The Pool founder Sam Baker; Robbie Millen and Arifa Akbar, literary editors of the Times and the Independent respectively; authors Viv Groskop and Sali Hughes; and booksellers from Waterstones, Foyles, W H Smith and Booka Bookshop will judge this year’s inaugural Books of the Year awards.
Four book awards will be presented on 9th May at Grosvenor House as part of the British Book Industry Awards. The shortlists, announced in March, will be made from publisher submissions, which are due in by the end of Friday (19th February).
Judging the Début award are Baker; BBC Radio 2 producer Joe Haddow; Matt Bates, fiction buyer at W H Smith Travel; and journalist Alex Clark. Judging the Fiction prize are Groksop and Hughes; Waterstones fiction buyer Chris White; and BBC Radio 4’s Alison Finch. Judges for the Children’s category are Booka Bookshop manager Carrie Morris; Waterstones head of books Melissa Cox; Book Trust’s Gemma Malley; journalist Stuart Dredge, and The Reading Agency ambassador Bali Rai. Presiding over Non-Fiction are historian Kate Williams; Akbar and Millen; and Foyles assistant buyer Gary Powell.
Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Bookseller’s contributing editor, will chair the overall judging and the Débuts panel. The Bookseller’s books editor Alice O’Keeffe will chair the Fiction panel; associate editor Caroline Sanderson will lead Non-Fiction; and children’s editor Charlotte Eyre and children’s previewer Fiona Noble will co-chair the Children’s panel.
Rentzenbrink said: “It’s a great honour to be chairing the judges for our wonderful new Books of the Year awards. All our judges are professionally involved in the noble pursuit of bringing books to readers, whether through bookselling, outreach or journalism, and are excellently placed to choose the winners.”
Nigel Roby, chief executive and publisher of The Bookseller, added: “The new name places the emphasis on the book. Whether in print or e-book format our mission is to recognise the trade’s successes in getting more books in the hands of more readers. We want to recognise the very best that has been produced by our authors and publishers.”
Submissions for The British Book Industry Awards 2016 close tomorrow. You can enter here.