The Festival That Wasn’t
The American Book Fest is not a festival. It is an online publication providing coverage of books from mainstream publishers as well as independent publishers and self-published authors to the world online community. The year 2018 marked the 15th anniversary of the American Book Fest, and while this falls out of the realm of the traditional book festival, this organization uses industry judges to award book titles based on design, content and overall appeal. The Best Book award features quality books in over 90 categories and aims to gather media coverage and book sales for the winners and aggressively promote those books to the publishing and entertainment industries, national media, and the book buying public.
Essentially, what the American Book Fest does is provide marketing boosts for authors who might be publishing in categories outside of the mainstream market. According to ABF’s website, their prime location in central Los Angeles, has given them the unique and wonderful advantages of having access to the publishing industries as well and the entertainment industries in a way unlike any other book award program in activation. Because of this, ABF is in the position to easily turn any genre of book into T.V. shows, documentaries, graphic novels, movies, etc.
Besides being able to exclaim that they are the company that gets to tout the “Best Book Award” based on their impeccable reputation, it is easy to understand why they are also recognized for a few more awards that they distribute including American Fiction Awards and International Book Awards. Because the majority of the globe has their eyes turned toward the west to find out what is trendy.
ABF’s location and their opinions for what are considered the best of the best are highly acclaimed and reputable.
American Fiction Awards & International Book Awards
The first offshoot of the ABF is the International Book Awards (IBA), now entering its 10th year. The 10th annual IBA (2019) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. The final entry deadline is April 30, 2019.
The second offshoot and newest one is the American Fiction Awards. In 2019, it will be entering its third year, and they are expecting an avalanche of entries if last year was any sort of gauge.
Many of the winners and finalists in categories chosen by the ABF and IBA will be the authors and titles promoted at book festivals around the country and the world. I would not be at all surprised to see several of the authors seen at such festivals as the Morristown Festival in New Jersey, the Fairfax City Festival of Virginia, or the wonderful Farmville, Virginia Book Festival among their Award lists. Organizations such as these provide not only an informative service but also an entertaining and a level of educational opinion service. Many people believe that awards such as these are only marketing ploys; however, awards give merit.
Often, consumers purchase on the basis of these awards, assuming that a book that has won an award is a better value than one that has not. While this may be an off-putting assumption for many of us, this point of view does help sell books, putting the books into the hands of consumers whose discernment will be the ultimate determining factor in the book’s lasting appeal. The question as to whether awards such as the ABF and IBA and others promote aesthetics or commercial interests is unanswerable. The reading public will never fully agree with judges; after all, it is really a question taste: Who has it and how does it operate? However, many judges and consumers agree that the true value of prizes is recognition in crowded cultural landscape. Another enormous value is that book awards get people talking about books. That can’t be bad!
However, the ABF does have its limitations and promotes certain books that sprout forth from the following genres: Autobiographies, Business Books, Children’s Books, General Fiction Books, Cookbooks, Health Books, Non-Fiction Books, Parenting and Family Guide Books, Religion and Spirituality Books, Self-Help Books and Travel. On their website http://www.americanbookfest.com/ one will be able to find a current list of award winners, and a list of books in each category that the organization suggests. I’m sure with all they have to offer, you will be able to “Keep your nose in a Book.”