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Getting Reviews, Endorsements and Awards

Köehler Books authors are responsible for the solicitation and acquisition of endorsement quotes, awards and reviews. Köehler Books does not send out advanced review copies (ARCs) to reviewers, authors or individuals unless sent a specific request by a reviewer, blogger or other endorser. We will consider such requests from authors if they are told the work must come from the publisher.


Acquiring reviews and/or endorsement quotes is hard work and is all about building relationships.

Endorsement quotes and reviews will be considered for use on the back cover and interior text of the book. A quote may also be used on the front cover if it is superior and from an excellent source. Köehler Books reserves the right to selectively pull a section of a quote to fit the space available.

Authors should plan on seeking quotes using the following methods:

1) Manuscript Galleys – After the cover is designed, the author can add it to their Word document, print it and send it as is. This is a good plan for seeking awards and trade reviews that require longer lead times prior to the publication date.

2) Digital ARCs – These will be provided as soon as the author has signed off on the book layout in final form. They are a copyable PDF of the text with the cover added. These are used with great success by our authors for the acquisition of quotes and reviews.

3) Printed ARCs – The author will receive a certain number of printed ARCs according to the contract, and may then buy additional copies for use in obtaining quotes and reviews. They are finished books and may be sold at events.

Generally speaking, preferred quotes/reviews would be listed as follows, from best to least.


  • Trade Reviewers (Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, etc. See below)
  • Bestselling authors within the same genre
  • Bloggers with large following related to book subject
  • Amazon Reviewers
  • Bestselling authors
  • Experts in the field the book covers (e.g., a heart surgeon for a medical thriller, a general officer for a military thriller)
  • Published authors
  • VIPs – individuals who are known in the community or with a prestigious job
  • Media personalities


The following is a partial list of trade reviewers you may contact:


Independent book publishing has, over the past two decades, become competitive. Many of the titles being released by the most notable independent presses are exhibiting levels of sophistication on a par with the most celebrated national writers.

To honor that work, several independent and self-publishing contests have emerged. The very best of those use the contest as a platform to advocate for the highest standards of writing, book design, and industry ethics. These organizations select accomplished publishers, editors, writers and artists to judge and reward the most inspired works.

Most contests charge entry fees, and being named a finalist or winner doesn’t necessarily bolster book sales. But it can increase your visibility—and credibility—as a writer or artist, demonstrating that you and your publisher are capable of excellence, and that your book is worthy of another’s time. Winning can also infuse a writer’s confidence, and who doesn’t need that?

*Authors may submit their books for various awards. Some are broad-based and national in scope, and others are regional or specific to the genre or area of interest that the book covers, such as the Civil War, or women’s rights. Authors are encouraged to find awards that are uniquely suited to their books.

*The author is responsible for applying to all awards. All expenses for books and other associated costs must be covered by the author unless otherwise agreed to by Köehler Books. Köehler Books will respond if requested by the awards committee or program.

Following is a short list of awards to consider:

  • Dragonfly Book Awards
    • They accept traditionally published, partnership published and self-published books for any of their contests provided that the books are available for purchase and are printed in English. It does not matter what year or in which country a book is published to be eligible. The Purple Dragonfly Award is for children’s books, and the Royal Dragonfly Award is for all genres.
  • National Indie Excellence Awards
    • NIEA is open to all English language printed books available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors.
  • Next Generation Indie Book Awards
    • The Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in over seventy categories. It is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency.
  • Nautilus Book Awards
    • The Nautilus Book Awards recognizes self-published works and books from small presses that support conscious living and sustainability, high-level wellness, spiritual growth, and positive social change. It offers awards in thirty-eight categories.
  • Eric Hoffer Book Award
    • The Eric Hoffer Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Since its inception, the Hoffer has become one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses.
    • Submissions: The Eric Hoffer Award uses a two-year sliding window for regular category entry. 
  • Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards sponsored by Foreword magazine
    • The Foreword INDIES are awarded to independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors.  The contest is judged by nearly 150 booksellers and librarians who determine winners after a group of finalists is culled by Foreword’s editorial staff.
  • Chanticleer Writing Contest
    • Chanticleer Book Reviews runs an annual contest that offers fourteen genre-specific book awards and a grand prize. Entries may be manuscripts or books that have been self-published, Indie published, or traditionally published.
    • Submissions: vary by category
  • American Book Fest
  • Benjamin Franklin Book Awards
    • The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) with help from over 150 book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors. The awards program accepts books published using all business models: traditional, self, hybrid, etc.
  • Independent Publishers Book Awards (aka IPPY Awards)
    • These awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year. They also offer a separate award for business books called the Axiom Awards (submissions: ).
  • The Business Book Awards
    • These awards recognize entrepreneurs and leaders in the business world.