Sharmaine Lovegrove has been named FutureBook’s Person of the Year for 2018. Announced ahead of this year’s FutureBook Conference, Lovegrove has been recognised for her work promoting inclusivity and positive change within the books sector.

Lovegrove will deliver the closing address at the FutureBook Conference. Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, said: “Sharmaine Lovegrove is one of publishing’s leading innovators, an alumnus of this year’s FutureBook 40. She is unapologetic, unafraid and making change. She leads from the front, within an organisation now intent on re-making itself for the 21st century.

“She is focused on the big stuff, such as the creation of her Dialogue Books imprint within Little, Brown, the promotion of her authors, and the prominence of the Changing the Story initiative within Hachette; but also on the small things, like recognising all of the talent that goes into the creation of each book with a credits page.

“In an industry that can be ‘small c’ conservative, Sharmaine is a ‘big r’ revolutionary, and it’s an absolute delight to recognise that with this award.”

Lovegrove has worked across the books business, as a publicist, bookseller, an agent, and as a literary scout, before setting up imprint Dialogue Books within Little, Brown.

The FutureBook Person of the Year prize, sponsored by Mosaic Executive Search, combines previous awards FutureBook Leader and FutureBook Achiever. Past winners have included Pan Macmillan’s Sara Lloyd and Sourcebooks founder and c.e.o. Dominique Raccah.

Lovegrove said: “After 20 years of working in the book industry it’s been a real privilege to swap sides and become a publisher and lead the charge of inclusive publishing at Dialogue Books. We are in challenging times and it’s clear that we are on the cusp of a shift to consider all people in our society as readers and as those who should be working alongside us to create great books. I am deeply honoured and humbled that my work at Hachette and Little, Brown is being recognised with this accolade from FutureBook and I pay tribute to my authors, my Dialogue Books team, and David Shelley, Charlie King, Nick Davies and Saskia Bewley and the thousands of readers that we are aiming to inspire with the books we publish.”

Jo Howard, managing consultant at Mosaic Executive Search, added: “Sharmaine makes an excellent choice. She is an innovative and imaginative leader, and portrays so many of the qualities that we look for in our candidates.”



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Sponsored by Mosaic

This award honours the person who during the past year has most influenced publishing’s future. Driving change, the FutureBook Person of the Year embraces innovative tools and ways of working and inspires action within their organisation, across publishing, and the wider book business. 

They are not necessarily in a leadership position, but they must demonstrate that during the past year they have have led or inspired others in such a way that responds to or takes advantage of the current environment. Examples might include, launching innovative new products, implementing new systems, or inspiring innovation across product, marketing, publicity, production, digital or design departments.

Submissions may be made by the person, or on behalf of the nominee. A shortlist will not be announced, but the recipient will be notified ahead of the FutureBook Conference on 30th November.

Judges will be looking for evidence in the following areas:

A track record of innovation within their business, or activities.

Recent achievements, individually or as part of a company in a way that responds to, or takes advantage of, the current environment.

Applying innovation in ways of working at any stage of the publishing cycle, whether designing, developing, launching or marketing new and/or existing products.

Evidence of wider impact across the publishing sector.

The FutureBook Person of the Year is a new way of recognising excellence and innovation across the sector; previous winners of past awards focused on innovation and leadership include, Faber’s Stephen Page, Harlequin UK’s Tim Cooper, Sourcebooks’ Dominique Raccah, Ebury m.d. Rebecca Smart, Penguin Random House’s Hannah Telfer, Sara Lloyd, digital and communications director, Pan Macmillan, and last year’s winner Rebecca Herrmann, founder and co-c.e.o. of Bolinda.


Sponsored by Frankfurt Book Fair

The FutureBook book of the year celebrates innovative books whether they are print books, audiobooks, e-books, enhanced e-books, apps, or web-site based. They can be in any format including (but not restricted to) audio, apps, ePub, iBA, Kindle, HTML or print.

Winning entries in this category will need to demonstrate:
Innovation: how they made the most of their content in a new, inventive way.
Design and usability: how they created a well-designed and intuitive user experience.
Discoverability: how their book or product could be discovered and what marketing was put behind it.
Connection with audience: how they made the effort to understand their audience, and evidence of this engagement in the product and the campaign behind it.

Success will be measured against:
·Execution of the idea
·Customer reviews and feedback
·Budget behind the product and associated campaigns
·Sales/download figures for the book or product


This category will reward marketing or publicity campaigns that have used digital and/or print in a creative, intuitive and integrated way. The campaign could be for a book, an author, a genre, a series, a bookshop, an event or anything else book-related. It is open to publishers, authors, booksellers, start-ups and anyone who has put together an innovative campaign in the book world which has digital, multi-media element.

Campaigns will be judged on:
Innovation and creativity: entries will demonstrate original and imaginative thinking in their choice and use of media.
Audience engagement: entries will have thought clearly about who their target market is and used digital in a meaningful way to connect with this audience.
Coherent campaign strategy: entries will have successfully integrated online and offline activities to build a coherent marketing strategy with clear goals.
Campaign execution: entries will have executed their strategy successfully and taken a long-term approach to retaining the audience generated for this project.
Return on investment: Winning entrants will demonstrate the effectiveness of the campaign in achieving its financial goals.


This award seeks to find the most exciting new businesses or in-house initiatives that have the potential to make a unique impact on the book publishing industry in the years ahead.

The award is open to startups at seed funding stage (pre-series round investment) and which have been running for no more than two years since beta or public launch. Candidates don’t have to have created proprietary tech, but they do have to demonstrate that they’re using digital tools and/or an understanding of their audience’s digitally-influenced behaviours in powerful, relevant and original ways. They may be from around the world, but founders must be available to attend the live final pitch-off on the FutureBook Conference on 30th November, where a panel of judges will award the BookTech Company of the Year from a shortlist of five finalists.

Judges will be awarding points in four key areas:
creativity of idea
clarity of market opportunity
audience-product fit
viability of the business model

The winner of last year’s BookTech Startup of the Year was unrd. In past years, Kadaxis and Reedsy have been named winners. This award is a continuation of the FutureBook Startup of the Year, previously won by Unbound and Lost My Name.


This award honours a books podcast that has done most to champion books, authors and/or writing during the past year. It is open to any UK or overseas based podcast, which is primarily focused on discussing and/or promoting books and/or writers. The award is open to individuals running and/or hosting their own podcasts, or companies operating their own books podcast.

While the podcast does not need to be solely focused on books, discussion of the written word must be prominent. Podcasts may have existed for some time, but to win the FutureBook award in 2018, evidence must be produced of excellence during the past year. Podcasts must be regular (monthly, weekly), and must show evidence of listener growth.

Winning entries in this category will need to demonstrate:

  • Enthusiasm and dedication to creating a unique podcast experience
  • Effective use of the podcast to promote books/reading and/or writing
  • Delivery of engaging and entertaining content which engages with the target audience
  • A commitment to the podcast format
  • An innovate marketing strategy to promote the podcast, and encourage engagement with it
  • Listener growth and/or interaction with the audience.

Please provide a link to your podcast on application, or include sample sound files of particular examples. Please note, if your file is too big to upload, you can send it over via link to

The FutureBook Live Awards are brought to you by The Bookseller, the book trade's leading industry magazine. The Bookseller announced the shortlists at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Thursday 11th October, on the International Stage, Hall 5.1 from 1-2pm.

Please note: shortlisted companies must purchase tickets to the FutureBook Conference in order to pick up their award.

Check out last year’s shortlist here.

The winners will be announced at The FutureBook Live conference on Friday 30th November.
Europe’s biggest publishing innovation conference is designed to get publishing professionals from across the spectrum – from agents to booksellers, digital specialists to designers, big-name publishers to ambitious entrepreneurs – to think big, be brave and get the hell on with becoming relevant to a new generation. 

For FutureBook Live Awards queries please contact
For sponsorship enquiries please contact