Terms and Conditions for the 2024 BestThrillers.com Book Award

The award series specifically devoted to recognizing amazing mystery and thriller novels across 15 categories.

Entry Dates and Fees

Entry details, fees, notifications and announcements.

When are entries accepted?

Early entry began on March 24, 2024.

What is the deadline and fee for early entry?

Early entry discounts will be granted to contestants using the code EARLYENTRY at checkout until May 31, 2024. The fee for entering a single category is $95, discounted to $75 with the EARLYENTRY code. Entries on or after May 31, 2024 will be $95 per category.

What is the discount for multiple categories?

A 25% discount will be automatically applied at checkout for books entered in two or more categories.

What is the entry deadline for regular entry?

The final deadline for entry is September 30 2024.

When will winners and finalists be notified, and when will results be public?

Winners and finalists will be notified in November 2024. Results will be public in December 2024.


What to expect if you win or become a finalist.

What does the Book of the Year winner receive?

The 2024 Book of the Year winner will receive:
– $1,000 paid by electronic transfer paid prior to December 31, 2024.
-A winner’s gold-and-black seal for their book cover and website. This will be sent electronically.
-Inclusion in an article on BestThrillers.com featuring the book.
-Inclusion as a winner in a BestThrillers.com weekly email prior to December 31, 2024.

What do category winners receive?

15 category winners will receive:
-A winner’s gold-and-black seal for their book cover and/or website. This will be sent by email.
-A featured post on BestThrillers.com with a link to purchase their book.
-Inclusion in an article announcing the winners
-Inclusion as a winner in a BestThrillers.com weekly email prior to December 31, 2024.

What do category finalists receive?

Up to sixty finalists across 15 categories will be chosen. The number of finalists per category will be determined by BestThrillers.com at the time of judgment, and it is possible that some categories may merit more finalists than other categories. Finalists will receive a silver seal for their book cover or website, inclusion in an article announcing the contest winners and finalists, and a one-sentence quote from Bestthrillers.com for use in book marketing campaigns.


Multiple category entries, category definitions.

May I enter in multiple categories?


What are the categories?

-Action Thriller
-Conspiracy Thriller
-Crime Thriller
-Fantasy & Dystopian
-Historical Thriller
-Legal Thriller
-Medical Thriller
-Military Thriller
-Paranormal Thriller
-Political Thriller
-Psychological Thriller
-Sci-Fi Thriller
-Spy Thriller

Why aren’t more categories included?

Hundreds of mystery and thriller sub-genres exist, and while we expand and change the list on a periodic basis, it is impossible to include them all. Our award categories focus on the sub-genres that mystery & thriller fans are most consistently passionate about. These categories are broad enough to be inclusive for almost any title, but specific enough to help authors grow their audience. For example, most “Christian Thrillers” also fit neatly into the “Action Thriller” or “Historical Thriller” parent categories.

Do you have written definitions of each category?

We do and they can be viewed here (see section on category definitions). However, category definitions are to be used as general guidelines only. By entering, contestants agree that category/genre definitions are subjective, change over time and are subject to the sole interpretation of award judges.


Who can enter?

What books are eligible?

Any English-language mystery or thriller published in 2023 or 2024 is eligible.

What if my book is not yet published?

If your book is not yet published, but is targeting a publication date prior to December 31, 2024, it is eligible. If a book is not yet eligible for purchase before awards are publicly announced, BestThrillers.com reserves the right to inquire as to whether publication is on track and ask for evidence, such as a pre-launch book page on Amazon.com or elsewhere.

What about self-published books?

Self-published books are eligible. There are no restrictions based on publishing affiliation. The lines between independent publishing, self-publishing and traditional publishing have been significantly blurred in recent years. Therefore, we are pleased to invite all authors and publishers to enter.

What if I entered or won last year?

You are eligible and may enter again.

Content Restrictions

Profanity, religious content, length and more.

Are there any content restrictions?


What about profanity, extreme violence or religious content?

There are no restrictions.

What about length?

Strictly speaking, there are no restrictions on length. However, this is not a short-story contest. We strongly encourage entries to be either novella or novel-length according to industry standards.

Submission Requirements

Format, contact information and book covers.

What information do you collect?

Authors must submit:
-A PDF of their book and the categories they wish to compete in.
-Email address
-Phone number (optional, but recommended in case we have trouble contacting you if you are a winner or finalist)

What about book summaries?

If a book is already publicly for sale, editors will pair the public book summary or description with the submitted manuscript for judges. If the book is not yet for sale, BestThrillers.com will reach out to contestants for the summary before the judging process.

What about book covers?

Book covers may be included with uploaded manuscripts, but are not required. This rule exists because many entries are targeting future publication dates and cover art may not be final at the time of entry.


Information about content rights.

Do you retain rights to my manuscript?

No. BestThrillers.com retains no reprint rights to submitted manuscripts whatsoever. While we may offer a link to a third-party location (e.g. Amazon.com) where books may be purchased for the convenience of our readers, BestThrillers.com will not publish, sell or otherwise distribute the contents of author books.

What about book promotion?

By entering, you agree that BestThrillers.com may describe and promote winning or finalist books without compensation to contestants of any kind unless otherwise noted. This includes usage of public or submitted book covers, author names, quotes from the material, links where it may be purchased, and more. In addition, if you use your winner or finalist status to promote your book with the BestThrillers.com Thriller Awards brand, BestThrillers.com may reproduce such images or quotes for awards promotion.

Detailed Terms and Conditions

Promotional Content

By entering the contest, contestants agree that winning and finalist book titles and surrounding information, including the stated author names, book summaries, genres, opinions from BestThrillers.com staff and others will be included on BestThrillers.com and potentially elsewhere. By submitting Materials to BestThrillers.com, contestants waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to the submitted materials.

Binding Rules

By entering the contest, contestants are deemed to have agreed to be bound by these contest rules and terms and conditions as well as by any rules specific to such contest. This is an irrevocable condition of entry.

Terms Alteration

BestThrillers.com reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to alter any contest details or terms and these Contest Rules at any time.

Recipient of Author Payment

Unless agreed to in writing by the book author and a third-party (Publisher, Manager, Agent, Publicist, etc), Book of the Year payment will be paid directly to the author. Other arrangements will be made only upon author agreement.

Contest Termination

BestThrillers.com reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to terminate any contest at any time without prior notice.

Waiver of Liability

By entering, contestants acknowledge agree to hold BestThrillers.com and its officers, directors, employees, agents, successors, and assigns harmless from and against—and hereby waive any right to pursue—any claims of any nature arising in connection with usage of submitted materials.


Staff reviewers from BestThrillers.com and other selected judges will determine the finalists and winners. Evaluation and winner/finalist determination will be judged entirely in the sole and absolute discretion of BestThrillers.com. Decisions by the judging panel are final.

Category and Genre Definitions

By entering, contestants acknowledge that category definitions are to be used as general guidelines only. Genre definitions are subjective, change over time and are subject to the sole interpretation of award judges.

Action Thriller

Action thrillers feature extensive fight scenes, battle scenarios or high-intensity adventure.

Crime Thriller

The term “Crime thriller” involves any kind of criminal activity, ranging from murder to theft or even financial crimes. It can also be is a catch-all term for thriller sub-genres that feature a struggle for dominance between criminals and law enforcement, such as mafia thriller, police procedural, detective fiction, serial killer fiction, true crime and others.

Conspiracy Thriller

Conspiracy thrillers typically feature an average person, soldier or politician who stumbles upon a clue that points to a vast and orchestrated deception, high-stakes crime or even genocide.

Fantasy & Dystopian

Fantasy features a plot set in an alternate universe, sometimes with magical elements or inspired by mythology. Dystopian thrillers are often (but not always) a subset of the fantasy genre, and imagines worlds or societies where life is especially difficult due to oppression, terror, evil forces or other factors.

Historical Thriller

Suspenseful situations set in specific time periods, in which the survival of fictional characters are threatened by the real circumstances of prior historical eras and places.


The horror genre intends to shock, frighten and/or disgust its audience through specific story devices, such as psychotic characters, the presence of evil and the paranormal, and acts of extreme violence. Paranormal fiction is often but not always a subset of horror, but in some cases features benevolent or humorous spirits.

Legal Thriller

Attorneys are involved in either solving crimes, defending criminals or engaging in criminal activities of their own design. Courtroom drama and/or legal procedural drama are common components.

Medical Thriller

Medical thrillers are suspenseful tales that often take place within a hospital, research center or laboratory. Pandemics, evil researchers, diabolical nurses and surgeons and medical heroes are often featured.

Military Thriller

Action-oriented stories featuring military tactics and hardware, often including a variety of sub-genres, including terrorism thrillers, assassination thrillers and battle fiction.


Stories in which readers follows a detective or amateur sleuth attempting to solve a criminal puzzle. Compared with “crime thrillers,” mysteries often feature less graphic violence and less shocking subject matter.

Political Thriller

A broad term that may include elements of political conspiracies, espionage, the assassination of political leaders and other sinister tactics that have high-stakes consequences for governments and civilizations.

Psychological Thriller

Stories that include a wide-ranging list of themes, including characters operating. on the edge of sanity, crimes committed by mentally disturbed individuals, the often blurry line between reality and imagination, and a variety of psychologically suspenseful situations.


Paranormal thrillers typically involve the presence of one or more of the following: aliens, hauntings, spirits, magic or the presence of evil.

Sci-Fi Thriller

Stories that imagine the edge of existing or futuristic science and technologies that create risk or endanger people, worlds or individuals. Time-travel, interplanetary travel and weaponized science are common themes.

Spy Thriller

Espionage, covert missions and surveillance by governmental agencies and corporations are common themes. Also commonly included are individual struggles featuring members of the espionage community.

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