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Celebrating CamCat Books’ 2022 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalists!

Celebrating CamCat Books’ 2022 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalists!

By Meredith Lyons Date: April 14, 2022 Tags: For Authors, Company News

We’re so proud to share the following CamCat Books’ titles that are 2022 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalists. Check out IBPA’s press release below (emphasis added to highlight our publishing house in the press release):

The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) is thrilled to announce 150 unique finalists in the prestigious 34th annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™. Stemming from a record-breaking number of entries during a time when independent publishing is flourishing in both creativity and output, each finalist will receive either a gold or silver award during a special dinner ceremony on April 29 in Orlando, Florida.

See the complete list of 34th annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award finalists here.

A Record-Breaking Year Highlighting a Diversity of Content

IBPA received nearly 1,900 entries for the 34th annual program, a record number that surpassed the previous record of 1,750 set just a year earlier. 

“For sure, the diversity of books entered in this year's program was incredible. And the quality continues to amaze me, rivaling anything published by the Big 5,” said IBPA Chief Operations Officer and award program lead Terry Nathan. “This year’s list of finalists should be very proud.”

The list includes award-winning titles from small publishers, hybrid publishers, author-publishers, association presses, and academic presses, all displaying the depth and diversity of content indicative of the high quality work being produced by independent publishers across the United States.

In total, 120 publishers are honored on this year's list of finalists, including Imbrifex Books, The White House Historical Association, University of New Orleans Press, Patagonia Books, She Writes Press, Brown Books Kids, CamCat Books, and Sunbelt Publications.

Sunbelt Publications is recognized as producing the most winning book in the 34th annual program—California Indian Basketry (ISBN 978-1941384510), a tribute to the world-class, Native American Indian baskets of California, circa 1895 to 1940—was honored in three categories: (1) Art & Photography, (2) Cover Design: Large Format, and (3) Interior Design.

Nineteen other books were honored in two categories each with CamCat Books showing out with the highest number of unique books (nine) becoming finalists across the most categories (seven).

In a 2016 article published on the history of the awards, PESI Publishing publisher Linda Jackson discussed why she enters her books every year: “We are so humbled by the awards, and so happy for our authors . . . [It’s a] great bio builder for the authors, too. Being a published author elevates credibility, and to be an award-winning author moves them into coveted air.”

This year, PESI Publishing is recognized as a finalist in two categories: MULTICULTURAL with Diversity in Clinical Practice (ISBN 978-1683733881) and EDUCATION with Self-Compassion for Educators (ISBN 978-1683734048).


About the Program

When the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program launched in 1985, it had two goals: (1) to celebrate excellence in independent publishing, and (2) to foster that excellence by sharing a written critiques from each judge with the submitting publisher. Both goals continue today, and each of the nearly 1,900 entrants will receive a written critique from three individual judges—meaning more than 5,000 written critiques will be shared. These critiques include constructive feedback to help each publisher transparently understand how the book was perceived by each specific judge.

IBPA is incredibly grateful to the 171 volunteer judges—librarians, booksellers, design and editorial experts—who brought their decades of book industry knowledge and experience to this year's program.

“There has been an explosion in publishing awards in the last decade,” said IBPA Board Chair Karla Olson (Publisher, Patagonia Books). “The IBPA Benjamin Franklin awards have been around for 34 years, and it is the real deal, recognized and respected by bookstores, reviewers, and readers. Readers can be sure that if a book is a silver or gold winner, it is one of the best of the best. Congratulations, and celebrations to all!”

The gold and silver award winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner and ceremony to be held on April 29 at the Renaissance Orlando hotel, during IBPA Publishing University that is being held at the same time.


2022 Finalists for Mystery & Thriller:

See below for the list of 2022 finalists in the FICTION: MYSTERY & THRILLER category, for books with a copyright date of 2021.

 “Susan Ouellette has written a well-crafted page-turner that benefits not only from her imagination and way with words—but from her experience.” —Dr. Mark M. Lowenthal, Former CIA Assistant Director for Analysis; Former Staff Director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

“[A] gripping debut and series launch . . . Ouellette, a former CIA analyst, brings plenty of authenticity to this fast-paced spy thriller. Readers will look forward to Maggie’s further adventures.” —Publishers Weekly

“Every once in a decade you read a book like The Wayward Spy, which is thrilling, addictive, and sends you reading more thrillers, but you’ll go back to this stunning book by Susan Ouellette and reread this tour de force.” —The Strand Magazine, a Top 12 Book of the Year

“Readers will have fun spotting the real-life inspirations for the characters, and the authentically described fight scenes will please martial arts enthusiasts.” —Publishers Weekly

“J. A. Crawford's debut is a pitch-perfect combination of action, mystery, and humor.” —Anthony Award-winning author Gigi Pandian

“Witty banter and whiz-bang plotting distinguish J. A. Crawford’s rollicking debut . . . Expertly choreographed fight sequences and spectacular set pieces amplify the story’s inherently cinematic feel, and the gratifying close will leave readers clamoring for a sequel.” —Mystery Scene Magazine, a 2021 Editor's Pick


2022 Finalist for Science Fiction & Fantasy:

See below for the list of 2022 winners in the FICTION: SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY category, for books with a copyright date of 2021.


“With a satisfying bite, this steampunk venture includes an insightful twist on the British Empire, making frequent nods to Queen Victoria's bloodthirstiness and the era's inequitable treatment of women. Best of all, Constance stays center stage: a feisty, lovable heroine who is capable of rescuing herself, thank you very much.” —Foreword Reviews

“I loved The Brass Queen: hilarious, with a very tongue-in-cheek dry wit and delightful imagery. One of those books that you don't want to put down because they're just so much fun.” —Genevieve Cogman, author of the Invisible Library series


2022 Finalist for Audiobook: Fiction:

See below for the list of 2022 finalists in the AUDIOBOOK: FICTION category, for books with a copyright date of 2021.

“[An] unholy mash-up of creepy, high-body-count paranormal thrills . . . Readers will find themselves well sated before the end.” —Publishers Weekly

“This was an outstanding blend of horror, speculative fiction, and apocalyptic fantasy topped with madness . . . The Girl in the Corn is one of the first great horror novels of 2022.” —Horror DNA

“Norse mythology gives this story . . . a unique touch [with] an exhilarating conclusion.” —Booklist


2022 Finalists for Best New Voice: Fiction:

See below for the list of 2022 winners in the BEST NEW VOICE: FICTION category, for books with a copyright date of 2021.


“. . . an unforgettable fantasy novel about love, freedom, and the discovery of self-worth.” —Foreword Reviews, Starred Review

“The heat and romance of the desert, the push and the pull of Emel’s desperation, and the magic and humanity of a caustic jinni make Daughter of the Salt King an irresistible ride.” —Amy Harmon, New York Times bestselling author

“This riveting debut novel will leave readers eagerly awaiting Thornton’s future works.” —Booklist


“[An] enticing debut . . . Distinctive characters complement the original plot.” —Publishers Weekly

“By turns dark, funny, suspenseful, and shocking, Power's assured debut nimbly probes the shadows that shroud human hearts . . . The pace motors, the story twists, and Kae's terror, frustration, and rage are positively palpable.” —Mystery Scene Magazine, a 2021 Editor's Pick

“A creative, compulsively readable mystery . . . I couldn’t put it down.” —Jo Kaplan, author of It Will Just Be Us


2022 Finalist for Teen Fiction (13-18 Years):

See below for the list of 2022 winners in the TEEN: FICTION (13-18 YEARS) category, for books with a copyright date of 2021.


“Aamna Qureshi writes of a world steeped in rich culture and tumultuous politics with an expert hand. The Lady or The Lion is a gorgeous read.” —Chloe Gong, New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights

“VERDICT A clever twist on a classic tale, this is one to purchase for library shelves as readers will be eager to know what happens next.” —School Library Journal


2022 Finalists for Audiobook: Children's/Young Adult:

See below for the list of 2022 finalists in the AUDIOBOOK: CHILDREN'S/YOUNG ADULT category, for books with a copyright date of 2021.

 “Qureshi sets up a world in which readers can easily lose themselves . . . this is a notable debut with an original point of view and a riveting plot.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Unreservedly recommended for middle school, high school, and community library YA Fiction collections . . .” —Midwest Book Review


“June shines in this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin . . . with memorable characters that will appeal to a broad range of fantasy readers.” —School Library Journal

“Unreservedly recommended for middle school, high school, and community library YA Fiction collections . . .” —Midwest Book Review

“Gold Spun was a delightful retelling worthy of the genre . . . I hope we don’t have to wait too long for the sequel!” —YA Books Central