Open Road Press

Wheels of Wisdom earns National Indie Excellence Award

We have a winner!

National Indie Excellence Award winner
Debbie and I received some wonderful news recently. The judges of the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award contest selected our latest book, Wheels of Wisdom: Life Lessons for the Restless Spirit, as the winner in the inspiration category. This news release explains further.

The shock of winning a book award

When I first saw the email and read the subject line: “Congratulations – You’re a Winner in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards!”, I thought it was junk mail. It sounded like another one of those Publishers Clearinghouse letters.

Upon opening the email, I read:


It is our great pleasure to inform you that you are a Winner in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Your book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you and your fine work.

The lists of winners and finalists are proudly displayed on our brand new website, please log on to to see your name and book cover highlighted for all to see.

The entire team at the National Indie Excellence Awards sincerely hopes your participation in our contest will serve you well in your ongoing success. You have our deepest congratulations.

The Team at the National Indie Excellence Awards

Then, this thought came to mind: Was Wheels of Wisdom one of only a few books entered in its category? When I looked at the website, I knew our offering was better than at least one other book, because there was a finalist!

What does winning a book award mean?

Soon, however, I came to accept the award as encouragement that Debbie and I are offering content worthy of its place in a very crowded marketplace. It lends credibility to our books, to us as authors, and to our publishing company, Open Road Press. Who knows, the award may even boost sales.

The award also reminded me of the many people who have helped us along the journey. The recognition provided a great opportunity to say thank you to some of them once again.

My initial reaction to the news of this award may tip you off that our writing and publishing trip has not been easy. On this adventure, one must be guarded about how to measure success.

The book industry, as challenged as it is these days, has more books than anyone knows what to do with. Thanks to the digital revolution, barriers to entry have virtually disappeared. This development has been good news for some people and bad news for others. Content that should be published now can be. Yet the publishing free-for-all has flooded the market with substandard books that should never have been published.

Unknown authors like us are swimming in a massive sea with fellow book peddlers. While many of the competitive works were assembled “on the cheap” with poor quality to show for it, the projects of authors who have invested significant time and money to hire professional editors and designers have become lost in the ocean. It’s difficult to get noticed.

Nevertheless, we’re happy with our award. While it doesn’t help reduce the pile of books in the marketplace, it does nudge us toward visibility. More importantly, it reminds us that we have a message and a voice–and a place in this industry.

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