The move aims to preserve the integrity of the Prize and accord all shortlisted books and authors a fair chance.

Kenya, 15 May 2024: The Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize (ARIBP), an annual prize sponsored and managed by Mystery Publishers Limited, a premier pan-African publisher of choice,  appreciates your continued support in celebrating independent African authors. The ARIBP aims to recognise quality self-published books with unique and extraordinary stories addressing current and future Africa (Afro-currency and Afro-futurism), and to that end, empowering self-published (indie) authors to produce professional and quality books that meet industry-standard books.

Previously, the shortlisted books were taken through a public voting system, which aimed to introduce the books and the authors to the public and different audiences; this contributed to ten per cent (10%) of the overall book evaluation criteria. However, this approach to evaluating shortlisted books conferred an unfair advantage to the authors with a large reader base, popularity, many social media followers, or lobbyists behind them, which does not automatically mean that such works are of better quality. This also created an illusion of winning the Prize because, psychologically (and conveniently so), the human mind will always consider the person or book with many votes as the best (or worst) in that list.

In our endeavour to preserve the integrity of the Prize and ensure fairness for all shortlisted books and authors, the ARIBP Secretariat, in consultation with the Advisory Board, has abolished public voting as part of the evaluation criteria of ARIBP. The 2024 and subsequent prizes will only be evaluated by a panel of judges drawn from diverse backgrounds—readers, writers, editors, and publishers (not necessarily a MUST for the panel to comprise all backgrounds).

Before submitting the books to the judging panel, Mystery Publishers’ editorial team shall review all submitted books to select those that meet the minimum quality publishing standards for shortlisting. The Judging Panel shall then take the shortlisted books through stringent quality parameters and evaluation criteria and share the reports with the authors.

This was a difficult decision, as we know the effect it can have on you. We thank you for your understanding and support during this change, and as always, we promise to endeavour to preserve the integrity of the Prize and accord all independent authors a fair chance.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please get in touch with us at: