The National Book Awards issued its annual call for entries this week, and for the first time in its history, the most prestigious award in the US book world will accept only digital entries.

As of now, the awards program is hoping the coronavirus pandemic will have passed and it will still be able to hold its gala black-tie awards dinner in November at Cipriani Wall Street where the winners of the awards for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young adult literature are unveiled.

Winners get a big pop in sales. If a small publishing house book wins, it turns into an overnight bestseller, while a more popular book from a big publisher usually extends its run atop bestseller lists.

Regardless of whether a dinner is held, the awards will still be announced.

In the past, entries had to be submitted in some form of print — via hardcover, paperback or galleys of a soon-to-be-published book.