Judging Process



Each book entered into the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program is judged by three independent judges.


For audiobooks, each judge has either a performance or an editorial focus. For most print books, each judge has either a design focus or an editorial focus. Some print books, however, like those in the Interior Design category, are assigned only design judges and some print books, like those in the Best New Voice category, are assigned only editorial judges. Below you will find complete judging forms for all categories.

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program is unique in that the verbatim judging forms are returned to all participating publishers, providing entrants with direct feedback on each submission.

Below you'll find links to the 34th annual judging forms (for books with a copyright date of 2021). Judging forms for books with a copyright date of 2022 will be posted prior to September 1, 2022.

Judges determine one Gold and at least two Silver winners in each category. Prestige as a publisher is one of the many benefits of being named a winner of this distinguished award. In addition, all winners 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.

  • Engraved trophy marking their achievement (Gold winners only).

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

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

  • A personalized award certificate.

  • Special award stickers to affix to the winning books.

  • Inclusion in announcement to major trade journals, select libraries, all IBPA social media channels (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the IBPA news feed), and more.

Are you an expert in the field of book editorial, book design, or audiobook performance and interested in giving back to your community as a judge in the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program? We’d love to consider your application for the 35th annual program. Apply by Tuesday, August 31, 2022 to be considered. Previous and perspective judges must both apply.