Shelf Unbound Awards The Talking Drum as the 2020 Indie Book Award Winner. 

Shelf Unbound congratulates author Lisa Braxton whose book, The Talking Drum, was selected as the 2020 Indie Book Award winner. 

Shelf Unbound has been selecting the best in the Indie book world since 2014 and this year is no different. The Talking Drum was selected by the editors who had more than 300 entries to choose from, making Lisa Braxton the 6th Best Indie Book Award winner. 

Inspired by the author’s parents, the central focus of The Talking Drum is a redevelopment project in fictional Bellport, Massachusetts. This urban transformation expands as the dreams and relationships of 3 couples are impacted by the project.

In her interview with Shelf Unbound Lisa described The Talking Drum is the book that allowed her to “fulfill the dream of writing a novel”. When asked if she considered other novel ideas and how The Talking Drum rose to the top, she explained she “seriously considered writing a historical novel taking place in the mid-1850s in New England.” It was on the advice of a professor that Braxton put the historical novel on hold and wrote The Talking Drum instead. She has no regrets. “The Talking Drum stands out because even though it takes place in the early 1970s, the themes resonate with today’s readers [and] tackles what our society is dealing with currently.”

Inanna Publications and Education Inc.’s publicist and marketing manager, Renée Knapp, calls The Talking Drum “an engaging, informative, timely read” and considers it an “apt reminder of how forced displacement affects individuals and families in communities then [1970s], and now.”

2020 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Award finalists include: Susan Wingate’s How the Deer Moon Hungers, Charlie Suisman’s Arnold Falls, Tess Marset’s Like Us, the Polar Bears, The World Looks Different Now by Margaret Thomson, and Whisperwood: A Confederate Soldier’s Struggle by Van Temple. You can read more about these finalists and the full interview with Lisa Braxton here.

About Shelf Media Group:
Shelf Media Group is the publisher of Shelf Unbound, a book review magazine that presents the best of independent publishing in a digital format. A 4X Maggie Award winner for Best Digital Magazine, Shelf Unbound is distributed to over 120,000 readers across the globe. Curated by editors with their fingers on the pulse of small press, independent, and self-published books, Shelf Unbound features “must read” new fiction and nonfiction releases in a rich, visually engaging design. 

Media Contact: Sarah Kloth,

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See Our Full List of 2020 Award Winners in our latest issue.

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