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Quercus publisher of the year at The Bookseller Industry Awards
17.05.11 | Lisa Campbell
Quercus has been crowned 2011's best publisher at The Bookseller Industry Awards, as Sainsbury's scooped the Bookseller of the Year award.
Quercus was presented with the Bonnier Publishing Publisher of the Year Award at the black-tie event attended by around 600 people in London's Park Lane Hilton yesterday evening (16th May) after experiencing 100% growth in the past 12 months to become the 11th largest publishing house in the UK. One judge said: "They've got the numbers, the people and the energy. I admire them, and their achievements."
Sainsbury's was honoured with the Martina Cole General or Chain Bookselling Company of the Year Award after reinvigorating book zones, increasing book sales by more than 33% and attracting new book buyers to the market. One judge said: "We should celebrate the fact that they are embracing books and offering people an alternative place to buy—somewhere they can spend time browsing as well as buying."
Faber & Faber was a double winner, clinching the Ingram Independent Publisher of the Year Award and the FutureBook Digital Innovation Prize with Touch Press for their Solar System for iPad app. The judges complimented Faber's successful schemes such as the Faber Factory, a digital service launched last September. One panel member said the publisher boasted a back-end that was doing "amazingly well" alongside "tonnes of poetry successes". Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page was also praised for the range of innovations under his leadership, with one judge claiming "he has done a huge amount for the industry".
With a list including Rose Tremain's Trespass and Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes, Clara Farmer was awarded Imprint and Editor for the Year for her stewardship of Chatto & Windus. Her first year in charge saw the second highest turnover in its 156-year history. Scholastic's Alison Green was highly commended for the Alison Green Books imprint. Children's Publisher of the Year went to Penguin Children's Books for "an amazing all-round performance". Simon & Schuster was highly commended for "good taste, vibrant publishing and numerous award wins".
Initiatives such as the launch of a UK-specific e-book store and e-reader led Amazon.co.uk to win Direct Bookselling Company of the Year. Waterstone's won the Usborne Children's Bookseller of the Year.
London independent Tales on Moon Lane was another double winner on the night. The indie bagged the Walker Books Children's Independent Bookseller of the Year, while employee Georgina Hanratty won the HarperCollins Sue Butterworth Young Bookseller award—the latter gong was jointly given to Micha Solana from Blackwell's Royal Bank of Scotland shop in Edinburgh. It was Blackwell's second award of the evening, with Zool Verjee voted Lynda La Plante Manager of the Year for his work at its Broad Street Oxford branch.
The Gardners Books Independent Bookseller of the Year was Bath's Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, complimented for striking a balance "between old-style bookselling and new things outstandingly well". The Main Street Trading Company in St Boswell's, Scottish Borders, and The Gutter Bookshop in Dublin were all highly commended in this category.
Corvus' Rina Gill won PPC Publicity Campaign of the Year for her work on Karl Marlantes' Matterhorn, with Ruth Waldram at William Heinemann highly commended for her work on Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird's 50th anniversary campaign.
The Orion Literary Agent Award was given to Robert Kirby of United Agents, and Frankfurt Book Fair Rights Professional of the Year was bestowed on Jake Smith-Bosanquet of Conville & Walsh.
Harlequin UK won Nielsen Marketing Campaign of the Year for Mills & Boon New Voices. The London Borough of Hillingdon Libraries was crowned Library Innovation of the Year for its library refurbishment programme, which was described by one judge as helping to make libraries "a better place to visit".
The Bookseller editor-in-chief and chair of the judging panel Neill Denny said: "Despite operating in a fast-changing market, the winners of these awards have shown themselves to be innovative and successful during a challenging time for the industry."