Awards — ITW Steps Up!

Some of you who’ve read my pros and cons post comparing traditional and e-book (self or indie) publishing know one of the sticking points for me has been book awards. Heretofore, the awards given to mysteries and thrillers have been limited to traditionally published books. Sure, there might be indie awards, but they don’t have the clout or influence that the Edgars, Anthonys, Shamus, and Thriller Awards do.

Stop the presses.

The International Thriller Writers organization has changed their eligibility criteria. They have just announced a new “Best E-book Thriller” award starting in 2013. Which means from now on, authors can submit self-published e-books! Wow!

Yes, there is a caveat – the author must be an active member of ITW, which means they must have released a traditionally published book or two or ten. But this is definitely a step forward. From one of the most forward-thinking organizations in the crime fiction community.

 MWA (Mystery Writers of America) also includes e-books in the Edgar awards, but they’ve adopted a much narrower definition of eligibility. They require that authors be published by a third-party e-book publisher. Notwithstanding individuals who will try to get around those rules by masquerading as an e-book publisher, it’s really a matter of “too little too late.” Who needs an e-book publisher? Doesn’t that simply perpetuate the issues that are hampering publishing these days?  Why should authors surrender control of their work to a third party…  again? Isn’t that precisely why some of us are publishing independently when we can?


So, I encourage you to lift a glass of holiday cheer to ITW. I plan to.


PS If anyone can tell me how to avoid those elongated images that appear every once in a while, I would be most grateful!