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Faber, Unbound and Rebecca Smart win at FutureBook Innovation Awards
06.12.11 | Philip Jones
Faber, Nosy Crow, Dorling Kindersley and Harvill Secker were the winners at the FutureBook Digital Innovation Awards, along with start-ups Bardowl and Unbound. Rebecca Smart, managing director of Osprey, won the award for "most inspiring digital person". Lonely Planet won "best website".
Faber, along with Touch Press, picked up the best adult app prize for The Waste Land, while Nosy Crow's Cinderella scooped the children's award. Dorling Kindersley's The Human Body won the prize in the reference category. Judges, who included Profile's Michael Bhaskar, and Random House's digital editor Dan Franklin, praised the high quality of this year's entries, with The Human Body described by Bhaskar as "beautifully designed, elegantly functional".
Unbound was the choice as best start-up. Franklin said the company had demonstrated a commitment to publishing following a high profile launch. "I—like a few others—was initially cynical when Unbound launched with much fanfare as 'Kickstarter for Books'. Unbound has shown since a relentless determination and energy to spread awareness of what they're doing. I hope they go on to scale the business up and continue to deliver on the promise of their first six months."
Audiobook streaming service Bardowl was selected as the winner in the "best technology innovation" category. The Bath-based firm is expected to launch its consumer service in February.
Best digital marketing campaign was won by Vintage imprint Harvill Secker's team for The Night Circus; with Pan Macmillan gaining a highly-commended mention for the launch of Alan Sugar’s The Way I See it.
Best website went to Lonely Planet, for doing "all the things" publishers are expected to do with their websites. Judge Alex Ingram from Waterstone’s added: "A key part of their achievement has been not just to set up as a successful and ambitious site but to make it sustainable with strong refreshed content and the thriving Thorn Tree forum which supports their sales, both physical and digital."
Smart was the popular and unanimous choice for "most inspiring digital person". George Walkley, Hachette's digital director, spoke for the judges when he said: "Under Rebecca Smart's leadership, the Osprey Group's businesses have demonstrated success across the range of digital publishing—including apps, online services and e-books—that many larger houses would envy. In giving this award to Rebecca, the judging panel also took into account her generosity in sharing her knowledge through conferences and industry events, and her open and informative use of social media. This willingness to inform and inspire others makes her a deserved winner."
The awards were presented at the end of FutureBook 2011, the UK's biggest digital publishing conference, which was attended by more than 550 delegates.