7 Business Book Awards And Why You Need To Enter


Becoming an author is a huge achievement in itself. Once your book is out however, what are some of the ways you can keep the buzz and momentum going? Winning an award for your business book is a powerful expert positioning strategy.

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Why Should I Enter?

Winning an award not only boosts your own confidence in your work and expert status, it will also give you a huge sense of accomplishment and will help make a name for you as an author and for your book and company.

Once you win an award, you can display it on your company’s website, your author site, your speaker and author bios and your social media profiles, along with the title ‘award-winning author’. It’s prestigious.

The other major benefit to winning (or even being nominated) for a book award is credibility, particularly when your work is self-published. Traditional publishing can be the right way forward for some. Things are different for business book authors though.

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You can implement strategies yourself that leverage your book to increase your impact, income and influence. The only thing that concerns authors is, “Will I still be taken as seriously if I self-publish rather than traditionally publish?” Winning an award for your book gives you that objective seal of approval and the credibility you’re seeking.

7 Business Book Awards Competitions

Non-fiction is still a largely underserved niche in publishing. In the literary world, there are very few opportunities to be acknowledged as a business book author.

But they do exist. So I’ve rounded up what I’ve been able to find, available to UK authors as well, and included them each in no particular order with a short description below. Good luck, and let me know which you enter!

1. Axiom Business Book Awards

Started in 2007 by Jenkins Group, The Axiom Business Book Awards website describes the awards as “prestigious and competitive” and present awards across 22 different business-related categories. Their mission is to connect readers with new and innovative works.

Winning books of Axiom Awards help their readers to understand the various trends and technologies impacting the business world, how changes in those areas may impact them, and the opportunities such changes may create. Check out the 2019 winners to see which titles won.

It’s refreshing to see such a focus on entrepreneurship and small business, and interesting to note the leaning towards AI and moonshot thinking. Contrasting that to previous years’ winners which you view via the links on the right-hand side of the page, 2018 leaned towards leadership titles and 2017 was more managerial and operations focussed.

If you go right back to 2008, the first year of the awards and the dawn of the worst recession in decades, you can see a distinct theme amongst the winning books is performance and profits.

What is also interesting about the Axiom Awards site is that for each year, it also tell you how many entries were received, and the publishers of the winning titles, so you can ever reverse engineer your book’s success if you are to get really strategic and research the publishers who submit.

Having said that, these awards are also for independently published titles.

Entry Guidelines:
– Business book authors and publishers worldwide.
– Published with a 2018-2020 copyright or that were released between March 2018 and January 2020
– That are intended for the American market.
– Print-On-Demand and other independent authors are welcome to enter their books themselves.
– E-books may be entered in all categories to be judged alongside print books.

Entry Fee: $75 per category

Prize Money: n/a

Entry Deadline: for 2020 submit by July 20th 2019 early bird, January 11th 2020 standard.


2. CMI Management Book Of The Year

The Chartered Management Institute’s Management Book of the Year celebrates the very best in, you guessed, it, management writing. Prizes are awarded to a range of works, “from the most inspiring to the most useful”. The competition is held in association with the British Library and sponsored by Henley Business School.

You can submit your book to four different categories:
– Innovation and Entrepreneurship
– Practical Manager
– Management Futures
– Aspiring Leader

Following a review by the competition’s review committee, the entries are then whittled down to create a shortlist of just 5 books per category. The category judges then pick the winning book for each category from those shortlists. The final judges then pick a winning book out of all the category winners.

If you check out the 2019 winners you’ll see the renowned, ‘Make Elephants Fly‘ by Steven Hoffman, published by Little Brown Book Group, which also won the Gold medal in Entrepreneurship/Small Business in the 2018 Axiom Awards, (this time listed as published by Center Street).

Entry Guidelines: TBC, check the website for updates for the 2020 competition.

Entry Fee: TBC

Prize Money: n/a

Entry Deadline: 2020 deadline to be released, check the website for date announcements.


3. Nautilus Book Awards

The Nautilus Book Awards may not look much on first glance of the website but if you haven’t heard of it, it is one of the most prestigious book awards on the planet. A simple mission statement of, “Better Books For A Better World”, previous winners include Deepak Chopra, Simon Sinek and Eckhart Tolle. Don’t let that put you off though! There are also plenty of ‘unknowns’. Well, prior to winning on of these awards, that is. The focus is on contribution.

Nautilus’ dedication is to recognising, promoting, and celebrating books that support:
– Conscious living & sustainability
– High-level health & wellness
– Spiritual growth, and
– Positive social change & social justice

And within those 4 pillars, there are 35 different categories into which you can submit your work. Business and Leadership is one of them. So are Memoir & Personal Journey and Personal Growth & Self-Help. You can view all 35 cateogories here.

You can submit as an independent work or having been published, and there are no age or geographical restrictions.

Entry Guidelines:
– Print book, in English, with ISBN number
– Publication date during either 2018 or 2019
– High-quality writing
– Published version, no “Advance Reader Copy”
– Articulate and excellent message for the Category selected
– Expresses one or more of the four Nautilus values
– 4 copies of each Book Title for the initial category that you enter. If you enter the SAME title in additional categories, you must send three 3 books for each additional category entered.

Entry Fee:
– When your Entry package is postmarked between September 21– through October 31, the Early Bird Entry Fees apply: $165 USD for one Category (General Adult) in which your Title is entered + $135 for an additional Category for the same Title.
– Postmarks from November 1- through December 31 are eligible for the Regular Entry Fees: $175 USD for one Category (General Adult) + $145 for an additional Category.
– Packages postmarked from January 1- through Feb 7, 2020 will require the Final Entry Fees: $185 USD for one Category (General Adult) + $155 USD for an additional Category for the same Title.

Prize Money:

Cash Prize for Grand Winner (2018’s was $2,500). Winners also get:
– Exhibit opportunities at National and International Trade Shows including Book Expo America, American Library Association Annual, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Beijing Book Fair – and other book shows.
– Announcements and online listings of winning titles for one year.
– Lifetime listing in the Nautilus Library of Imagination & Possibility.
– List of marketing opportunities as an Award Winning Book.
– Image of preprinted Custom Metallic Nautilus Winners Seals to purchase and use on website / marketing materials / reprints of book.

Entry Deadline:

The 2019 Season of Nautilus Book Awards will open for Entries on Saturday, September 21st 2019. Entry packages with a postmark date between September 21st 2019 through to February 7th 2020 will be accepted.


4. The Business Book Awards

A UK-based competition, the Business Book Awards celebrates the work of authors who have shared their industry or market knowledge, experience and expertise in published book form.

There are three impartial judges per category, assessing factors such as content, market, writing style and originality into account, as well as focusing on the innovation and creativity of the work.

When shortlisted books are announced a month or so after the submissions deadline, selected authors will be able to then add stickers and logos to their book’s cover(s), social media and website(s). The Business Book Awards also support winners as much as possible with PR and social media promotion.

There are 6 categories in total, with the winners from each being submitted for the Business Book Of The Year Award (selected by a Head Judge), as well as being announced at the awards event and presented with a trophy.

It’s worth noting that a new category – An Exceptional Book by a Woman – will be picked from the shortlists across all categories.

Entry Guidelines:
– Participants will be required to complete a form which will be used to assess their application.
– Provide four copies of the book you would like to enter
– Pay a £20 per entry administration fee.
– It will be permissible to submit more than one book per author (if you have published more than one within the publication deadlines).
– Each book can only be submitted in one category.

Entry Fee: £20 per entry

Prize Money: n/a

Entry Deadline: Entries for the 2019 Business Book Awards opened from 10th September 2018, and closed on 31st December 2018. Judging took place in January 2019 with the awards dinner taking place in London in March 2019. Check the website for 2020 submission dates.


5. The Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

The Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award aims to identify the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, including management, finance and economics.

The judges give preference to those books whose insights and influence are most likely to stand the test of time. The first award was in 2005 to Thomas Friedman for his well-known book, ‘The World Is Flat‘. Last year’s winner was John Carreyrou for Bad Blood, his report of the rise and fall of blood testing company Theranos.

Admittedly, there is little information available for this competition. The authors above are certainly established and the winning titles decidedly meatier than your average business book. Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times, will chair a panel of distinguished academics, writers and business people to judge the entries. Goldman Sachs supported the award from 2005-2013 with consulting firm McKinsey taking the reins from 2014. there are also no self-published or independently published entries – submissions are allowed by publishers only.

The niche and exclusive nature of this award is reflected, however, by the significant financial prize of £30,000 and the prestige that comes with winning.

Entry Guidelines:
– Books can only be submitted by publishers.
– To be eligible for the 2019 award, books must have been published for the first time in the English language — whether in electronic or physical form — between November 16 2018 and November 15 2019.

Entry Fee: n/a

Prize Money: The winner will receive £30,000. Five other shortlisted books will each receive £10,000.

Entry Deadline: June 28th 2019 for 2019 award. Judges will announce a long-list of books in August 2019. A shortlist of up to six titles is revealed on September 16th 2019. The winner will then be announced and the prize presented at a special dinner in New York on December 3rd 2019.

Website: and queries to:

6. The Sunday Times/ Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award

The Sunday Times/ Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award is awarded to a British or Irish author between 18 and 35 years old for a full-length published or self-published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry.

The University of Warwick have stepped up to be the prize’s main sponsor and Caroline Michel, CEO of literary agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop its main patron, aiming to revive the prize which has seen a rebrand and a few fairly dormant years. It’s now safe to say that this is a credible, publicised and widely supported award.

But yes, this is an age restricted competition. To make the most of it if you are over 35 years of age as the majority of business owners are, this could be something you sponsor or at least encourage a rising star working in your organisation to go for.

It certainly pays from a company culture perspective to have employees that build their personal brand and what better achievement can you encourage a young staff member to do than author a book on their area of expertise? It could have your company’s branding and colours worked into the book’s design and you could even write the Foreword.

The team member must commit to doing the work and getting it published, perhaps with the necessary external support, then enter the competition. That’s excellent marketing collateral and something completely unique to your business and your team.

Entry Guidelines:
– UK and Irish citizens and those who have been resident in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland for the three years preceding the award are all eligible.
– The author must be between the ages of 18 and 35 years on 31st December 2019.
– The work submitted must be by one author in the English language.
– The work submitted must have been first published in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland, in the English language, between 9th June 2018 and 15th June 2019.
– Ebooks must be submitted in PDF format.
– Publishers may enter up to two entries per imprint and may provide a written submission for one further title for possible call in.

Entry Fee: n/a

Prize Money: £5,000. 

Entry Deadline: 2019 submissions were open between 9th June and 15th June 5pm. The shortlist will be announced in November 2019 with the winner revealed on 5th December 2019. Keep an eye on the Society of Authors site below (who administer the award) for 2020 submission dates.


7. The Somerset Maugham Awards

The Somerset Maugham Awards are given to British writers under the age of 35, for a published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry.

OK so this one has an age restriction too, however if you’re under 35 this is a great opportunity to launch your career as a writer and can open other doors.

The awards were set up in 1947 by W.Somerset Maugham, the English playwright, novelist, and short story writer. He was popular in his time, particularly in the 1930s, having written more than 30 books. He championed the power of reading and is still widely quoted for musings such as, “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life”, today.

Again, administered by the Society of Authors, the prize is intended for foreign travel to enable young writers to enrich their work. A great opportunity for non-fiction writers to build a name for themselves both hear and overseas.

Entry Guidelines: Check in with the website below for this year’s submission guidelines, which at the time of writing are yet to be announce.

Entry Fee: n/a

Prize Money: £16,000 total

Entry Deadline: The deadline for 2019 entries was 30th November 2018 at 5pm. Check the Society of Authors website below for 2020 submission information.


You may also be interested in:

–  The Costa Book Awards – biographies only

– The Bracken Bower Prize for under-35s, also backed by the FT and McKinsey. The prize is £15,000 to the author of the best proposal for a business book on the challenges and opportunities of growth.

Next Steps

Be sure to let me know which competitions you submit your business book to so I can celebrate and share.  

If you’d like more information on how you can become the author of an award-worthy business book with my support, you can reach me HERE or call 020 3752 7057.

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