1. Children’s Trade

Primarily for young readers and may vary in subject matter. They might be highly illustrated or have innovative nontraditional elements. They may also feature attachments that support the editorial content and promote participation and experimentation. Elements intended to support the editorial content of these books must be incorporated into the book or be physically attached. Sub-categories include:

  • Hardcover Picture Book – Fiction
  • Hardcover Picture Book – Nonfiction
  • Hardcover Young Adult – Fiction
  • Hardcover Young Adult – Nonfiction
  • Young Adult Illustrated Novel
  • Young Adult Graphic Novel
  • Novelty Book (includes books with distinct elements such as die-cuts, multiproduct, and board books)
  • Pop-Up Books
  • Trade Paperback – Cover only

2. General Trade

Published primarily for their content, but may include illustrations and photo sections. Sub-categories include:

  • Hardcover Book – Fiction
  • Hardcover Book – Nonfiction
  • Cookbook
  • Quality Paperback Book (original publications or those redesigned from hardcover editions)
  • Poetry
  • Mass Market – Cover only
  • Literary Magazines

3. Special Trade

Designed to maximize their illustrative appeal. Subject matter may be highly specialized or of a general nature. Sub-categories include:

  • General Book (includes books on crafts, travel, gardening, hobbies and style/fashion)
  • Photography
  • Fine Art – Under $75 Retail
  • Fine Art – Over $75 Retail
  • Gift Book
  • Adult Graphic Novel

4. Scholarly & Professional

Geared toward upper-level graduate students, professionals, or libraries. Sub-categories include:

  • Scholarly Books
  • Reference Books
  • Business Books

5. School Publishing

Textbooks intended for classroom use and purchased by schools and/or undergraduate students. Sub-categories include:

  • Elementary
  • Middle/High School
  • College (includes titles for vocational or adult education use)
  • School Library Series
  • Ancillary


6. Self-Published Covers

Books available for purchase as a print or digital edition, but are not represented by a traditional publishing house. Please note that submissions in this category will be judged on covers only, but the book itself may be categorized in any subject or genre. PLEASE NOTE: For the physical component of these entries, we are accepting PDFs only submitted via the entry form as an upload to our website. Sub-categories include:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction