Rom at the top — self-published authors succeed at RWA’s RITA Romance Awards

Five indie authors have won Romance Writers of America RITA Awards this year and 23 indie writers were among the finalists.

The RITA Awards recognize excellence in romance fiction and were announced recently at the RWA annual conference in New York City.

The five winners all self-publish through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and were all first-time winners. They and their winning books are:

  • Fearless by Elizabeth Dyer — Winner in the Romantic Suspense category
  • Bad Blood by M Malone — Winner for Romance Novella
  • Advanced Physical Chemistry by Susannah Nix — Winner for Contemporary Romance: Mid-length
  • Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan — Winner for Contemporary Romance: Long
  • A Wicked Kind of Husband by Mia Vincy — Winner for Historical Romance: Long

The indie winners continue the record of self-publishing successes at the RITAs as last year also saw five KDP authors take awards.

This year’s Romance Suspense winner Elizabeth Dyer (with Fearless) was also a finalist in the same section for her book Relentless but that title was published by Amazon Publishing imprint Montlake Romance. Both books are in Dyer’s Somerton Security series, although Fearless is also described a ‘A Standalone Romantic Suspense’.

The Romance Novella category won by indie writer M Malone was particularly strong for self-published authors this year with five of the seven finalists being independently published.

There was also a strong presence for self-publishing in the Paranormal Romance section with four self-publishers among the seven finalists. The category was won by Dearest Ivie by J R Ward, published by Ballantine, who has also written contemporary romance novels under the name of Jessica Bird which are being rebranded as by J R Ward.

Self-published author Mia Vincy won the Historical Romance: Long category with her debut novel, A Wicked Kind of Husband, which was also a finalist in the Best First Book section, but that was won by Lady in Waiting by Marie Tremayne, published by Avon Impulse.

Lady in Waiting was also a finalist in the Historical Romance: Long category so that produced the quirky phenomenon of two books competing against each other in two sections and each book winning one of the awards.

You can see all the finalists and winners of the RITA awards on the RWA website.

Indie authors win RITA Romance awards