Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Independently Published Book, Sponsored by Half Price Books

The 2013 Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Indie Book has closed. Winners and notable books will be featured in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound. The 2014 competition will open in June 2014. Sign up for a free subscription to Shelf Unbound magazine at to make sure you receive the call for entries.





Shelf Unbound book review magazine announces the Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Independently Published Book sponsored by Half Price Books. Any independently published book in any genre is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $30 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Shelf Unbound magazine.

"Independently Published" books include self-published books (such as those published through CreateSpace,, iUniverse, etc.) and/or books published through small presses releasing less than five titles per year. Books entered in last year's competition are eligible for re-submission in this year's competition. There is no limit to the number of books an individual can enter; each book is a separate entry.

The official rules for the competition can be found at here.

To submit an entry, email a PDF or Word Doc of your entire book, including the cover, to, subject line Contest Entry (or mail a physical copy of your book to: Shelf Media Group, PO Box 852321, Richardson, Texas 75085-2321), and send a check for $30 made out to Shelf Media Group to Margaret Brown, Shelf Media Group, PO Box 852321, Richardson, Texas 75085-2321, or pay via PayPal (click on this link and select "Competition Entry Fee"). All entries received (and entry fee paid) will be considered.

The top five books, as determined by the editors of Shelf Unbound, will receive editorial coverage in the December/January 2014 issue of Shelf Unbound. The author of the book named as the Best Independently Published book will receive editorial coverage as well as a year’s worth of full-page ads in Shelf Unbound (rate card value $6,000). The winning book will also be stocked and promoted in all 115 Half Price Books retail stores in 16 states.

The deadline for entry is midnight on October 1, 2013. The winners will be notified by November 2, 2013. Additional information and rules can be found on our contest rules page at

For further information, please feel free to contact Margaret Brown, Publisher, via email:

Shelf Unbound book review magazine, a 2013 Maggie Award finalist for Best Digital-Only Publication, reaches more than 125,000 avid readers in the U.S. and in 59 other countries around the globe. Subscriptions to Shelf Unbound are free at

Let’s Help Last Year’s Winner Jennifer Bresnick Get an Agent

Thanks to winning the Shelf Unbound Writing Competition last year, Jennifer Bresnick’s debut novel The Last Death of Tev Chrisini ended up in the interested hands of one of the top New York City literary agencies. Because the book is self-published, the agency wants to see significant book sales before signing her. If you are so inclined, please purchase a print or e-book copy of Bresnick’s novel, which Shelf Unbound calls “assured, literary tale-spinning,” before September 10, 2013. We will post updates on our blog. Purchase the book here:, and learn more about the author and her other works, including The Spoil of Zanuth-Karun, coming this summer, at


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