Book

  18. General Fiction

  19. Fiction: Historical

  20. Fiction: Horror

  21. Fiction: Mystery & Thriller

  22. Fiction: Romance

  23. Fiction: Science Fiction & Fantasy

  24. Graphic Novels

  25. Poetry

  26. LGBTQ

  27. Health & Fitness

  28. History

  29. Humor

  30. Inspirational

  31. Multicultural

  32. Nature & Environment

  33. Parenting & Family

  34. Political & Current Events

  35. Professional & Technical

  36. Psychology

  37. Reference

  38. Regional

  39. Religion

  40. Self-Help

  41. Sports & Recreation

  42. Travel


43. Cover Design: Small Format: Fiction  (6.5″ x 9.5″ or smaller)
44. Cover Design: Small Format: Nonfiction  (6.5″ x 9.5″ or smaller)
45. Cover Design: Large Format: (larger than 6.5″ x 9.5″)
46. Cover Design: Children’s/Young Adult
47. Interior Design
48. Interior Design: Children’s/Young Adult
49. Audiobook: Fiction*
50. Audiobook: Nonfiction*
51. Best New Voice: Fiction (first book by a new author)
52. Best New Voice: Nonfiction (first book by a new author)
53. Best New Voice: Children’s/Young Adult (first book by a new author)

*For audiobooks, you must send three (3) Audible gift codes to Terry Nathan. If your audiobook is not available on Audible, please contact Terry Nathan for additional submission options before applying.


The Bill Fisher Awards for Best First Book (initial titles from a new publishers)*

54. The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book: Fiction
55. The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book: Nonfiction
56. The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book: Children’s/Young Adult


Bill Fisher was a visionary in the world of independent publishing and integral in starting IBPA in the early 80s, when it was known as PMA (Publishers Marketing Association). In 1999, IBPA named its “Best First Book” awards in his honor shortly before he passed away. He was proud of the honor, and of being a publisher in the West. He was known for his spontaneity and fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants approach to life.

Bill began authoring and publishing books about hot rodding in the early 1950s. Several of his early titles are still in print today. In the 1960s, he continued publishing how-to books about performance cars through a company called HPBooks.

Bill experienced big success in 1975 when he launched Crockery Cookery, a title that was a #1 New York Times Bestseller list for thirteen weeks. The following year, the 250,000-copy release of Crepe Cookery brought new attention and both titles were #1 and #2 on the New York Times Paperback bestseller list. These bestselling titles went on to sell millions of copies each.

In the 1970s, Bill’s family-owned publishing company branched into photography, gardening, and cooking, producing some of the first trade paperback books in color. HPBooks was sold in 1979 to Knight Ridder Newspapers, resold to Price Stern Sloan, later sold again to Berkeley division of Putnam, and is now part of Penguin Random House.

Bill’s next venture was Fisher Books, launched in 1986 with his son Howard Fisher and featuring books for healthy living in the areas of women's and men's health, along with more books focused on cooking. Perseus Books bought Fisher Books in 2000, and the list now resides with Hachette.

Bill was the author of many automotive titles and publisher of hundreds more. Throughout his career, he insisted on finding new and different ways to approach book publishing, and continually gave back to the community. Bill always supported new and independent publishers and gave generously of his time and expertise in the field. He was a true entrepreneur in the publishing industry and a pioneer in the illustrated trade paperback category.

Quesions? Contact Terry Nathan at or 310-546-1818.

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