EXCLUSIVE: Guardian UK and Legend Times Launch Monthly Self-Published Novel Prize at LBF14

I’ve mixed opinions about the strength and value of writing prizes targeted at self-published authors. Often these prizes seem more focussed on the promotion and benefits of sponsors, writing organisations and publishing service providers than the winning authors and their books.

However, that may be about to change. Later today, at the opening of London Book Fair 2014, the Guardian UK (a national English newspaper) and Legend Times (owners of Legend Press and New Generation Publishing) will announce the launch of a monthly writing prize, highlighting the best submitted self-published novels. Each month submissions will be judged by book industry professionals, with one winning novel selected for review in the Guardian UK newspaper.
This is the first time I am aware that a national newspaper anywhere has backed a prize focussed on self-published authors and it is to be commended at a time when book review space is dwindling in mainstream media. The Guardian UK newspaper has been particularly proactive over the past year highlighting the emergence of self-publishing as a viable method to book publication for authors and the changes in the publishing industry as a whole. Since last autumn the Guardian UK has also run a weekly series of features about authors and their self-published books.
This new monthly prize will be officially known as The Guardian Legend Times Self-Published Novel of the Month.
The prize is open to self-published authors on the first fortnight of every month and it starts right now, today, April 8th!
Below is the full press release from today’s official announcement at LBF14.


The Guardian and Legend Times launch
ground-breaking self-publishing award
The Guardian and Legend Times have announced a new monthly writing prize, highlighting the best self-published novels. The winning novel will be selected by a panel of industry judges each month and reviewed in the Guardian. 
Leading national newspaper The Guardian have created the prize with Legend Times, an award-winning independent publishing group, with companies including traditional fiction publisher Legend Press and a self-publishing company New Generation Publishing. The prize will be the first time a national newspaper has supported and championed authors in the self-publishing sector on the same scale as traditionally published writers, showcasing the fantastic quality of writing that can be found from independent authors.
The prize is launched in response to the growing presence of self-publishing within the book industry. No longer can the mainstream industry ignore what the general public have been reading and enjoying for a number of years, with many self-published authors outstripping the sales of novels published traditionally. 
Judges for the prize will be The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency, Legend Press’ Commissioning Editor Lauren Parsons, and authors Stuart Evers and Polly Courtney.
Submissions for The Guardian Legend Times Self-Published Novel of the Month’ will be open for the first fortnight of each calendar month, with authors permitted to submit one novel a year. All submissions must be submitted digitally and must be in the English Language, although translations are welcomed. The first round of submissions will start on 8thApril 2014 and for details of the prize please visit:

Claire Armitstead, Literary Editor of The Guardian comments: “The phenomenon of self-publishing over the last couple of years has become too big for any of us to ignore. We’ve showcased some of the proven stars on the Guardian Books website. We’re confident that our partnership with Legend Times, who lead the way in industry innovation, will give us a chance to find the brightest and the best in this dynamic new sector.” 
Tom Chalmers, Legend Times MD comments ‘As a publishing group we have championed both traditional and self-publishing for a number of years and believe there is a strong market for both. We are delighted to be working with the Guardian on this prestigious prize. There are some brilliant self-published books out there and the aim of the prize is to bring these gems to the forefront. People in the publishing industry and literary awards in general are often too quick to disregard the work of self-published authors, missing the wealth of creativity and innovative writing there is out there.’ 
Legend Times Ltd was established in 2012 and is a publishing group encompassing five businesses: Legend Press (traditional fiction publisher), Paperbooks, Legend Business, New Generation Publishing (self-publishing company) and Write Connections. Visit www.LegendTimesGroup.com for details. 
Tweet us @Legend_Press


Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant

If you found this review or article helpful, but you’re still looking for a suitable self-publishing provider to fit your needs as an author, then I’m sure I can help. As a publishing consultant and editor of this magazine, I’ve reviewed and examined in detail more than 150 providers throughout the world like the one above. As a self-published and traditionally published author of nine books, I understand your needs on the path to publication and beyond. So, before you spend hundreds or thousands, and a great deal of your time, why not book one of my personally tailored and affordable consultation sessions today? Click here for more details.
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