Feminine Mysticism in Art by Ashland resident Victoria Christian has been named by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group as one of the best indie books of 2019.

Victoria’s book is the winner of the Spirituality category in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the world’s largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.

The 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.

 2019 is the 12th year of the not-for-profit book awards program.

Catherine Goulet, Co-Chair of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, proudly said, "Our program has become known as the Sundance of the book publishing world." Sundance is the famed independent film festival which is now described on its website as “the ultimate gathering of original storytellers and audiences seeking new voices and fresh perspectives.”

In an article at CNN.com 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 Goulet, “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,” added Goulet. “They aim to stand out from the crowd of millions of books in print.”

 According to an October 2018 report by Bowker, publisher of the Books in Print database, the number of self-published titles grew to 1,009,188 in 2017, an increase of 28% over the previous year, surpassing the million mark for the first time.

 The most recent statistics from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported more than 2.2 million books published worldwide in a single year. 

 To help indie authors and publishers reach a wider audience, the top 70 books in the 2019 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. Ms. Allen has worked with best-selling authors and served in senior positions with major publishers including Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Books.

 The awards will be presented on June 21 in a ceremony at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, coinciding with the American Library Association Annual Conference.

 A complete list of 2019 winners and finalists is available at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards website at www.indiebookawards.com.

AuthorVictoria Christian