There are a wealth of books that enter the market every year without the benefit of a major publishing house (Random House, Doubleday- Dell etc.), their infusion of large marketing dollars or constant visibility. Many of these books are prime examples of what a published book should be: well-written, whether broad or narrow in scope, original, and beautifully designed, with production values that exemplify the best our industry offers the buyer. These are the books that arise from the independent, University and small presses.

Despite their excellence, they often do not have the marketing clout to compete with the big guns. Recognizing that excellence, Small Press magazine instituted the Small Press Book Awards.

The book industry, like most fields of entertainment, uses awards to ferret out the best and create a beacon that draws readers and buyers. But a quick look at our industry shows that, although many awards programs exist, very few are broad-based.

Publishing awards programs are typically broken down in one of four ways. They are often category or genre specific such as the Edgar or Caldecott awards; sometimes they honor unpublished or first time authors as do the Hemingway awards; some award only to those authors whose work has appeared in a specific periodical or journal; and many are open only to affiliated members of the sponsoring organization.

The staff at Small Press magazine saw a need for a broad-based, unaffiliated program. One that would be open to all members of the independent publishing industry. An awards program that would "recognize excellence in independent publishing."

In March of 1996, after taking the helm of Small Press magazine, Jerrold Jenkins with his magazine staff saw fit to institute the Small Press Book Awards. The 1997 awards were slated to coincide with the annual conference held by the International Small Press Publishing Institute prior to the BookExpo America trade show. More importantly, they would mark the beginning of the 15th consecutive year of publication of Small Press magazine.

Nearly 800 entries were received in the 27 categories being honored. This was a tremendous response, far more than originally anticipated. The books were judged on content, originality, design and production quality. With that in mind, the award would honor the many people who worked to publish the book: author, editor, designer and publisher.


A premier publishing services firm

Independent Publisher on Instagram


1997 Small Press / IPPY Book Awards Results

Announcing the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medalists

Congratulations to the winners of the 1997 Small Press/IPPY Book Awards!

Below are the results listed by category. 




Winner: Art in the American South, by Randolph Delehanty (Louisiana State University Press)

Finalists: Works: The Architecture of A.J. Diamond, edited by Brian Carter (TUNS Press)

Spiritual Path, Sacred Place, by Thomas Barrie (Shambhala Publications, Inc.)


Winner: Spirit Catcher: The Life and Art of John Coltrane, by John Fraim (The Greathouse Company)

Finalists: Destination Tombstone: Adventures of a Prospector, by Edward Schieffelin; compiled by Marilyn F. Butler (Royal Spectrum Publishing)

Mary Hallock Foote: Pioneer Woman Illustrator, by Doris Bickford-Swarthout (Berry Hill Press)


Winner: The Truth About Money, by Ric Edelman (Georgetown University Press)

Finalists: The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. & William D. Danko, Ph.D. (Longstreet Press)

Chances & Choices: How Women Can Succeed in Today’s Knowledge-Based Business, by Janet C. Wylie (EBW Press)


Winner: The Worry Stone, by Marianna Dengler; illustrated by Sibyl Graber Gerig (Northland Publishing)

Finalists: River My Friend, William Bell & Ken Campbell (Orca Book Publishers)

J. Rooker, Manatee, by Jan Haley; illustrated by Paul Brent (Focus Publishing)

Merit: No One Walks on My Father’s Moon, by Chara M. Curtis; illustrated by Rebecca Hyland (Voyage Publishing)


Winner: Rescued By Upgrading Your PC, 2nd Edition, by Dr. Kris Jamsa, Ph.D. (Jamsa Press)

Finalists: Clicking In - Hot Limits to a Digital Culture, edited by Lynn Hershman Leeson (Bay Press)

1001 Java Programmer’s Tips, by Mark C. Chan, Steven W. Griffith & Anthony F. Iasi (Jamsa Press)


Winner: Stop and Smell the Rosemary: Recipes and Traditions to Remember, by The Junior League of Houston, Inc. (The Junior League of Houston, Inc.)

Finalists: Looney Spoons: Low-Fat Food Made Fun! by Janet & Greta Podleski (Granet Publishing)

Southern Settings, by Decatur General Foundation (Decatur General Foundation)


Winner: Claire Murray Nantucket Inspiration, by Claire Murray (CMD Enterprises)

Finalists: All About Wool: A Fabric Dictionary & Swatchbook, by Julie Parker (Rain City Publishing)

The Artful Ribbon: Beauties in Bloom, by Candace Kling (C & T Publishing)  


Winner: The Teacher’s Complete & Easy Guide to the Internet, by Ann Heide & Linda Stillborne (Trifolium Books)

Finalists: Writing From the Exterior Dramatic Perspective, by Laurine Ark (Fort Tryon Press)

Making Sense of Adult Learning, by Dorothy Mackeracher (Cultural Concepts)


Winner: Big Bluestem: A Journey into the Tallgrass, by Annick Smith (Council Oak Books)

Finalists: Pictorial Guide to Living Primates, by Noel Rowe (Pogonias Press)

Betrayal of Science & Reason, by Paul R. Erlich & Anne H. Erlich (Island Press)


Winner: Winona’s Web, by Priscilla Cogan (Face to Face Books)

Finalists: A Season of Apples, by Ann Copeland (GooseLane Editions)

Into the Forest, by Jean Hegland (Calyx Books)

Merit: Where the Oceans Meet, by Bhargavi C. Mandava (Seal Press)


Winner: Garden Birds of America, by George H. Harrison (Willow Creek Press)

Finalists: The Organic Rose Garden, by Liz Druitt (Taylor Publishing Company)

Plants for American Landscapes, by Neil G. Odenwald, Charles F. Fryling & Thomas E. Pope (Louisiana State University Press)


Winner: Autumn Sea, by Toke Hoppenbrouwers (Astarte Shell Press)

Finalists: Silent Words, by Joan M. Drury (Spinsters’ Ink)

Much More Than Sexuality, by Liz & John Sherblom (Audenreed Press)


Winner: Essiac: A Native Herbal Cancer Remedy, by Cynthia Olsen (Kali Press)

Finalists: Fat Chance: Your Best Chance for Permanent Weight Loss, by Joan Cortopassi & Annette Cain (Alden Books)

Medicare Made Simple, by Denise Knaus (Health Information Press)


Winner: If I Were A Carpenter, by Frye Gaillard (John F. Blair)

Finalists: Civil War Firearms: Their Historical Background, Tactical Use and Modern Collecting and Shooting, by Joseph G. Bilby (Combined Books)

A Few Reasonable Words: Selected Writings, by Henry Regnery (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)

Merit: One Sunny Day: A Child’s Memories of Hiroshima, by Hideko Tamura Snider (Open Court Press)


Winner: The Drag Queen’s Cookbook & Guide to Sensible Living, by Honey van Campe (Winter Books/Pontalba Press)

Finalists: Diary of a Mad Househusband, by Joseph Oberle (Kimm Publishing)

The Rat and the Rose: A Naughtobiography, by Arnold Rabin (Black Heron Press)

Hearts of Gold, by James Magorian (Acme Press)


Winner: Cochula's Journey, by Virginia Pounds-Brown (Black Belt Press)

Finalists: The Little Red Buckets, by Lynda M. Nelson (Galleon Publishing)

Thursday's Child, by Steven Emerson Swerdfeger (Cloudbank Creations)


Winner: Freedom Slave: Diary of a Black Man in the South, by Jasper Rastus Nall; edited by Karen Ameen (Crane Hill Publishers)

Finalists: dreams + action = Reality: A Step-by-Step Guide to Lifelong Success for Youth, by Richard J. Racosky (ActionGraphics Publishing)

I Know Things Now: Stories by Teenagers, edited by Carl Koch (Saint Mary's Press)


Winner: Reflections on Multiculturalism, by Robert Eddy (Intercultural Press, Inc.)

Finalists: Highway 99, edited by Stan Yogi (Heydey Books)

The Ties That No Longer Bind: Russians and Americans Talk to Each Other, edited by Jill O'Hara Ph.D. & Anna Varga Ph.D.; photographed by Vladimir Butenko (Cross Cultural Publications)


Winner: Soul Healing, by Dr. Bruce Goldberg (Llewellyn Worldwide)

Finalists: Songs of the Soul, by Anne Carroll Decker (Veritas Press)

The 2nd Ten Commandments: Your Guide to Success in the Consciousness Age, by Orion Moshe Kopelman with Marc Lehrer Ph.D. (Global Brain, Inc.)


Winner: Newborn Intensive Care: What Every Parent Needs To Know, by Jeanette Zaichkin (NICU Ink)

Finalists: Children, Parents, Lollipops, by Vladimir A. Tsesis, MD (Gardner Press)

Laying Community Foundations for Your Child With a Disability, by Linda J. Stengle, M.H.S. (Woodbine House)


Winner: Crazy Horse in Stillness, by William Heyen (BOA Editions, LTD)

Finalists: Otherwise, by Jane Kenyon (Graywolf Press)

Understanding Fiction: Poems 1986-1996, by Henry Taylor (Louisiana State University Press)

Merit:Threads of Experience, edited by Sandra Haldeman Martz; fabric and thread images by Diedre Scherer (Papier Mache Press)


Winner: Graphics Master 6, by Dean Phillip Lem (Dean Lem Associates)

Finalists: Tiller's Guide to Indian Country, by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller (Bow Arrow Publishing Co.)

Hoover's 500 Profiles of Americas Largest Business Enterprises (Hoover's Business Press)


Winner: Spirit of Fire: Teilhard de Chardin, by Ursula King (Orbis Books)

Finalists: Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary, by Lawrence Kushner (Jewish Lights Publishing)

The Triumph of Truth: A Life of Martin Luther, by Jean Henri Merle d 'Aubigne; translated by Henry White; edited by Mark Sidwell (Bob Jones University)


Winner: HDL Chip Design, by Douglas J. Smith (Doone Publications)

Finalists: Design of Experiments for Process Improvement and Quality Assurance, by Robert F. Brewer (Engineering & Management Press)

Landmarks in Mechanical Engineering,by Purdue Research Foundation (Purdue University Press)


Winner: Dark Moon Mysteries, by Timothy Roderick (Llewellyn Worldwide)

Finalists: Finding Joy: A Practical Spiritual Guide to Happiness, by Daniel I. Schwartz with Mark Hass (Jewish Lights Publishing)

Live Inside Out - Not Upside Down, by Fran Lotery, Ph.D. & Sherry Melchiorre, Ph.D. (Bronze Publishing)

26. SEX

Winner: First Person Sexual, edited by Joani Blank (Down There Press)

Finalists: How to Be Irresistible to the Opposite Sex, by Susan Bradley, R.N. (Loving University Press)

Romancing in the Personal Ads, by Peggi Ridgeway (Word Pictures)


Winner: BULL RUN! by Roland Lazenby,; photographed by Bill Smith (Addax Publishing Group)

Finalists: The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book, by James B. Roberts and Alexander G. Skutt (McBooks Press)

Packers vs. Bears: The Story of Pro Football’s Oldest Rivalry, by Glenn Swain (Charles Publishing Company)

Merit:The Spirit of a Winner: Great Moments in Sports from the Athletes Who Made Them Happen, by Caleb Pirtle III (Heritage Publishing Inc.)


Winner: India Unveiled, by Robert Arnett (Atman Press)

Finalists: An Amateur’s Guide to the Planet, by Jeannette Beliveau (Beau Monde Press)

Vacations That Can Change Your Life,by Ellen Lederman (Sourcebooks, Inc.)