New Eligibility Rules

Nominations for the 2011 Cybils open just after the stroke of midnight (Pacific time) as Friday turns into Saturday. Check your list of favorite new books and get ready, everyone.

But — uh oh — we've had some serious changes in our eligibility rules.

Yes, we've gotten so big and la-di-da we can be a bit pickier now. The rules are actually designed to make life easier for our panelists. I get very antsy when I learn they have to shell out their own money or go to great hassle to obtain review copies. I want this to be easy for them, but unfortunately that means a few extra hurdles for everyone else.

New eligibility rules are below the jump. Thanks in advance for your careful reading.

–Anne Levy, Cybils admin.

Books (eBook criteria follow):

To be eligible for a Cybils award, a print book must be:

  1. published in the US or Canada only(*please see note). This avoids outrageous shipping costs and double jeopardy when a UK title is nominated a second time after it comes out in the US;
  2. published between one contest and the next. For this year, that means from Oct. 16, 2010 to Oct. 15, 2011;
  3. widely available for public sale. Titles available only from book clubs or publisher websites are not eligible, for example, as we cannot obtain copies easily.
  4. aimed at the youth market up to age 18. Books marketed to adult readers that may also appeal to teens are not eligible.


Note: This applies only to "born digital" ebooks that have no dead-tree counterpart.

To be eligible for a Cybils award, a born digital ebook must be:

  1. published in both the Kindle and ePub format. It can be published in additional formats (such as PDF), but cannot skip those two;
  2. marketed primarily to Young Adult Fiction and Science Fiction & Fantasy for teen readers. No other genre is accepting born digital titles this year. We'll revisit the idea if all goes well;
  3. put out by a publisher in good standing with the American Booksellers Association (ABA), Children's Book Council (CBC), Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), or Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN) or their regional affiliates OR;
  4. (alternate to #3) put out by a publisher who produces more than one title a year.

Book Apps

To be eligible for a Cybils award, a book app must be:

  1. aimed primarily at kids or teens;
  2. geared mainly toward storytelling and/or literacy and not just gaming;
  3. be readable on an iPad or computer.

We know the rules are more complicated. Technology makes for some new issues, but also incredibly exciting opportunities. Also, I may be updating this list as organizers recall other eligibility issues we've discussed, but I think this is pretty comprehensive.

Thank you for joining us this year!

UPDATE: Two fixes. Ebooks can come from a publisher affiliated with a trade group OR publish more than one title a year. The other fix is that apps must be for the iPad only.

*UPDATE 2: Oh, honestly people. Stop birthing so many bovines over the US- and Canada-only thing. It should be obvious that we don't care if the book is out in the rest of the freaking world. So Slovenia and Namibia have it too. Yay. If it's not published on US or Canadian soil, we have trouble getting our hands on it. So it's not eligible. You try prying copies out of British publishers who haven't heard of you, don't know if you're legit and you end up having to buy it on Amazon and pay shipping. Expensive shipping.

So, nuts to books published by them furriners who can't be bothered to furnish a few US or Canadian bookstores with copies. When an edition comes out right here in the good ol' US of A (or north of the border) and/or they make it EASILY available on this side of the pond then we'll be happy to consider it. And only then.

Satisfied? Sheesh.