A difficult, bleary day here at Bookseller Towers, as most of us are still recovering from last night's Bookseller Industry Awards at the Royal Courts of Justice.
If you weren't at the bash, you may have missed that your favourite digital blog from Europe sponsored the Digital Innovation of the Year award. HarperCollins' Authonomy site—the 21st Century rejigging of the publishing slush pile into a social networking community—was the worthy winner. That's HC's digital publisher Clive Malcher getting the award from marketing guru Damian Horner, btw.
But I thought I would give a shout out to the others on the shortlist, because they all would not have been out of place on the podium. Also, all the shorlisted folk turned up last night, all I imagine putting on what the Guardian's Pascal Wyse once defined as a "grince"—the half-grin, half-wince expression on people's faces at awards ceremonies when they find out they haven't won and have to applaud the winner.
It cheered me that Welsh indie Accent Press' Xcitebooks.com made the shortlist. Partly it is because I could legitimately mention some of its titles—like Ultimate Spanking, Boy Fun One and Cocktales: Between the Sheets—in several issues of the Bookseller. But mostly because it shows that to be a player digitally you don't have to be one of the big boys with a massive digital department.
Mills & Boon probably doesn't spring to mind immediately when you think of digital, but many a publisher would do well to study how M&B has seamlessly integrated its e-book offer into its business. 102 years-old and M&B might be the most progressive publisher digitally out there.
We mention Enhanced Editions a lot in the Bookseller, I know. But it is deserved; Peter Collingridge's company leads the way in app development.
Experimenting with different models is going to be key to growing the industry digitally, and Bloomsbury Library Online does just that. The subscription-based e-book system for public libraries opens up a new revenue stream, and deals effectively with e-book in library issues such as concerns over perpetual access.
Ebury's Tess Daly's Baby Diaries free iPhone app was a perfect example of how to use digital content as a marketing tool to drive print sales.
I'm not going to say just being nominated is as good as winning, because that's a load of tosh. But good work all.
What do you think? Are there any digital innovations that we missed this year? Any early front runners for next year's award?