The American Bookseller’s Association announced its Indie Choice Book Awards last week. The Award’s categories are not typical, including "Best Indie Buzz Book (Fiction)," "Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction)" and "Best Author Discovery." I talked to Meg Smith, the Chief Marketing Officer from the American Booksellers Association about how they were chosen. They are geared, Smith said, to try to duplicate on a national level what independent booksellers do every day in the store for customers, giving common sense reviews about things they have read and liked. The awards match the format of IndieBound, ABA's new incarnation of its Booksense program. Smith stated that they wanted to retool the old program to match the growth of Buy Local and community-based consumer movements, many of which had independent bookstores as members.
If you are tired of having the New York Times (or a chain store's payola-funded front tables) dictate to you what is good, check out the buzz on these awards and the whole IndieBound program.