2016 Zealot Script Book of the Year

We are delighted to announce the winner of our Zealot Script Book of the Year Award for 2016.

This award celebrates outstanding achievement in an independently published book.

The winner for the award in 2016 is:


Miles Watson


Cage Life

We are delighted to award the inaugural 2016 award trophy to Miles Watson for his wonderful debut novel, Cage Life.

We couldn’t award Miles the trophy in person, but he received his trophy and kindly sent this photo of himself with the award in to us.


As well as being jealous of the gorgeous weather, we extend a sincere congratulations to Miles for this success and look forward to reading more of your work in the future!

Read Miles’ full statement below:

They say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he doesn’t exist. Well, the greatest trick an indie author ever pulled is convincing anyone they do exist. Every day, literally every hour, is a struggle, not only against all the other independents out there, but against a publishing system that reserves all of the marketing oxygen for itself. It’s a constant war, not against indifference, but complete unawareness. The goal is to sell books, of course, but before you can sell, people have to know what you’re selling – indeed, they have to know there’s something being sold. When I released CAGE LIFE early last year, I quickly realized that all the agonizing struggles that had come beforehand were simple prologue: the actual battle, marketing the damn thing, had yet to be fought. I knew my work existed; I just had to inform the rest of the world. And hope that they gave a damn.
Winning Zealot Script’s “Book of the Year” for 2016 was a beautiful bolt from the blue. After a year in the market, CAGE LIFE had garnered good reviews, sold more than a few copies, and even picked up a small award from a literary magazine, but had yet to achieve the breakthrough moment that I desired. Trying to make myself heard amidst all the other authors trying to make themselves heard was a tougher assignment than I had feared, and I was becoming a little discouraged. Coming home to the Zealot Script trophy was precisely what I needed at the precise moment I needed it the most. And how often does that happen in life?
I know that the focus of Zealot Script is on science fiction and fantasy, genres I read but have yet to tackle as a writer, but I like to think that although CAGE LIFE is a crime novel, it was heavily influenced, at least in terms of the style in which I wrote it, by authors as diverse as Frank Herbert and Ursula K. LeGuin, who I read avidly growing up, and still read today. Indeed, one of the reasons I chose to publish the novel independently was because I became deeply frustrated with the traditional publishing world’s emphasis on branding (read: constraining) authors, not merely to a particular genre, but to a particular style of delivery. Mine was supposedly too “literary” for the world of the Noirish thriller. I rejected that conclusion, and I’m delighted that Pete Richmond did, too. Indeed, I am very grateful to Mr. Richmond for taking the initiative to reach out to me at a time when I was struggling to get interviews, to staff of Zealot Script for selecting my novel for the award, and to anyone and everyone in the readership who gives it a chance. Because that is really all any indie author can ever ask for: a chance.

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