Updated: Jul 27, 2022
“Blue Summer” and “Silence” recognized for exceptional merit
May 12, 2022—Silence and Blue Summer, two Islandport Press novels set in Maine, have both won gold in their categories at the 2022 Independent Publisher Book Awards, known in the industry as the IPPYs.
Blue Summer, the latest novel by Jim Nichols, took the Best Regional Fiction category for the Northeast. The coming-of-age story explores the bittersweet fate of a boy torn apart by loss and domestic abuse and the justice he eventually delivers, all the while writing a haunting melody that tries to make sense of it all—a song he calls, “Blue Summer.” Previously, Blue Summer won the 2021 Maine Literary Award for Best Fiction.
Silence, William Carpenter’s 2021 novel, examines the bitter legacy of terrorism through the lens of conflict and loss, won gold in the Military/Wartime Fiction category. Main character Nick Colonna, a young veteran left deaf after an IED explosion killed his crew, struggles to find solace on the Maine coast. In addition to the IPPY, Silence is a finalist for the 2022 Maine Literary Award for Best Fiction and is a finalist for the Foreword Indies Award for War and Military Fiction.
“We strongly believe our independent press is annually producing some of the best so-called regional fiction in the United States and it is great to see the books and the authors get some outside recognition,” said Dean L. Lunt, founder and editor-in-chief of Islandport Press. “Both novels were edited by Genevieve A. Morgan, one of the best fiction editors in New England, and both are not only superbly written, but achieve what we always look for: telling excellent, accessible, and universal stories defined in part by a strong sense of place.”
With ninety categories, the IPPY Awards annually honor the best independently published titles. The unaffiliated program, run by the book marketing firm The Jenkins Group, is open to independently owned operations, university presses, and self-published authors, as well as worldwide publishers who produce books for the North American market.
“As far as we know, it’s the largest book awards contest in the world,” wrote Awards Director Jim Barnes in a blog post. “Each year we see an increase in the quantity and quality of publishing from independents around the world. Entries come from all 50 United States, all of the Canadian provinces, and about twenty other English-speaking countries.”