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Celebrating CamCat Books’ 2024 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalists!

Celebrating CamCat Books’ 2024 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalists!

By CamCat Books Date: April 03, 2024 Tags: Company News

We’re so proud to share the following CamCat Books titles that are 2024 Benjamin Franklin Award finalists. Check out IBPA’s press release below (emphasis added to highlight our publishing house in the press release):


The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, the premier book award program in the independent publishing industry, has announced the finalists for its 2024 awards.

In all, 171 books and audiobooks will be announced as Gold or Silver winners in 57 categories at the awards’ ceremony in Denver this April 26. See the complete list of the 36th annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award finalists here.

“IBPA has a long history of promoting excellence in independent publishing,” said IBPA CEO Andrea Fleck-Nisbet. “No program better showcases the quality of books that indie publishers produce than the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award. We are proud of this award’s enduring and prestigious legacy and congratulate all of the finalists.”

IBPA received 1824 entries this year, making this its second best year in terms of the number of entries received in the award's 35+ year history. 

“The diversity of books and publishers who enter IBPA’s award shows the breadth of the indie publishing industry,” said IBPA’s Chief Operations Officer Terry Nathan. “We received a high number of entries in all categories – from the broad children, fiction and memoirs, to the niche categories such as psychology, nature, and regional books.”

“Since the awards’ inception in 1985, barriers to publishing have been steadily decreasing with each passing year,” said Fleck-Nisbet. “Despite many new publishers entering the industry, it doesn’t mean that quality has suffered. Quite the opposite. We are inspired by new publishers such as CamCat Books and WaxWing who are producing amazing books with their strong focus on quality.”

Four-year-old CamCat Books once again earned the distinction of having the most number of their titles, eight, recognized with an award in this year’s competition. Meanwhile, children’s book A Little More Beautiful, The Story of a Garden from new publisher WaxWing earned recognition in four award categories--Cover Design, Interior Design, Best New Voice, and the Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book--while another WaxWing book, While Everyone Is Sleeping, was recognized in three categories.

All finalists will win either a gold or silver in their respective categories when the winners are announced on April 26. The IBPA Benjamin Franklin award and gala dinner will take place at the Denver Hilton City Centre in conjunction with IBPA’s Publishing University conference happening at the same time. 


About the Program

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, which include 57 categories recognizing excellence in book editorial and design, are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers. The awards are unique in that the verbatim judging forms are returned to all participating publishers, providing entrants with direct feedback on each submission.

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

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 critique from each judge with the submitting publisher.

Both goals continue today, and each of the nearly 1,800 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 judge.

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


2024 Finalists for Science Fiction & Fantasy:

See below for our 2024 finalists in the FICTION: SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY category, for books with a copyright date of 2023.

“VERDICT: A paranormal thriller that offers thrills and chills in addition to a touching exploration of grief, love, and moving on.” Library Journal

“Funny, poignant, spooky, and uniquely clever, Ghost Tamer is a remarkably assured debut from a bright light in the fantasy realm. Meredith Lyons is a name to watch, and this book is just plain cool from start to finish.” —J. T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of It’s One Of Us

“I love this! Original, hilarious, and completely inspirational. Lyons has an incredible gift with dialogue, and Ghost Tamer is absolutely captivating. Touching, relatable, and haunting—in the best sense of the word. Do not miss this.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of The House Guest


“Holmes crafts a twisty thriller with conspiracies to spare . . . this is a rollicking science-fiction thriller that will please fans of Andy Weir.” Shelf Awareness 

“A cantankerous octogenarian astronaut finds himself in over his head when he accidentally stumbles across a deadly secret hidden on the surface of the moon . . . An action-packed thriller perfect for fans of Andy Weir and Jack McDevitt.” Kirkus Reviews

“This space mystery is a page-turner rooted in its convincing and compelling protagonists and their well-written relationships . . . Sf fans will enjoy this rich novel full of good world building, mysterious space intrigue, and dry humor.” Booklist



2024 Finalists for Mystery & Thriller:

See below for our 2024 finalists in the FICTION: MYSTERY & THRILLER category, for books with a copyright date of 2023.

“[An] enjoyable comic fable—one that may cause readers to think twice about ever answering someone else’s phone.” —Wall Street Journal

“The blend of action and picaresque buffoonery flatteringly calls Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard tales to mind, and Payne pulls off a genuinely surprising conclusion. This auspicious debut announces a bright new voice in comic suspense.” Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“First-time novelist Jonathan Payne mixes Franz Kafka’s surreal absurdism with the ingenious plotting of Graham Greene’s spy novels, then adds a hilarious layer of deadpan comedy.” —Apple Books Review



“Crawford’s gleeful skewering of obsessive fandom and gift for action sequences make this twisty, frothy whodunit whiz by. Readers will impatiently await the next installment.” Publishers Weekly 

“VERDICT: Highly recommended for listeners who want a madcap mixture of Stephanie Plum, Veronica Mars, and Magnum, P.I.” Library Journal, audio starred review



2024 Finalists for Horror:

See below for our 2024 finalists in the FICTION: HORROR category, for books with a copyright date of 2023.

“[A] perfectly drawn psychological horror . . . that fans of the grotesque should relish.” Library Journal

“This is adventure horror done right!” —Cynthia Pelayo, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Children of Chicago  

“The serpentine trails that twist and twine throughout Alexander James’ towering debut all lead to one destination: absolute terror.” —Clay McLeod Chapman, author of Ghost Eaters



“Vayo’s gripping debut . . . is an entertaining thriller that will keep even seasoned horror fans guessing.” Publishers Weekly

“Vayo’s debut novel combines sinister pagan rituals with a fast-paced, compelling mystery reminiscent of a James Patterson best seller . . . The twists come fast, and the characters’ decisions lead to brutal consequences. Share with fans of Stephen King and Riley Sager.” Library Journal

“This fresh, artful thriller, as genuinely frightening a novel as you’ll read all year, darts smoothly between the decades as not one but two mysteries unfurl like stairways into darkness. Intelligent, original, audacious—and scary.” —A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window


2024 Finalist for Cover Design: Children’s/Young Adult:

See below for our 2024 finalist in the COVER DESIGN: CHILDREN’S/YOUNG ADULT category, for books with a copyright date of 2023.

“A brutal, suspenseful, and surprising read with an unforgettable protagonist.” School Library Journal, Starred Review

“A scheming female antihero goes undercover as a man to survive the hostile takeover of her small hometown in this raucous 19th-century Western.” Kirkus Reviews

“Deeply beautiful and tragic, Bladestay brings together dark family secrets, a love story, and one hell of a strong female lead searching for the truth at every cost. Utterly riveting from beginning to end.” —Demetra Brodsky, ITW and Black-Eyed Susan Award-nominated author of Last Girls


2024 Finalist for Best New Voice: Fiction:

See below for our 2024 finalist in the BEST NEW VOICE: FICTION category, for books with a copyright date of 2023.

“In her twisty debut, Malice weaves a web of deception, intrigue, and fast-paced adventure into a psychological thriller that captivates until the last second . . . VERDICT A fresh and surprising psychological thriller from a promising new author.” Library Journal, audio starred review 

“Lisa Malice’s debut, Lest She Forget, is filled with twists and turns that will leave you guessing until the very end!” —Debra Webb, USA Today bestseller 

“Lisa Malice turns an amnesia story on its head in this twisty, unique tale of intrigue, suspense and unexpected turns. You won’t be able to predict the next chapter, much less the ending.” —Lisa Black, NYT bestselling author of the Gardiner & Renner and Locard Institute series