Book of the Year - Non-fiction: Lifestyle


Influencers and bloggers prevail in this shortlist, and the non-fiction lifestyle market as a whole. As with many popular titles in the Covid-dominated year, these six books provided readers with solace and solutions, from better skincare, to entertaining children, to finding inner peace. Often supported by huge social media campaigns to tap into an established fanbase, these books were some of the biggest commercial successes of the year.




Caroline Hirons


What could have been a niche interest book was championed by HQ last year and it certainly made an impression on the judges for this category. “Iconic”, “comprehensive”, “accessible” and “innovative” were just some of the terms that show how captivated they were by Caroline Hirons’ Skincare.

After winning the title in a six-way auction, the publisher set out to position the beauty guru’s first book as the go-to reference tool for both skincare novices and dedicated fans. Our judges thought they were successful: the content is inclusive, with both affordable and high-end products, and gives advice for all ages, skin colours and budgets.

The judges commended the campaign for its “canny” and “bold” approach and the publisher’s ability to build on the author’s dedicated online following. Even during the most challenging times of the pandemic, HQ maximised the campaign’s impact at every turn, and even took a prime-time advertising spot during ITV’s “Coronation Street” to supplement online marketing.

The team succeeded in breaking the book beyond Hirons’ core fans: it has sold more than 138,000 copies through Nielsen’s TCM to date, excluding lockdown-era sales.

The Shortlist

  • Not a Diet Book by James Smith
    Online personal trainer James Smith’s first book isn’t about dieting, it’s about empowering readers to adopt better habits, achieve their goals and maintain them. HarperCollins engaged Smith’s core fanbase early and used the momentum to build engagement with booksellers and the media. It was the publisher’s most pre-ordered adult non-fiction title of all time.
  • Skincare by Caroline Hirons
    Beauty and skincare guru Caroline Hirons shares how to get great skin on any budget, at any age. HQ won the title in a six-way auction and approached the book as a “publishing event”, aiming to appeal beyond the author’s online audience. It succeeded: the book has sold 133,327 copies through Nielsen’s TCM to date, with lockdown-era sales excluded.
  • Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain
    Michael Joseph
    This is the first baking book from 2015 “Great British Bake-Off” winner Nadiya Hussain. In an unprecedented move, Penguin Michael Joseph launched her career but opted to save her baking book for a “bigger moment”. Publication was moved from spring to autumn to savour this, and the team secured coveted slots on “This Morning” and “The Graham Norton Show”.
  • Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty
    Jay Shetty drew on his time as a monk in the Vedic tradition to show readers how to clear roadblocks to power. Published by HarperNonFiction, the book strikes a delicate balance between the ancient wisdoms, entertainment and modern self-help. In light of the pandemic, publication was moved from spring to autumn, but the campaign for the title never lost momentum.
  • Five Minute Mum: Give Me Five by Daisy Upton
    Acquired before lockdown was even a consideration, Daisy Upton’s first book was serendipitously published when parents needed it the most. The title shares more than 150 games that take five minutes to set up and five minutes to tidy up. To make the book as easy to use as possible, it was published in trade paperback with bright, clear and concise layouts.
  • What Mummy Makes by Rebecca Wilson
    In her first book, influencer Rebecca Wilson shared how parents can feed their family and wean their baby at the same time, all by just cooking one meal. The author had more than 400,000 Instagram followers pre-publication, and her army of fans came through: W H Smith sold out of its limited edition signed copies in just 48 hours, said the publisher.