2016 Shortlist

We're proud to announce the shortlists for The British Book Industry Awards. Scroll through all the categories below, or jump straight to:

Children's Book of the Year

Debut Fiction Book of the Year

Non-fiction Book of the Year

Fiction Book of the Year

Great People

Bringing Books to Readers

Publishing Success

Books of the Year

Children's Book of the Year

  • A Boy Called Christmas | Matt Haig, illus. Chris Mould


    A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and a boy called Nikolas, who isn't afraid to believe in magic.

  • Grandpa's Great Escape | David Walliams, illus. Tony Ross

    HarperCollins Children's Books

    Jack’s Grandpa… *wears his slippers to the supermarket *serves up Spam à la Custard for dinner *and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name But he can still take to the skies in a speeding Spitfire and save the day… An exquisite portrait of the bond between a small boy and his beloved Grandpa – this book takes readers on an incredible journey with Spitfires over London and Great Escapes through the city in a high octane adventure full of comedy and heart.

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Illustrated Edition | J K Rowling, illus. Jim Kay


    When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers, which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin. Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay’s dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters in this full-colour illustrated hardback edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

  • Mog's Christmas Calamity | Judith Kerr

    HarperCollins Children's Books

    Mog and the Thomas family are looking forward to Christmas. But when Mog wakes up calamity strikes. Can Mog save Christmas Day?

  • My Brother is a Superhero | David Solomons, illus. Laura Ellen Anderson

    Nosy Crow WINNER

    Luke is a comic-mad eleven-year old who shares a treehouse with his geeky older brother, Zack. Luke’ s only mistake is to go for a wee right at the wrong time. While he’ s gone, an alien gives his undeserving, never-read-a-comic-in-his-life brother superpowers and then tells him to save the universe. Luke is massively annoyed about this, but when Zack is kidnapped by his arch-nemesis, Luke and his friends have only five days to find him and save the world…

  • The Lie Tree | Frances Hardinge

    Macmillan Children's Books

    Faith's father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father's murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter...

  • The Shepherd's Crown | Terry Pratchett

    Doubleday Children's

    Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength. This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad. As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land. There will be a reckoning…

  • Username: Evie | Joe Sugg, Matt Whyman, illus. Amrit Birdi

    Hodder & Stoughton

    Like anyone who feels as though they just don't fit in, Evie dreams of a place of safety. When times are tough, all she wants is a chance to escape from reality and be herself. Despite his failing health, Evie's father comes close to creating such a virtual idyll. Passing away before it's finished, he leaves her the key in the form of an app, and Evie finds herself transported to a world where the population is influenced by her personality. Everyone shines in her presence, until her devious cousin, Mallory, discovers the app... and the power to cause trouble in paradise.

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Debut Fiction Book of the Year

  • Disclaimer | Renee Knight


    When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up and begins to read. But as she turns the pages she is horrified to realize she is a key character, a main player. This story will reveal her darkest secret. A secret she thought no one else knew…

  • Grief is the Thing with Feathers | Max Porter

    Faber & Faber

    In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss gives way to memories, the little unit of three starts to heal.

  • I Let You Go | Clare Mackintosh


    In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever. Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating…

  • In a Dark, Dark Wood | Ruth Ware

    Harvill Secker

    Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back. Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen party arrives. A weekend in a remote cottage - the perfect opportunity for Nora to reconnect with her best friend, to put the past behind her. But something goes wrong. Very wrong. And as secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up with Nora.

  • The Fishermen | Chigozie Obioma

    One Pushkin Press

    In a small town in western Nigeria, four young brothers - the youngest is nine, the oldest fifteen - use their strict father's absence from home to go fishing at a forbidden local river. They encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by another. This prophesy breaks their strong bond and unleashes a tragic chain of events of almost mythic proportions.

  • The Girl in the Red Coat | Kate Hamer

    Faber & Faber

    Eight-year-old Carmel has always been different - sensitive, distracted, with an heartstopping tendency to go missing. Her mother Beth, newly single, worries about her daughter's strangeness, especially as she is trying to rebuild a life for the two of them on her own. When she takes Carmel for an outing to a local festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel disappears into the crowd. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her. Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own. But do the real clues to Carmel's disappearance lie in the otherworldly qualities her mother had only begun to guess at?

  • The Loney | Andrew Michael Hurley

    John Murray OVERALL WINNER

    Two brothers. One mute, the other his lifelong protector. Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desperate hope of a cure. In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. And they cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end... Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother's care. But then the child's body is found. And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end.

  • The Versions of Us | Laura Barnett

    Weidenfeld & Nicolson

    What if you had said yes…? Eva and Jim are nineteen, and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog. What happens next will determine the rest of their lives. We follow three different versions of their future - together, and apart - as their love story takes on different incarnations and twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day.

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Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Deliciously Ella | Ella Woodward

    Yellow Kite

    From sumptuous desserts, to food on the go, delicious dips, raw treats and rainbow bowls of awesome veggies, Ella's philosophy is all about embracing the natural foods that your body loves and creating fresh, simple dishes which are easy to make and taste amazing. Featuring more than 100 new sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free recipes to excite your taste buds, this collection will inspire you to eat for better health, glowing skin and boundless energy.

  • Gut | Giulia Enders, trans. David Shaw


    Our gut is as important as our brain or heart, yet we know very little about how it works and many of us are too embarrassed to ask questions. In Gut, Giulia Enders breaks this taboo, revealing the latest science on how much our digestive system has to offer. From our miraculous gut bacteria - which can play a part in obesity, allergies, depression and even Alzheimer's - to the best position to poo, this entertaining and informative health handbook shows that we can all benefit from getting to know the wondrous world of our inner workings.

  • How it Works: The Husband | Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris

    Michael Joseph

    The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. Featuring original Ladybird artwork alongside brilliantly funny, brand new text.

  • Lean in 15 | Joe Wicks


    In his first book, Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, reveals how to shift your body fat by eating more and exercising less. Lean in 15 features a hundred recipes for nutritious, quick-to-prepare meals and guides you through Joe's signature HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) home workouts - revealing how to combine food and exercise to ignite intense fat-burning.

  • Norwegian Wood | Lars Mitting, trans. Robert Ferguson

    MacLehose Press WINNER

    Chopping and stacking wood is a pastime where the world makes sense once more. Because our relationship to fire is so ancient, so universal, it seems that in learning about wood, you can also learn about life. And who better to impart this wisdom than an expert from Scandinavia, where the extreme climate has obliged generations to hone and share their skills with tools, wood and heat production. Lars Mytting has distilled the wisdom of enthusiasts, from experienced lifelong growers, stackers and burners to researchers and professionals of combustion and tree culture. Part guide to the best practice in every aspect of working with this renewable energy source, part meditation on the human instinct for survival, this definitive handbook on the art of chopping, stacking and drying wood in the Scandinavian way has resonated across the world. Whether you are a seasoned woodcutter, or your passion is yet to be kindled, Norwegian Wood is the perfect fireside read.

  • Reasons to Stay Alive | Matt Haig


    Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

  • SPQR | Mary Beard


    Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us. Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome.SPQR is the Romans' own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'the Senate and People of Rome'.

  • The Road to Little Dribbling | Bill Bryson


    Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bill Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain’s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.

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Fiction Book of the Year

  • A God in Ruins | Kate Atkinson


    A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd – would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

  • A Little Life | Hanya Yanagihara

    Picador WINNER

    A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance. When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome - but that will define his life forever.

  • After You | Jojo Moyes

    Michael Joseph

    Lou Clark has lots of questions. Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places. Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home. Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago. And will she ever get over the love of her life. What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change. Then, one night, it does. But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions? Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe. Open it and she risks everything. But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in…

  • Go Set a Watchman | Harper Lee

    William Heinemann

    Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

  • Grey | EL James


    Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty – until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him – past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart. Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?

  • The Buried Giant | Kazuo Ishiguro

    Faber & Faber
  • The Girl on the Train | Paula Hawkins


    Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

  • The Green Road | Anne Enright

    Jonathan Cape

    Hanna, Dan, Constance and Emmet return to the west coast of Ireland for a final family Christmas in the home their mother is about to sell. As the feast turns to near painful comedy, a last, desperate act from Rosaleen - a woman who doesn't quite know how to love her children - forces them to confront the weight of family ties and the road that brought them home.

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Great People

HarperCollins Young Retailer of the Year

in honour of Sue Butterworth

Ashley Armstrong, Waterstones

Jasmine Denholm, Wenlock Books

Imogen Hargreaves, Mostly Books

Billy Frederick Kenneth Howorth, Carnforth Bookshop

Millie McCosh, Atkinson-Pryce Books

Mariana Mouzinho, Blackwell's WINNER

Bookshop Manager of the Year

sponsored by HarperCollins

Marion Akehurst, Blackwell's

Anjuli Clayden, Waterstones

Pauline Giacomelli, Warwick Books

Jonny Green, Waterstones WINNER

Editor of the Year

sponsored by Inspired Selection

Sarah Adams, Transworld

Jason Arthur, Cornerstone

Jenny Broom, Wide Eyed Editions, Quarto

Liz Gough, Yellow Kite, Hodder & Stoughton

Juliet Mabey, Oneworld

Tina Persaud, Pavilion Books WINNER

Carole Tonkinson, Bluebird, Pan Macmillan

Rights Professional of the Year

sponsored by Frankfurt Book Fair

Lisa Baker, Faber & Faber

Kate Cooper, Curtis Brown

Ola Gotkowska, Nosy Crow

Kate Hibbert, Little, Brown

Andrew Sharp, Hachette Children's Group

Mary Thompson, HarperCollins

Michele Young, Pan Macmillan WINNER

Literary Agent of the Year

sponsored by Orion

Lizzy Kremer, David Higham Associates WINNER

Juliet Mushens, United Talent Agency

Cathryn Summerhayes, WME

Karolina Sutton, Curtis Brown

Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, Bright Group International

Claire Wilson, Rogers, Coleridge and White

Bringing Books to Readers

Marketing Strategy of the Year

sponsored by Nielsen

Faber Members, Faber & Faber

Go Set a Watchman, Cornerstone

Jack Reacher Week, Transworld

Little Black Classics, Penguin Classics WINNER

Millie Marotta, Pavilion Books

Roald Dahl Marketing Strategy 2015, Puffin

Scrabble Week, HarperCollins Publishers

Stanfords Travel Writers Festival, Stanfords

The Gollancz Festival, Orion

Username Evie: Joe Sugg, Hodder & Stoughton

Publicity Campaign of the Year

sponsored by the Publishers' Publicity Circle

Alice Broderick and Lauren Hyett, with Jessica Farrugia-Sharples, Doubleday Children's:  The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett

Alison Barrow, Doubleday, Transworld:  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins WINNER

Eleni Lawrence, Yellow Kite, Hodder & Stoughton:  Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward

Ellie Hughes, Michael Joseph, Penguin: Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups

Jaz Lacey-Campbell, Canongate Books:  Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Yassine Belkacemi, John Murray:  The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

Independent Bookshop of the Year

sponsored by Gardners

Atkinson-Pryce Books, Biggar

Book-ish, Crickhowell, Powys

Forum Books, Corbridge

Housmans, Kings Cross

The Blessington Book Store, Wicklow

The Haslemere Bookshop, Haslemere

Winstone’s Books, Sherborne WINNER

Children's Bookseller of the Year

sponsored by Macmillan Children's Books


Octavia's Bookshop


Scholastic & Travelling Book Fairs

Storytellers, Inc.

The Edinburgh Bookshop


Library of the Year

in association with The Reading Agency

Dagenham Library WINNER

Dudley Libraries

Plympton Library

Port Talbot Library

RNIB Library

Shetland Library

Wigan Libraries

Non-traditional Retailer of the Year

Sponsored by The Quarto Group

The National Trust

Oliver Bonas

The Royal Horticultural Society 

Urban Outfitters WINNER

Book Retailer of the Year

sponsored by Bonnier Publishing


Dubray Books




WH Smith Travel WINNER


Publishing Success

Imprint of the Year

sponsored by FMcM

Batsford, Pavilion Books

William Heinemann, Cornerstone

MacLehose Press, Quercus

Picador, Pan Macmillan WINNER

Viking, Penguin General

William Collins, HarperCollins

Yellow Kite, Hodder & Stoughton

Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year

Bloomsbury Academic & Professional

Collins Learning, HarperCollins

Hodder Education Group WINNER

SAGE Publishing

Scholastic Education

Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year

Berghahn Books

Bright Red Publishing


Jessica Kingsley Publishers WINNER

Policy Press, University of Bristol

Rowman & Littlefield International

Children's Publisher of the Year

in association with BookTrust

Bloomsbury Publishing


HarperCollins Children's Books WINNER

Nosy Crow

Macmillan Children's Books

Penguin Random House Children's

Scholastic Children's Books

Usborne Publishing

Independent Publisher of the Year

sponsored by Firsty Group

Andersen Press

Faber & Faber

Head of Zeus

Laurence King Publishing

Michael O'Mara Books

Nosy Crow

Oneworld WINNER

Pavilion Books

Publisher of the Year

sponsored by Bertrams

Bonnier Publishing



Hodder & Stoughton

Octopus Publishing Group

Pan Macmillan

Penguin General

Transworld WINNER

For event queries please contact amanda.groves@thebookseller.com
For sponsorship enquiries please contact emma.lowe@thebookseller.com