Melville House has announced the longlist of finalists for the first Independent Booksellers Choice Awards.

The list of 30 semi-finalists was supposed to have been announced Friday.

“We had a last minute rush of votes and it got pretty exciting,” explained Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson. “It was so close that we wound up extending the list to 36 titles from 29 different independent presses.” Johnson said votes came in from many of the country’s most prestigious bookstores, including St. Marks Book Shop and Word in New York, 57th Street Books in Chicago, City Lights and Green Apple Books in San Francisco, Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, and Book Soup and Skylight Books in Los Angeles.

Among the finalists were titles from indie standard-bearers such as Akashic, Dalkey Archives, New Directions, Graywolf and Seven Stories, new houses such as O/R Books, micro-presses Two Dollar Radio, Flatmancrooked and The Dorothy Project, and giant indies such as Grove Atlantic and Norton.

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