Frequently Asked Questions

What’s an independent bookshop?


Independent (indie) bookshops are all individually owned and operated. They each have their own identity and serve their communities in the ways that suit them best but come together under the brand of Australian Independent Bookseller to vote for their favourite book of the year. Indie stores offer exceptional customer service and often punch above their weight in ‘breaking’ new authors. Find your local independent bookstore at



How are the category winners chosen?


Independent booksellers from all over Australia submit their nominations for the Awards. Panels of judges select the winners in each category. Find more information about the guidelines and eligibility process here.



How is the Book of the Year chosen?


Independent bookshops vote for their favourite book from the four selected category winners (five from 2016). Each participating bookshop gets one vote. Find more information about the guidelines and eligibility process here.



What books are eligible?


All books published in Australia and written by Australian authors (current citizens of permanent residents) within a calendar year are eligible for the Indie Book Awards. Find more information about the guidelines and eligibility process here.



Why just Australian books?


We love sharing new Australian books with our customers.  Our relationship with Australian authors and publishers is one of the things that makes independent bookshops so special.  We created an opportunity to really celebrate together.



How long has the Indie Book Award been operating?


The Indie Book Award is now in its twelfth year.  The previous winners were Tim Winton (Breath), Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones), Anh Do (The Happiest Refugee) Anna Funder (All That I Am) and M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans), Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), Don Watson (The Bush), Charlotte Wood (The Natural Way of Things), Jane Harper (The Dry), Jessica Townsend (Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow), Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe) and Favel Parrett (There Was Still Love).  All books have gone on to enjoy national and international success.

Find all the previous winners listed here.



Who organises the Indie Book Award?


Leading Edge Books, a buying and marketing group for independent booksellers, manages the Indie Book Award on behalf of its 140+ bookshop members. Contact us to find out more about Leading Edge Books.


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