The Digital Book Awards

Winners of the 2015 Digital Book Awards Announced

Winners of the 2015 Digital Book Awards were announced at a gala dinner hosted by Ira Wolfman at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo in New York City on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. See the complete list of winners here.

About the 2015 Digital Book Awards

The 2015 Digital Book Awards are sponsored by:

Blurb_ID_cyankobo 150

Celebrating Innovation in Apps and Ebook Publishing

DigitalBookAwards_LogoVerticalThe Digital Book Awards recognizes innovation, creativity and excellence in all aspects of digital book publishing. Each year, award winners and finalists in over a dozen categories demonstrate fresh thinking, inspired design, and bold technology integration, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in this constantly evolving publishing arena.

Founded in 2010, the program encompasses all forms of digital publishing that are available to consumers as ebooks, enhanced ebooks and apps, to showcase and reward the work of authors, developers and publishers.

Our 2014 winners and finalists, celebrated at an evening awards gala at the Digital Book World Conference, included titles from big-five publishers, independent publishers, international producers, digital developers, platform hosts, and indie authors; in other words, a true reflection of the current digital publishing landscape.

All entrants to the Digital Book Awards are automatically entered in the QED (Quality. Excellence. Design.) process. The QED is a rigorous 13-point inspection conducted by a network of experienced ebook developers to ensure that all entries are of the highest level of quality before the judging begins. Once the QED process has been completed and each entry is certified “QED ready” it will be reviewed by the prestigious Digital Book Awards judges, all of whom are widely recognized within the publishing industry for their expertise in ebook design and production.

Why Enter the 2015 Digital Book Awards?

The Digital Book Awards are among the more coveted publishing awards in the industry. All winners will receive a free ticket to the full three day 2015 Digital Book World Conference + Expo ($1495 value), two tickets to the Digital Book Awards Gala ($400 value) which takes place during the conference, and a trophy marking the achievement.

In addition, past winners have received wide coverage in both trade and mainstream press, including mentions in the Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Publishers Marketplace, Shelf Awareness, Digital Book World, and Library Journal. Plus all winners are recognized on the widely popular


The 2015 Digital Book Awards has 16 categories representing all forms of digital production:

Adult Fiction
Adult Nonfiction

Ebook—Fixed Format/Enhanced
Adult Fiction
Adult Nonfiction

Adult Fiction
Adult Nonfiction


NEW  Education and Learning

NEW  The Blurb Indie Authors Digital Book Award

Special Award: Ebook Cover Design (additional fee required)

Award winners will be notified no later than December 31, 2014, and will be honored at
the program’s annual awards evening gala in January, 2015, during the Digital Book World conference in New York.

New Category: Education and Learning

For category details, see “Which category is right for my entry?” This new category recognizes innovation in digital learning objects, both in and out of the classroom, for children and teens in the K-12 age ranges (kindergarten through high school). These digital books, platforms and interactive learning experiences are charting a new path for teachers, students and families in 21st-century education.

Eligible products:

  • Support learning for K-12 students and families
  • Focused on digital educational solutions, though they may have print or multimedia enhancements
  • Available commercially or through classroom subscription
  • Created to achieve a clear learning objective—subject-area knowledge, skill building, critical thinking, etc.
  • Can be app-based, web-based, e-book or platform-based
  • Published or launched during the stated time period
  • Within a series or a library of titles offered by a learning platform, QED review and judging will be based on one book or content package selected by the entrant

Judging criteria:

  • Innovation in creating digital reading solutions that achieve stated learning goals
  • Essentially book-, language- and reading-based, however broadly, even if it has supplemental material—i.e., it is not merely a movie, a game, or a toy
  • Demonstrates forward-thinking design, content offering and use of the digital platform in reaching its audience and achieving its learning objective
  • Appropriate for the stated target age group

New Special Award: The Blurb Indie Authors Digital Book Award

This award celebrates self-publishing by recognizing the best digital books created by independent authors and professionals using the Blurb authoring platform.

Eligible digital books:

  • Self-published by individuals or non-publisher professionals
  • Reflowable or fixed-layout/enhanced ebooks
  • Viewable platforms include iBooks and Kindle, among other EPUB readers.
  • Created using the Blurb authoring platform

Judging criteria:

  • Creative use of elements such as graphics, images, including cover
  • Excellence in design and content
  • Excellence in use of Blurb authoring capabilities

Sponsored by Blurb_ID_cyan, the indie publishing platform that enables all authors to create, publish, sell and distribute print books, digital books and magazines.

Deadlines and Fees

Deadline: October 17, 2014

  • All entries cost $219 per entry
  • Additional fee of $20 for Best Cover Design award entry

All early-bird entries must be submitted and postmarked no later than October 17, 2014 (11:59 pm EST). The $219 entry fee includes automatic entry in our QED process.

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation: Entries will have been conceived and executed in novel ways. Innovative titles look past their print counterparts and approach their platform natively by pushing the bounds of what has been done before.
  • Design: Well-designed entries display their content clearly and communicate their message effectively.
  • Usability: Entries function as intuitively as possible and the features and/or layout are accessible for all readers to the extent possible.
  • Content: Excellent digital content enriches, enlightens, entertains and satisfies readers; it delivers on its promise.
  • Consistency: The title shows appropriate information hierarchy and font treatments throughout. In functionality and layout there are no unexpected surprises or glaring errors. Everything works, and works well.
  • Excellence: Award winners will have obtained the highest QED rating.

All entries must be commercially available between October 1, 2013 and October 17, 2014.

Entrants must submit viewable files. If viewable files are not available, entrants must provide instructions for gaining complimentary access to the entry.

Titles submitted for awards are evaluated across all formats and devices.

How to Enter

The Digital Book Awards are committed to quality titles that render beautifully across different devices and formats. Entries must be original digital content created by the entrant, their publisher or firm. There are no geographic restrictions on entries.

Click on the Enter button to go to our online submission form and follow the steps as indicated. You’ll need to set up an account as part of this process – this will allow you to come back to your submission, add extra entries, and make modifications.

What files will I need?

For ebooks: submit all of the associated file formats for the ebook (with the exception of PDF). Most of the time, that means an EPUB file and a Kindle (.azw) file. For DBA and QED judging purposes, judges will evaluate how a title is designed for all associated formats, not just a single format.

For apps: for entries that are published and publicly available, submit three download codes for iOS apps. You may submit .apk files in addition.

For transmedia: submit files as well as Web links and/or as many ways for judges to connect to the whole transmedia storyworld.

For education and learning: submit files as well as Web links and/or access codes and supplementary materials.

For cover design: submit .jpgs of at least [TK] resolution at [TK]dpi and dimensions of [TK].
If a title is optimized for one device, platform or ebook store, you will be able to indicate it during the submission process.

File Renaming Information

Many submissions have similar and mysterious filenames.
Examples of mysterious filenames: FA257.03.1.epub /

To make sure we correctly identify your submission files and to minimize confusion among judges, we ask you to rename your submissions before you upload them, using this naming protocol:


If your files are already named with titles, thanks! In that case, no need to rename them.

Can I submit a PDF ebook?

No, sorry. The DBA program does not admit PDFs.

Which category is right for my entry?

Read the category descriptions below to see which one best describe your project.

  • Ebook—Flowable: These files are made in EPUB and/or KF8 without utilizing features such as audio, video, HTML5, Javascript, fixed layout, pop-outs, etc., in order to work on a wide variety of e-reading devices.
  • Ebook Fixed—Format/Enhanced: These files utilize any of the enhanced EPUB specifications and/or any (or all) of the full range of KF8 specifications, such as audio, video, HTML5, Javascript, fixed layout, pop-outs, etc.
  • App: If the title must be downloaded from an App Store, and/or the ebook title can only be read on an app platform, it’s an app. It can be a native app or a Web-based app. Files formatted using EPUB and KF8 specifications are not considered apps. Books created using iBook Author must be considered apps.
  • Transmedia: A transmedia project is a work that strategically flows across multiple platforms and formats to tell a series of stories that live in a larger storyworld. Each medium makes its own unique contribution to the whole. An example would be an enhanced ebook/multiplayer computer game/ web-video series.
  • Education and Learning: This category is right if it is a product created to achieve a clear learning objective; delivers educational content; and supports preK-12 grade learning for students and families. It can be app-based, web-based, proprietary platform or e-book, available for purchase or by individual or classroom subscription. If your entry is educational/textbook, but at college or post-college level; submit it to Academic/reference in the correct platform. If your entry is not an educational product but aimed at preK-12 grade ages; submit it to correct subcategory elsewhere (children, adult fiction/nonfiction). Within a series or a library of titles offered by a learning platform, QED review and judging will be based on one book or content package selected by the entrant.

My Education and Learning category entry presents or comprises many book titles. Which titles and how many do I submit for review?

You only need one book title, or content package, in order to submit your product to the Education and Learning category for QED and Award review. If you choose to submit more than one title it will be considered a separate entry; you will, in effect, be submitting two entries to the category. So please choose the best representative of your platform or program’s selection for the judges’ review.