stbfimagefromflyerThank you for your interest in the Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project!

The 2018 contest is now closed. We are no longer accepting Nominations and submissions for this year’s contest

This exciting, library-driven initiative is entering its fifth year and just keeps getting better. Thanks to our ongoing partnership with BiblioBoard, and our ongoing partnership with RAILS and ILA, potential benefits to winning authors now include:

• Statewide recognition by libraries as the top self-published book
• $1,000 cash prize
• Announcement of winner and finalists at a library author program
• Print book sales to Illinois libraries
• Promotion and royalties through sales in the Indie Rock Stars module, alongside indie bestselling superstars
• Inclusion in Popup Picks, a mobile media curation service offered by Reaching Across Illinois Library System, for three months
• Book review in Library Journal
• Book tour of Illinois libraries

How do you submit your book?

(1) Find an Illinois library (public, academic, school, or special) that is willing to sponsor your book. A staff person from that library will need to submit an online sponsorship form – click for details here.

(2) After your nominating form is submitted, you will receive an email with instructions on how to submit your e-book.

(3) Remember: participating authors must live in Illinois, and the work being submitted must be a self-published work in an adult fiction genre.

Gather all the information you need to apply, including:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your mailing address (you must be an Illinois resident)
  • Your phone number
  • The title of your self-published novel – reminder, this contest is open to authors of fiction for adults
  • A short synopsis of your book
  • Your book in .ePUB or PDF format.

Is your book currently a Mobi file? Read the following information about converting your book to one of the accepted file formats.

Mobi Files FAQ
What file types can I submit to the Soon To Be Famous (STBF) Illinois Author Project?

Soon To Be Famous accepts books in ePUB or PDF format. These accepted formats have file extensions of .epub and .pdf, respectively.

I have a MOBI file. Can I submit to Soon To Be Famous?
Mobipocket files (or MOBI files) have a file extension of either .mobi or .prc. If your file has one of these extensions—or any other unsupported file extension—you’ll need to convert it before being able to submit to Soon To Be Famous.

How do I convert my MOBI file (or other unsupported file) to an ePUB or PDF?
There are a number of free online tools available that offer conversion of one file type to another, such as, where you can simply upload your file, choose your desired file extension and download your converted book within minutes.

NOTE: Before submitting, you should check to be sure your file has been converted properly and that no formatting errors have occurred.

If you are unable to convert your file, or have questions about submitting to the Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project, please contact





    1. We would love for a whole host of librarians and others to come together to work on a young adult part of the contest. Currently, we do not have the capacity to handle it. Thanks for the question. Denise Raleigh for STBF

  1. Can you please confirm via email or phone, receipt of my application generated by Ms. Novak, a Librarian at the IIT Library and sent a week or so ago?

    Phone Number 708-352-3458

  2. The book for which I was nominated is available right now free of charge to Librarians as an eBook on Smashwords,
    which is easy to access.

    Is that a satisfactory form for access by your judges?

    Please respond.

    1. Thank you for your comments and questions. Smashwords is not a form of access we can use this year. BiblioBoard has been contacted and asked to resend the email to you so that you may submit your book to them. We were informed that it would be sent earlier this afternoon. Please let us know if the email does not arrive today.

  3. This may be a silly question, but:
    The first few pages of my manuscript contain an excerpt, a dedication and a blank page for sales and presentation. Are the judges expecting to see the work as the average reader would upon opening up the front cover, or would they prefer to start with the story?
    (I’ve already been nominated and I’m ready to submit)
    Thank you

    1. Not silly at all, Chad! I think it is fine to include the full manuscript, just as the reader would see it upon opening the front cover. Thanks for asking and good luck with the contest!

    1. Rebecca, we do have a nomination form for you. Do you want me to also check to see if your book was successfully uploaded?

  4. The following might be useful to others as well:

    As prescribed, I prepared a synopsis of less than 200 words and a Bio of the same dimensions, but …

    When I opened the form, it allowed a much larger “summary”, so I expanded mine, assuming that this form must be the more authoritative, and, indeed, it was accepted.

    I watched for a request for a Bio, and it never came (or I missed it), and because it would not allow progress unless its requests were satisfied, I assumed that a Bio was no longer required. (I did send a note asking about that and when I received no reply, assumed that the Bio was in fact not necessary).

    The form requested that a “supporter” (or some similar word) be named, and would not allow progress unless something was filled in. (I thought that it might mean one’s nominator, but the system must already have that name.) In frustration, I put down my own name, thinking it would be rejected if improper, but it accepted it.

    To summarize, I have 4 questions:

    Is the greater-than-200-word summary OK?

    Is a Bio still required? If so, how is it to be submitted?

    What did the form mean by “supporter”?

    In response to answers to the above, is it possible to modify my already-submitted entry?

    Please forgive the bother this might cause,



  5. I’ve tried to submit my material per your email request, but have received a FORBIDDEN message three times. I checked in the information requested and cannot locate what the issue may be. Any advice?

  6. My library director said I should enter my book, but it is nonfiction. Your page indicates that this is for fiction only. What is the definitive answer? Thanks.

  7. Hello,
    I know I only need one nomination, but what happens if I receive two? Will the second (or any nominations after the first) be eliminated? Thanks for your time.

    1. Julie,

      A book only needs one nomination by a library to be entered in the contest. Nominations are not part of the judging only to be entered into the contest. An extra nomination for the same book will be ignored if you have already completed the author portion and uploaded your e-book.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *