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Local Author Honored in 2021 Indie Book Awards


Tales of Elhaanai by Queens, NY resident Nicole Patrice Thomas has been named by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group as one of the best indie books of 2021.


Nicole’s book is a finalist of the Christian Fiction category in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the world’s largest book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors. The winners and finalists will be honored June 25 in an online event which will stream live on Facebook at at 7:00 pm (Eastern Time) and 4:00 pm (Pacific Time).


2021 is the 14th year of the largest International book awards program. This year’s Gold Sponsor is MindStir Media, an award-winning self-publishing company that helps people from all walks of life self-publish, distribute and market their books. Outskirts Press, an award-winning independent book publisher which provides services for self-publishing authors, returns as a Silver Sponsor of this year’s awards.


The Next Generation Indie Book Awards are judged by leaders of the indie book publishing industry, including many with long careers at major publishing houses. Their love of a great read and experience in the publishing arena identify books deserving a wider audience.


In an article at titled If it’s cool, creative, and different, it’s indie, journalist Catherine Andrews wrote: “The term ‘indie’ traditionally refers to independent art – music, film, literature or anything that fits under the broad banner of culture – created outside of the mainstream and without corporate financing.” That definition remains true for book publishing.


Independent book publishing companies are independent of the major conglomerates dominating the book publishing industry. Indies include small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.


According to Catherine Goulet, Founder and Co-Chair of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “Like other independent artists, many indie book publishers face challenges that the industry giants don't experience. The indies have to work much harder to get their best books into readers’ hands.”


“Authors and publishers who compete in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards are serious about promoting their books,” adds Goulet. “They aim to stand out from the crowd of millions of books in print.”


According to the most recent (October 2019) report by Bowker, publisher of the Books in Print database, the number of titles self-published in the United States grew to over 1.6 million in 2018, an increase of 40% over the previous year. “This trend is likely to continue as the quality of many self-published works now rivals that of traditionally published titles,” according to the report.


Worldwide, as of 2021, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates more than 2.7 million books are now being published in a single year. 


To help indie authors and publishers reach a wider audience, the top 70 books in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards will be reviewed by New York literary agent Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency, or one of Ms. Allen’s co-agents, for possible representation in areas such as: distribution, foreign rights, film rights, and other rights.


The awards will be presented on June 25 in an online event which will stream live on Facebook at at 7:00 pm (Eastern Time) and 4:00 pm (Pacific Time).


A video of last year’s event has been viewed more than 93,000 times on Facebook. The awards event was originally planned to take place at Chicago’s Newberry Library, to coincide with the American Library Association Annual Conference, but was moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Patrice Thomas,

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