The I Heart Indie Contest

Welcome to the I Heart Indie Contest!

The IHI Contest will be open for entries again in April, 2018.

In the world of electronic publishing, a book’s cover and the back cover copy are often what make—or break—a sale. Wouldn’t it be nice to know how effectively these elements are selling your book? We devised this contest to pair up indie books with (to the extent possible) genre-specific book clubs to determine what readers prefer and to give your book more exposure to possible readers. Additionally, even indie authors might consider using an agent to help them negotiate foreign sales, film rights, and a host of other things that are beyond the original publication of their work. We have arranged for several of these agents to judge the final round of the contest. 

The contest is open to any independently published book, as well as those published by small presses.

You may enter as many books as you like, so long as they meet the entry requirements. Each category is limited to 50 entries. The contest categories are as follows:

  • Contemporary Romance:Novels that take place now or within the last 30 years.
  • Historical:Novels set in any historical time period, with the exception of those set in the western United States.
  • Erotic Romance:Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline.
  • Inspirational:Novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religion or spiritual belief system) are a major part of the romantic relationship.
  • Paranormal:Novels in which paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot.
  • Suspense:Novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
  • Young Adult:Novels that focus on the romantic relationship between teenagers.
  • New Adult:Novels that focus on the romantic relationship between adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
  • Novella:A work of fiction between 18,000 to 40,000 words.
  • Western: Novels, either contemporary or historical set in the western United States.
  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Novels in which the future, space or fantasy elements play an integral part of the plot.


All the entries in a category will be judged by at least one book club and every effort will be made to use book club(s) that are genre-specific. The top five entries in each category will then be judged by literary agents experienced in working with indie authors. The agents will rank the entries and the top entry will be the winner of the category. The book clubs will be provided with the winners from each category and will judge and determine the “Best of the Best” winner. All decisions of the judges are final and without recourse.


Contact Information

If you have any questions, please contact us via email at: or reach us via our contact page.