This is a second 2021 Nibbie for Bloomsbury, alongside its Academic, Professional & Educational Publisher of the Year triumph.
It is given for double-digit growth for Bloomsbury’s fiction, non-fiction and children’s books in each of its key regions in 2020. Led by international sales director Sarah McLean, its team of 10 notched up five-figure open market sales for 17 adult books, led by Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race and Sarah J Maas’ House of Earth and Blood. They worked as hard on new names (Kiley Reid, Kalynn Bayron) as stalwarts such as Khaled Hosseini and Ann Patchett. On the children’s side, Camilla Reid and Ailie Busby’s Lulu series continues to be phenomenally popular, and more than two decades after the series arrived on the market, sales of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter books were in year-on-year growth.
Bloomsbury’s team moved nimbly to remote selling during lockdowns, and used a Frankfurt Book Fair Book Bonanza to pitch to customers. Marketing and publicity initiatives, such as virtual author events and bespoke point-of sale and merchandise, were well received. There was also good work on logistical challenges around Covid and Brexit, and progress on the pressing issue of improving sustainability in the global supply chain.
Dozens of testimonials from export partners in the submission for this award show the esteem in which Bloomsbury is held around the world. “They always go all out to support our marketing and promotional efforts, and their enthusiasm is contagious,” said one, while another added: “Bloomsbury’s export team is the best I have met—creative, enthusiastic and professional.” Authors are impressed too: “There was no challenge they wouldn’t meet for me and my book… I’m incredibly grateful,” said one.