Last week I flew to Portland to attend the Independent Book Publishers Association annual conference, Publishing University. I have attended in the past, but this time was special: In 30 Minutes guides was picking up a Ben Franklin award for Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes, by author Shannon Combs-Bennett!
IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin awards are well-known in the independent publishing community. Submissions are judged by multiple people according to very specific criteria, and the competition is fierce: This year, there were 1,300 submissions across several dozen categories. Genealogy Basics In 30 Minutes was one of only three titles to make it to the final round in its category (crafts & hobbies) and we were very happy to be awarded a Ben Franklin silver award (congratulations to the gold winner in our category, Bricks, Cobblestones and Pebbles: A Path to Modern Quilts by author Gyleen X. Fitzgerald, as well as the other finalist, Building Block Dress: A Sewing Pattern Alteration Guide by author Liesl Gibson).
Shannon and a friend joined me at the awards ceremony–it was actually the first time I had ever met her in person–and we really had a great time talking about genealogy, history, and some favorite historical dramas. I did not know this, but Shannon and her friend are experts on period historical dresses and were able to answer a question that I had long wondered about–why do the men in the PBS drama Wolf Hall have such heavy clothes? Answer: It was a mini-ice age in Europe in the 1520s!
Congratulations to Shannon for all of her hard work in preparing a manuscript, rewriting the draft, providing materials, and answering questions from me and the copy editor. The guide has been a great help to many readers (including one as far away as Australia!) and it made me proud to see her accepting the Ben Franklin award.